Campos-Medina is second Senate candidate to participate in Jersey City Town Hall


Dr. Patricia Campos-Medina, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, was the second speaker in a series of Jersey City Town Halls hosted by Mayor Steven Fulop at the Zeppelin Hall Biergarten.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3) spoke on Saturday and Fulop noted that Larry Hamm will round out the series at the end of the month.

“It’s one of the most consequential elections in the country. It’s a closely divided House and Senate,” the mayor, a declared Democratic candidate for governor who endorsed Kim a week before First Lady Tammy Murphy dropped out, noted.

Fulop explained her background as a progressive advocate for women’s issues and as a labor advocate. Campos-Medina currently works for Cornell University as the director of their industrial labor program.

“I’m at the core of figuring out the high level of inequality,” Campos-Medina said.

Fulop explained she was head of the Latina Civic PAC, which encouraged hispanic women to run when the county line was still a big barrier for independent candidates.

“We have been fighting the county line for a long time. We took it one step forward … and we’re able to finish the county line,” Campos Medina declared

Her campaign backed the lawsuit spearheaded by Kim to end the line, as did Fulop’s gubernatorial campaign in the midst of an appeal effort.

While addressing the crowd, Campos-Medina explained she came to the US at the age of 14 after eights years of parental separation due to immigration issues from El Salvador.

“The biggest concern of New Jersey families is what we call affordability,” she explained, continuing that she has been fighting for political representation for women.

“We are losing representation for our community in this state. We needed to run. A woman needed to run.”

Fulop then asked about her to detail her immigration reform plan.

“Neither Democrats nor Republicans have been able to present a solution for 30 years,” Campos-Medina began, calling on the US to spur the Latin American economy so there was less of an incentive to immigrate.

She added that this could be possible due to America’s alliance with Mexico, Venezuela, and Haiti.

“Trump’s wall is a distraction and a political game Republicans are using,” Campos-Medina exclaimed.

She explained the situation with refugees has become difficult since the program processing them is underfunded, as well as that it also takes too long for immigrants to get visas, allowing them to work.

In addition, 11 million undocumented U.S. residents need to be naturalized, Campos-Medina argued.

“We need to create a regional agreement on labo r… to expand the number of visas to work and come back … Legal workers are harder for bosses to exploit,” she declared.

“How would you confront affordability challenges?” Fulop asked.

Campos-Medina said New Jersey doesn’t get much money back from the federal government after taxation.

“We need to … create good jobs. People need jobs that pay a living wage. We need to continue supporting President Biden on the infrastructure bill … and make sure those jobs are union,” she said.

“Childcare is too expensive. The federal government has to play a role.”

Campos-Medina also called for more investments in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to increase vouchers and create more mixed-income developments.

She also noted that New Jersey has a $15 an hour minimum wage she helped fight for while campaigning for U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

“I will join Berner Sanders and we will get the minimum wage to $17 or higher,” she argued.

While reading questions from the audience, Fulop said that aspiring to be a senator is a lofty goal for a first run for office.

“Why not run for the state legislature or Congress?” he asked.

“That assumes I am not ready to be a United States Senator! I am ready! They don’t ask this question to a man,” Campos Medina said.

“I did not write this question,” Fulop joked to laughter.

Campos-Medina said she has spent 30 years advancing legislation for working families as a professional lobbyist for unions. During this time, she went to Washington, D.C. and was involved in negotiating labor provisions of international treaties.

“I’ve been in the rooms. I’ve been in the White House,” Campos-Medina declared.

An audience member then asked about student debt relief, to which Campos-Medina explained her family went to college when it was difficult to pay off loans since tuition was approximately $20,000 for a bachelor’s degree.

Now, it’s roughly $150,000 in tuition for a bachelor’s degree.

“They have mortgaged their life. The jobs we are creating aren’t worth it to pay off a debt,” she claimed.

Campos-Medina also asserted that Kim voted against Biden’s proposal to cancel student debt.

“Through Congress, it will take 10 years,” she further stated.

“I saved and struggled. How is that fair?” Fulop noted is a common refrain regarding student loans.

“That’s taking this capitalistic, individualistic notion of what education should be. Education is a public good. In the 90s, we stopped investing in public education,” she replied.

Campos-Medina explained that the amount of state funding has gone down at places like Rutgers from about 40 percent to 12 percent in recent decades.

“Why should we let poor kids fail? We saved banks in 2009,” she argued.

Fulop asked about her views on the conflict in the Middle East.

Campos-Medina said her father left El Salvador at the beginning of the war in 1979 while the family joined him slowly.

“I experienced bombings. We will never get peace in the Middle East if we don’t call for a ceasefire,” she stated, also being critical of “indiscriminate bombings.”

“Hamas committed a crime against Israel when they attacked. But Hamas is a terrorist origination. But not every Palestinian is a member of Hamas,” she noted.

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/hcvcp/public_html/wp-content/themes/Hudson County View/includes/wp_booster/td_block.php on line 353