LETTER: We need to elect Kevin Bing in Ward C if we want a councilperson for all of us

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In a letter to the editor, Jersey City Ward C resident Sumit Galhotra says that Kevin Bing should be the voters’ choice on Tuesday if they want a councilperson who represents everyone.

Jersey City Ward C council candidate Kevin Bing.

Dear Editor,

We are frustrated and tired.

Whether it’s litter on our streets or poorly maintained lots, the abysmal trash collection, the lack of snow removal that makes our journeys as pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers treacherous, the lack of retail, open, and green spaces for us to enjoy, neighbors getting priced out of living here, food deserts, or the congestion and traffic safety issues that plague our neighborhood streets — every day can feel like an uphill battle.

I’ve spoken to an exhausted life-long resident who has led clean-up efforts and advocated with city agencies who doesn’t know how much longer she can continue fighting.

I’ve spoken to a mother who said she doesn’t plan to live on the block much longer because she thinks the traffic has become too dangerous for her son to walk to school.

I’ve spoken to residents who have experienced damage to their cars caused by the blatant disregard of our trash collection company.

I’ve spoken to others who have had their cars sideswiped by reckless drivers rushing to bypass traffic. My own family members trying to cross the street have come close to being hit by reckless drivers.

The common refrain seems to be two-fold: The first is that despite these challenges, residents love their community and city, but we don’t know how much longer we can put up with business as usual.

The second is that whether we live in Journal Square, the Heights, Marion, or McGinley Square, many of us don’t feel heard and feel like we don’t have an advocate fighting on our behalf.

The sad truth is that Councilperson Rich Boggiano only represents a few. When he’s not asleep at city council meetings, floating conspiracy theories, or writing checks to Trump supporters running for office, Boggiano only cares about representing his favored few, often at the expense of the rest of us.

Boggiano claims to be the guardian of parking, but where was he when we emailed him on behalf of the distressed seniors on our block who had nowhere to park after the city suddenly declared our street an emergency snow route right before a major snowstorm?

We never heard from him. Instead, Councilperson-at-Large Rolando Lavarro immediately responded and helped my neighbors gain access to a nearby school parking lot.

Where was Councilperson Boggiano when we had been without water for nearly 36 hours during a major water main break last year?

My husband had to fight with SUEZ and advocate with the Office of Emergency Management to divert a water truck to our area that had been sitting idle in Downtown Jersey City even though water service had been restored there hours earlier.

Similarly, where was Councilperson Boggiano when many of my neighbors emailed him to express concerns about safety on our residential street when a neighbor was struck by a car? Even Mayor Fulop responded immediately and offered his support.

The councilperson is campaigning on a platform that claims that any changes to our streets should require community consultation from the people who live on those streets.

Following the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, 100 residents signed a petition to express their support to designate our block an open street for the summer.

The councilperson killed this effort knowing full well that our families don’t have green and open spaces nearby. Whatever happened to community input?

Boggiano has had eight years to address the many challenges we face in Ward C but under his watch, things have worsened, or at best remained the same. We don’t need bluster. We need solutions.

This race is about electing someone who is solutions-oriented and present and accountable to the community.

I have had ample opportunity to observe Kevin Bing: he has been out there advocating for us. I have seen Kevin take part in community efforts to make our streets safer and cleaner; to end dangerous and incessant non-essential helicopter flights over our neighborhoods; to make living here more affordable.

Most importantly, I have seen Kevin listen. This campaign has shown that Kevin welcomes dialogue with the community while his opponent avoids it.

No matter which way we are leaning, we all love our city and our community. But don’t we deserve someone who will fight for us all? Let’s elect Kevin Bing for Ward C Councilperson on December 7.

Sumit Galhotra
Jersey City Ward C resident

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