Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is again vocalizing support for a local arts and culture trust fund after it appeared that the COVID-19 pandemic would cancel the November 3rd referendum.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“A vote ‘yes’ on Election Day for that small fee will collectively go a long way for the future of Jersey City’s dynamic culture, strengthening our vibrant arts scene and ultimately invigorating the community as a whole,” Fulop said in a statement.
“Now more than ever, we need to establish sustainable fiscal models to provide a strong foundation for our unique arts and culture to grow and thrive, now and for future generations to come.”
If approved, Jersey City would be the first municipality in New Jersey to establish an Arts and Culture Trust Fund.
The trust would be funded at a maximum rate of $0.02 per $100 of assessed property value, and will directly benefit local artists and arts organizations to help them grow and thrive.
Fulop’s message comes on a day when many Hudson County residents have started to receive their vote-by-mail ballots.
A topic that has been discussed for years, the arts and culture trust fund looked like it would be left up to the voters after the city council approved the ballot question back in February.
However, just two months later, the mayor asked the council to withdraw the referendum due to the challenges of the coronavirus.
Be that as it may, the governing body never took a vote to remove the ballot question, eventually prompting the Jersey City Arts Council to make a push in July to leave the question as it is.
“Jersey City is blessed with a vibrant arts community, and the administration and advocates have done an amazing job reminding voters that the arts in Jersey City have social, emotional, and economic impacts,” noted Director of Advocacy & Public Policy for ArtPride NJ Anne Marie Miller.
“A burgeoning arts culture helps fuel the city’s economic engine by attracting business, building a strong sociocultural, expanding educational opportunities, and creating a unique and sought after culture that boosts property values while creating a unique sense of community for residents and visitors alike,” added Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey.