LETTER: Vote for Jersey City’s ‘original progressive’ Bill O’Dea on June 6th


In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Cory Garriga, who is also the president of the local young Democrats, implores District 2 voters to re-elect the “original progressive” Bill O’Dea on June 6th.

Dear Editor,

In 1985, Bill O’Dea’s career as an elected official began when he was elected to City Council.

In ’97, he was elected by County Committee people to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner Henry “Hank” Gallo, who had recently passed away; Bill had become Commissioner (then called Freeholder) by ONE VOTE.

Since then, he has built a reputation as a progressive elected official, giving a voice to his constituents and standing up for what is right.

Commissioner O’Dea has worked hard to advance progressive platforms in Hudson County and the State, working closely with AFL-CIO in 2013 to amend the New Jersey constitution to raise the minimum wage.

As a commissioner, Bill O’Dea sponsored and passed the second living wage law for a government in the United States, strengthening that law several times to require medical coverage and sick time.

There is no doubt that Commissioner Bill O’Dea is the original progressive in Hudson County; he ardently opposed the ICE contract renewals in Hudson County in 2017 and 2020; in 2021, Commissioner O’Dea’s efforts paid off.

O’Dea has advocated for judicial reform so those incarcerated in Hudson County Correctional Facility could address prior warrants and outstanding fines prior to their release, which is a significant step in removing barriers to employment and reducing recidivism.

Commissioner O’Dea was able to get the county to sue the Christie Administration to provide medical coverage to those incarcerated.

In matters pertaining to housing, Commissioner O’Dea actively took part in the project that created housing for homeless veterans in Jersey City and is currently working with a non-profit to create 40 additional units.

This project includes medical, social, mental health, and substance abuse services. He is actively working with another NFP to apply for state funding to construct 18 additional units with space for after-school programs for youth.

PRIOR to the Jersey City Right to Counsel ordinance, Commissioner O’Dea sponsored a resolution allocating $ 1 million this year to provide Right to Counsel services to tenants facing eviction or homeowners facing foreclosure.

This resolution also helps tenants access TRA and other rental assistance programs.

As a Hudson County Commissioner, Bill O’Dea doesn’t settle for the answer provided.

He makes sure it’s the answer constituents want to hear. O’Dea forced the court to declare an emergency so tenants at an apartment building in his district could get a boiler replaced and heat restored in less than 48 hours.

His dedication to his constituents is worthy of praise and gratitude. He is a grandfather, friend, mentor, and dedicated public servant.

Residents of District 2, when you vote on June 6th, remember to Vote for Bill O’Dea for Hudson County commissioner!

Cory Garriga
Jersey City Resident


Editor’s note: Garriga is speaking as a private citizen and not as the president of the Jersey City Young Dems.

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