In a letter to the editor, District 2 Hudson County commissioner candidate Adrian Ghainda explains why he support a universal right to counsel that is implemented as soon as possible in Jersey City.
I fully support the Right to Counsel (RTC) ordinance 23-047. Housing is a human right and needs to be treated as such. We need a universal coverage and application for all tenants across Jersey City.
We cannot wait until January 2026 for RTC to be implemented. Jersey City is a city of renters, and this ordinance will benefit renters, tenants, small homeowners, and only penalize bad actor corporate landlords.
This legislation could ensure that rent control is properly enforced where we won’t see anyone suffering rent increases as astronomic as 30% and above.
I’ve cut turf and canvassed across Jersey City and spoken to residents since August 2022 to get support for the Right to Counsel campaign.
I’ve spoken at several City Council meetings because of my unwavering belief that we can do the right thing and pass RTC because of the powerful work conducted by the Right to Counsel JC and their coalition partners.
I am thrilled to see RTC in Jersey City become a powerful talking point, however the current leadership has done nothing but piggyback off of the coalition work being done and hasn’t moved the needle for over two decades.
Bill O’Dea, despite having spent decades in office, has only endorsed RTC after years of grassroots organizing by activists like myself, and has not worked to pass the equivalent at the county level.
Keeping Jersey City residents in the city they’ve called home has been my mission through meaningful policy changes and educating friends, family, neighbors, and residents across the city since 2020.
What we need now is to ensure tenants have legal protections and educational resources to help them build community within their neighborhoods.
I urge you to support the passing of a Right to Counsel that is universal, that is implemented as soon as possible and doesn’t restrict anyone based off of immigration status, or language barriers.
This is the first step to ensure tenants across Jersey City can live in this city with dignity. Housing justice in Jersey City starts with a strong Right to Counsel.
Hudson County commissioner candidate District 2
Editor’s note: The Hudson County Board of Commissioners approved a $1 million right to counsel proposal in March after a request for proposals went out in November.