‘Change for Children’ Jersey City BOE slate formally kicks off campaign


The “Change for Children” Jersey City Board of Education slate has formally kicked off their campaign, which will see them go head-to-head with the “Education Matters” team backed by the local teachers union.

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By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“As a community organizer, I have seen first-hand the need for strong leadership and decisive action to do what’s right in these challenging times,” said Asheenia Johnson, who is the only returning member from last year’s team.

“With a bachelor’s degree in economics and on my way to finishing my master’s degree in public administration, I will bring to the Board the expertise it sorely needs at this time to ensure all our children get the best education they deserve.”

The three running mates said today that they will support a school reopening decision-making process that is based on data, expert guidance, and best practices to ensure that Jersey City school children are afforded the absolute best education possible.

“Our children and our community depend on our education system to provide the opportunities needed to succeed,” added Sonia N. Cintron.

“As a substitute teacher with a background in the financial industry, I will bring unique skills to the Board at a time of financial crisis and the dawn of a new era in education. I will get our financial house in order and help create new opportunities for all our children.”

They also vowed to usher in a new era of transparency and accountability to protect our hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

“After many years in Jersey City, I have seen our city grow and prosper, but watched as some were left behind. I have also seen how our current school board has careened from crisis to crisis limiting opportunities for our children and hurting our city’s future,” noted Karen Poliski.

“From having the former school board President arrested for accepting bribes for contracts to historic tax increases to indecisive actions during the pandemic that put our children, teachers, and our families at risk, this board hasn’t shown the leadership we need. As an instructor and small businesses owner, I will make decisions based on science and common sense to stop the corruption, protect taxpayers and ensure the health and safety of our students.”

Last year, two of Change for Children’s candidates seeking three-year terms, Alexander Hamilton and Noemi Velazquez, were elected to the board in a five-person race, with the “Education Matters” team claiming the other three seats.

This time around, only six candidates will be on the ballot, and Change for Children will face off with three incumbents in Board President Lorenzo Richardson, Vice President Gina Verdibello, and Trustee Lekendrick Shaw.

Verdibello and Shaw were successful in winning one-year terms in 2019.

Each candidate will be seeking a three-year term in the November 3rd election, which will be contested mainly via vote-by-mail ballots.