In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Phil Rivo explains why he feels Jersey City Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut is the right choice for councilman in Ward E.
I’ve lived downtown for a long time. I’ve raised my children here, I serve as a commissioner on the Alcohol Beverage Control Board, I do standup at my synagogue’s yearly Borcht event, which may be the only time I love seeing grown people cry because they are laughing so hard.
All this is to say that I know a great candidate when I see one. And by great I mean someone who knows how to get done what he sets out to do.
Jake Hudnut has been the city’s municipal prosecutor for four years and in that time I’ve seen him lead a team of police and investigators to go up against landlords who neglected to turn on heat in the middle of winter, or who allowed their buildings to become infested with vermin.
I was impressed during the pandemic to see that instead of instantly shutting down businesses when they didn’t follow COVID rules, Jake and his team helped our business owners understand them, so they could safely stay open.
Only then if they didn’t comply, they would be prosecuted, giving them a way to keep small businesses open.
None of this surprised me though, because when he first became municipal prosecutor he stood up to the NJ Attorney General who wasn’t interested in marijuana reform.
He had seen first-hand in his practice as a public defender how those laws had devastated so many families and that empathy gave him the strength to push forward his plan.
I know that anyone who can stand up to the state attorney general can go head to head with a developer – or anyone else – whose interests may not be the same as residents of Ward E.
I first met Jake when he was working for reform-minded board of education candidates 10 years ago. When Jake talks about education today, he talks about the need for more schools downtown.
He saw his neighbors and friends spend a year with their children cooped up during the pandemic and shared their dismay in how poorly planned our schools were to reopen this fall.
Jake, as the first in his family to go to law school, understands how important education is to parents and will maintain a close watch over the board of ed to ensure the share of our taxes is spent responsibly.
Less than a month ago Tropical Storm Ida reminded us what we should have never forgotten after Superstorm Sandy – that if we want to live in Jersey City long term, we need a councilman who wakes up every day thinking about sustainability, resiliency, better air quality, and how we can mitigate flooding.
Jake’s sustainability plan has been endorsed by the most powerful environmental justice group in the state, the League and Conservation Voters.
My family and I are proud that on November 2nd, we will be part of a truly historic moment, when we vote for Jake Hudnut, the first LGBTQ elected representative, for Ward E City Council.
Jersey City resident