The latest round of the “Change for Children” vs. “Education Matters” in the Jersey City Board of Education race pits Trustees Alexander Hamilton and Noemi Velazquez against each other.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
While Velazquez and Hamilton both ran on the Change for Children slate in 2019, where voters elected a 3-2 split ticket in favor of the Jersey City Education Association-backed “Education Matters” team, they now find themselves on opposite sides.
Hamilton will run alongside Doris Toni Ervin, who came in a distance fourth place last year, and first time candidate Kenny Reyes on the Change for Children team.
On the other hand, Velazquez will seek another three-year term on the union-backed slate alongside Afaf Muhammad, a Democratic committeewoman who ran as an independent last year, and newcomer Christopher Tisdale.
Tisdale founded DREAM Preparatory Academic Charter School in September 2010 and has been working as an English teacher at the Englewood Public Schools since September 2012, according to his LinkedIn page.
Velazquez voted for the nearly $974 million budget this year (Hamilton voted no), which only passed by one vote and came with about a $1,608 tax increase for a home evaluated at a $460,00 at their March 21st meeting.
The recent budgets and subsequent tax increases are sure to be a hot potato in this election cycle, particularly with Mayor Steven Fulop trashing the BOE over it before subsequently calling for the school elections to be moved back to April.
Independent candidates also seeking seats on the volunteer, nine-member governing body are Isnel Sanon, who has run his own tax preparation firm, Sanon Global, for about a decade, and Ahsan Nawaz – a local real estate agent.
During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, Education Matters pulled off two consecutive clean sweeps, winning three seats each time, and maintained a 7-2 majority on the board.
The third incumbent up for re-election is Board President Gerald Lyons, who has opted to not run again.
The non-partisan Jersey City BOE elections to decide three, three-year terms are on November 8th.