Jersey City Ward F Councilman Frank “Educational” Gilmore slammed the municipal redistricting process ahead of tomorrow’s meeting: “people are pissed off at the way we’re being treated.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“When I saw the second one, I was really a bit concerned seeing that cut out almost all the development slated in Ward F,” Gilmore said this afternoon, noting that he didn’t believe last week’s draft was “a compact and contiguous” plan either.
“It’s ironic and coincidental that all these major projects, SciTech Scity, Steel Tech, and other development on Communipaw. This whole map is pretty much like ‘screw Frank.’”
Gilmore, who decisively defeated Jermaine Robinson in November, has previously come out against SciTech Scity and the Morris Canal Manor (417 Communipaw Ave.), and has also opposed the privatization of Liberty State Park.
Under the latest rendering, all three of those areas along ith 880-900 Garfield Ave., where 1,200 units are being proposed, would move to Ward A, with Gilmore also pointing out that other smaller projects would be transferred to Ward B.
The Board of Ward Commissioners, the governing body responsible for re-warding after each U.S. Census each decade, unveiled a new map yesterday ahead of Saturday’s hybrid meeting at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.
In accordance with state law, the ward commissioners must meet within three months after the governor approves the U.S. Census results (municipal redistricting occurs once a decade).
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) approved the census results on September 16th and the Board of Ward Commissioners convened for the first time on December 15th, where they determined that the current city population distribution required the six ward boundaries to be redrawn.
While Gilmore acknowledged this is not a municipal process, he said a more collaborative, transparent process would have been appreciated by him and his constituents.
“I’m gonna do my job regardless but I’m not going to stand by and allow people’s voices to be muffled, let voices fall on deaf ears when I know this is wrong on so many levels. Why are we even touching Ward F?,” he questioned.
“We already the state required numbers, why are you touching the ward? There are a lot of inconsistencies. I’m just saying have a fair process, have the community be involved. People are just pissed off at the way we’re being treated here.”
The goal of municipal redistricting is to get the most populous and least populous wards within 10 percent of each other.
The latest proposal has the overall deviation at just 1.8 percent and Ward F is the least populous at 48,311 (on the current map Ward F has a population of 48,440). The average population for all six wards is 48,865.
Additionally, Gilmore is annoyed that the ward commissioners have taken no community input thus far and said he is encouraging a large contingency to participate tomorrow.
“The community has to be part of the process: you’re doing things to people’s lives and you’re not allowing them to be a part of it …You could put Ward F in the Pacific Ocean and I’ll represent fish, sharks , and sea turtles,” he joked, indicating he wasn’t trying to shirk any of his elected duties.
“I’m not here to be politically correct: it’s 2022, not 1842. People want answers and rightfully so, they deserve to know what’s going on. You cannot put out the light with darkness, but you can put out darkness with light.”
I appreciate you educational Gilmore because it’s not fair they always been blocking out Ward f for as far as I can remember since I moved to Jersey and and it’s making me sick cuz when Cunningham was a mayor the city was won not divided this mayor Steve comes in and just puts us to the side like we don’t exist that’s why we glad you have us and we’re glad we have you because your voice has a matter for us educational Gilmore I’m proud of you
I agree Frank, ward F has always been put on the back burner when it comes to help and services. We are always the last to know what they ( the powers that be) plan to do with us until it’s to late to even argue. Historically the black and lower class communities always end with no representation. I thank Allah that you are giving a voice to the voiceless. There is so much more that I would like to say, but I will save it for the appropriate time. Thank you again Beloveth. And may Allah continue to guide your heart ❤️
I have lived here for 28 years. I have one question for mr Gilmore… where were you, and all of these people who seem upset? Ask the people who, because of gentrification, were able to sell their homes snd make a good profit? Ask the Latino owner of the deli that has been hit three times in less than a month, if he likes things the way they are?
Instead of interviewing when it mattered ( years ago) you chose to sit it out. Stop creating divisions