ELEC: ‘Change for Children’ Jersey City BOE team appears to have fundraising edge


The “Change for Children” Jersey City Board of Education team appears to have a the fundraising edge in the non-partisan November 8th race, based on reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.

The Jersey City Board of Education Headquarters at 346 Claremont Ave. Photo via Google Maps.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

According to their 29-day report filed on October 17th, the trio raised $52,785.55 and spent $45,826.73, leaving them with $8,281.11 cash on hand.

The vast majority of their money came from two Washington, D.C.-based PACs at the same address: New Jersey for All and New Jersey Together (who has no affiliation to the nonprofit of the same name), who each contributed $24,600.

A largest expenditure was $20,000 to AJ Williams Consultant and Associates, the Jersey City political consulting firm of Arthur Williams, a former recreation director for the city who nows works for the board of education.

Individually, he loaned the campaign $1,675, while another longtime consultant, Gene McKnight, received $10,000.

A LeFrak-linked PAC that is supporting the team, which consists of Trustee Alexander Hamilton, Doris Toni Ervin, and Kenny Reyes, raised $297,500 and spent $80,729.75 and still have $282,139.55 cash on hand due to a prior outstanding balance of $65,369.30, their 3rd quarter ELEC report from October 10th shows.

Harrison LeFrak, the chair and CEO of the company, and James LeFrak, Harrison’s son and the vice chair and managing director of the company, were the only donors to the PAC in this most recent quarter.

MCJ Consultant Group LLC out of Newark received a total of $35,500 for political consulting, their biggest expenditure reported thus far.

As for the “Education Matters” slate backed by the Jersey City Education Association, their 29-day filling shows just $1,000: $500 from Trustee Noemi Velasquez and $500 from Christopher Tisdale, two of the team members running alongside Afaf Muhammed.

Garden State Forward, the New Jersey Education Association’s PAC, has not explicitly reported any spending in Jersey City, though their October 11th filing indicates they plan on spending $205,342.88 on direct mail statewide.

Education Matters campaign manager Mike Greco said that the 29-day filing does not include donations they received at their October 14th fundraiser, as well as that the team is expecting $6,600 per candidate directly from the NJEA – which they were able to request following their endorsement.

The two independent candidates in the race, Isnel Sanon and Ahsan Nawaz, do not have any filings to date.


Editor’s Note: Garden State Forward purchased an ad for the “Education Matters” team on HCV. 

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  1. much as i am entertained by the kids first vs leadership that listens food fight, are there any other articles mentioning change for children? there are a few letters for education matters. with the exploding schools budget, i’d expect to see more letters explaining the positions of the opposed slates.

    not saying it’s your job. a lot of it is very partisan support letters. but even that support is edifying.