Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and state Senate President (D-3) Stephen Sweeney will probably dual over the governor’s seat in 2017, but for now, they’re uniting to keep Gov. Chris Christie (R) from privatizing Liberty State Park.
Fulop and Sweeney have formed a coalition with state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), state Senator Sandra Cunningham (D-31), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), and perhaps most importantly, Sam Pesin.
Pesin is the president of the Friends of Liberty State Park and the son of Morris Pesin, the founder of LSP.
Fulop, a longtime supporter of LSP, said given that Gov. Chris Christieâ€™s term is wearing down – coupled with the fact that the courts move slowly – he doesnâ€™t seen an imminent threat right now.
Sweeney, whose expected to square off with Fulop in the 2017 Democratic primary for governor, also looked at Christieâ€™s term winding down as a good thing.
Weinberg called LSP â€œa national monumentâ€ â€œthat weâ€™re not going to expect to make a profit.â€
Mukherji noted LSPâ€™s proximity to â€œthe quintessential symbol of democracy and freedom throughout the world,â€ the Statue of Liberty.
The NY/NJ Baykeeper, Greg Remaud, is also a part of the newly formed group.
Just down the road from the Liberty House inside the closed LSP rail yards, Mark Texel, the director of the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, refuted much of what was said at the press conference.
He said that only 38 of the 600 acres of land, at the most, would be developed – possible a low-rise, four-story hotel built over the rail yards (comparing the concept to Grand Central Station) – and specifically told Hudson County View that rumors of an amusement or water park were unfounded.
Thanks very much for your story John Heinis.
For 40 years, the overwhelming majority has strongly and clearly supported a free and green, peaceful urban state park behind Lady Liberty. We need a massive grassroots effort and I urge park supporters to sign the Friends of LSP and NY/NJ Baykeeper have at http://www.savelsp.org I also urge any NJ group/organization to sign on with 40 other groups to the Coalition to Save LSP letter to the Governor at this page https://docs.google.com/a/nynjbaykeeper.org/forms/d/1UfIGawCjW7B3CHr-aLQsM9x7g5rQQXXARY9XBX99BiI/viewform?c=0&w=1
The Governor’s puppet Mark Texel, Director of Parks and Forestry, admitted that one of their plans is 4 story hotel where the landmark Sheds are and their report suggests giving the historic CRRNJ Terminal to the hotel. The report does also recommend an amusement park so the Director, who has abdicated his job as steward of state parks, is not being honest.
Please see the “myth/facts section of the Petition at http://www.savelsp.org
LSP is already crowded on non-winter weekends with 4.5 million visitors a year and the 38 acres is a higher proportion of the available open space than they say(please see myths/facts page on the petition website) and the inevitable weekend traffic jams from a commercial amphitheater, leasing waterfront lawns for regular large scale admission fee events, an amusement park, etc. would restrict public access. The DEP’s development proposals are an attack on the urban people’s quality of life and on the purpose and meaning of this national treasure, a free and green park behind Lady Liberty. The Friends 10 page opposition statement is at http://www.folsp.org/opposition%20statement%20to%20NJDEP%20Commmercialization-Privatization%20Proposals%20for%20LSP%201_10_16.pdf
It’s to be expected that Governor Christie’s spokesperson stated that these prominent Democratic elected officials, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, State Senators Sandra Cunningham, Stephen Sweeney and Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman Raj Mukerji, “have no idea what they’re talking about” but they and The People know very well that LSP must be an open space park for future generations to enjoy and its the Governor’s “parks should pay for themselves” philosophy which is ignorant and arrogant-LSP serves the Public Good and wasn’t created to serve developers’ wallets.
Sam Pesin, president of the Friends of LSP and the son of Morris Pesin, LSP’s “father”
You’re welcome. Good luck Sam