LETTER: Michael Griffin & Shanelle Smith are independent leaders LD-31 can trust


In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Elvin Dominici explains why he feels Michael Griffin and Shanelle Smith are independent leaders the 31st Legislative District can trust.

Photo via griffinforld31.com.

Dear Editor,

New Jersey’s 31st Legislative District is one of 40 districts that make up the map for the New Jersey Legislature. It covers the Hudson County municipalities of Bayonne and most of Jersey City and Kearny.

Minority families are a colorful theme in this part of Hudson County where Black/African Americans and Hispanics represent 22.4% and 25.3% of the total populations.

Public safety, affordable housing, and high taxes are basic issues affecting multiples families, and this new primary election can define or not the solutions of these problems.

Who can our communities truly trust?

The African American political family who has represented the interests and concerns of this community has been led by the well-respected Cunningham’s, Glenn & Sandra.

Our city’s prosperity grew under the strong leadership beloved late mayor of Jersey City, Glenn Cunningham, who prioritized people over developers.

The retiring State Senator Sandra Cunningham led our community as a strong woman working for the unprivileged families, safer streets and reduce and balance taxes.

We must look to these exemplary roles and put our trust in candidates who have similar priorities in mind for the residents of the 31st legislative district.

This is why I believe that we should vote and support strong candidates, such as: Michael Griffin for State Senate and Shanelle Smith for State Assembly in the 31st Legislative District.

I believe our elected officials should be supported based on their prioritization of local residents in our community and their contributions to those people who they will represent if elected.

Michael Griffin is a community organizer who began his political career under the late mayor Glenn Cunningham.

Michael was able to learn directly from Mayor Cunningham how to communicate, organize, and lead initiatives pertaining to the improvements of his community.

Michael Griffin has been helping our communities with different core issues without being officially elected, such as: passing the Do Not Knock ordinance, being an active member of the nonprofit Monticello Avenue Community Development Corporation, among other things.

Shanelle Smith is an educator and small business owner who has dedicated herself to creating and aiding in programs to improve our communities.

She has been involved mostly with our public-schools children providing tutoring and summer programs to educate and support the children in most need of support.

Shanelle is convinced that we are missing accountability at our state government, and we need leadership who does not forget their constituency after they are elected.

Shanelle can provide significant changes, such as: lowering taxes, protecting common public spaces like Liberty State Park, and increasing affordable housing for our residents who have been dealing with displacement and gentrification for all in our community.

Michael and Shanelle are the cornerstones who can embrace the leadership legacy set forth by the Cunningham family.

The attributes of a true public servant were displayed in true colors under the Glenn Cunningham administration, and I am certain senator Michael Griffin and Assemblywoman Smith would bring these needed qualities to the state chambers in Trenton.

Please consider voting and support this new generation of African American civic leaders serving everyone with dignity, dedication, and accountability for all.

Elvin Dominici
Jersey City resident

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