The Jersey City Education Association has added a Democratic committeewoman to their board of education slate, while the two incumbents are running on a ticket with activist Monique Andrews.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“We wish the incumbents well and thank them for their years of service. However, over the last 18 months, the philosophy in which they govern is not aligned with our interests. The arguing and six-hour meetings have become too much for parents and community members to bear,” Mike Greco, the campaign manager for the “Education Matters” team, said in a statement.
“We have a superintendent whom we trust and who has the best interests of our children in mind, yet over the past few months it seems that she cannot get support for positive initiatives that’s she would like to put in place.”
He continued that Alpa Patel, a Democratic committeewoman in the Heights, will round out the ticket with National Career Institute President Dr. George P. Blount, and Jersey City Police Det. Dejon Morris.
Renes Cruz, a veteran local teacher, was initially part of the latest incarnation of the Education Matters ticket, but he is running independently now after he was unable to submit 10 valid petitions of nomination on the first try (he remains on the ballot after curing some deficiencies).
Trustees Gina Verdibello and Lorenzo Richardson, who has been on the board since 2018 and 2014, respectively, have declined to comment on their split with the JCEA thus far, though they filed to seek re-election under the “Children First” team banner last week.
Since then, they have rounded out their ticket with Monique Andrews, an activist who has served as the parents council president at Snyder High School, where she is an alumnus.
She is also a regular attendee at school board meetings and has been an outspoken critic of the administration at times.
Two other first time candidates, “Sam” Sumit Salia and Janette Scafidi, are also seeking three-year terms on the board in the non-partisan November 7th race where three seats are up for grabs.
JCEA-endorsed candidates have won all nine contested seats dating back to 2020 and all nine current board members received their backing.
In a tweet yesterday, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop referred to the current predicament between the JCEA and the school board as a reversal of fortunes reminiscent of when pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan shockingly joined the New World Order back in 1996.
“Not since Hulk Hogan joined the NWO has there been such a momentous change in allliances [sic].”