Joel Brooks, a member of the Hudson County branch of Northern New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America and the Hudson County Progressive Alliance, is planning to run against Jersey City Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“The Jersey City Council has tremendous power to shape our city and impact our communities. From taxes, to housing and tenants rights, to public safety, public health and the city budget – the city council has a huge role,” Brooks told HCV.
“Right now, the majority of the city council accepts donations from real estate developers, police unions and corporate landlords who have the City government working for them, not tenants and working class residents of Jersey City. I will never take their money. I will never work for them. I will always stand with Ward B Jersey City residents.”
He also pointed out that according to 2010 U.S. Census data, over two thirds of Ward B households earned less than $75,000 a year, which begs the question of who will benefit from the construction of luxury studio apartments that cost over $2,000 a month to rent.
Other priorities Brooks mentioned include fighting for more affordable housing, safely reopening businesses and schools as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, coming up with more solutions for school funding, and being an independent voice for residents.
“The behavior of the County Commissioners, along with the 7-2 current rubber stamp City Council, helped me realize the status quo elected officials will continue the status quo. That’s why I am running for Jersey City Council – the status quo has failed,” Brooks added.
“Jersey City needs council members who are not a rubber stamp for corporate and real estate funders and police unions.”
Brooks initially filed his D-1 form with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) on January 26th and then an amendment on January 31st.
Additionally, Caitlin Sherman, also a member of the HCPA, the Hudson County branch of the DSA, as well as NJ-08 for Progress, has signed on as the treasurer for Brooks’ campaign.
He is the second challenger to publicly come out against a Jersey City council incumbent in recent days, with community activist Frank “Educational” Gilmore stating his intentions to unseat Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson on Friday, as HCV first reported.
Both Prinz-Arey and Robinson are seeking a second term on Mayor Steven Fulop’s ticket and the municipal elections, where the mayoralty and all nine council seats are on the line, are set for November 2nd.