The New Jersey Working Families Alliance, SEIU 32BJ, and the Amalgamated Transit Union had members rally and canvass with Mayor Steven Fulop in Jersey City this afternoon.
“I just want to remind everybody that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. Four years ago, there probably wasn’t a person here that thought we’d have a President Trump. We probably took it for granted, we were planning victory parties, and we had a four-year period with real tough policies,” Fulop said in front of the water fountain in Lincoln Park.
“We need to go out and make sure that the entire Democratic ticket gets elected, starting with [Gov.] Phil Murphy, all the way down, making sure that Hudson County sends a strong message,” he said before leading a brief “32BJ” chant.
He was joined by Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey and Council-at-Large candidate Amy DeGise, who is also the chair of the local county Democratic party, who both welcomed and thanked the few dozen union members on hand for their support.
In an interview, Fulop said Jersey City has been proud to lead on labor issues over the past eight years and is happy to see them reciprocate today by helping to get the vote out.
When asked to elaborate on what he thinks Election Day will bring, the mayor recalled that his re-election in 2017 wasn’t particularly close (it was about 78 percent to 22 percent) and that the council was split 6-3.
Those who successfully ran as independents at the time were Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano, Ward D Councilman Michael Yun, and James Solomon in Ward E.
Boggiano is now on Fulop’s ticket, Yun passed away due to complications from COVID-19 last year, and Solomon is again running independently.
Fulop sounds cautiously optimistic that tally will be met, if not surpassed, this time around.
“We’re hoping for at least similar results, so we’re hoping for a strong statement: I don’t know what the numbers look like on the mayor front – we’re hoping for the majority of the ticket to come through again,” he said.
“And I feel like we’ve put in the work we all have a track record to run on that we’re proud of and we feel that the voters have been responsive to that. Tuesday’s judgement day and we’ll see what happens.”
NJWFA Executive Director Sue Altman told HCV that the organization endorsed Fulop again since he led the way on issues such as increasing the minimum wage and pushing for stronger worker protections.
“Jersey City is a really, really important place in New Jersey, it’s the [second] biggest city and it’s also kind of an incubator of new ideas – as is Newark,” she began.
“We want to make sure that the leadership here stays supported and that progressives will turn out the vote for the leadership here, so that we get great policies that then become thing that New Jersey does and later becomes things that happen all across the county.”
She said that negotiating local labor contracts, focusing on environmental policy, and transportation issues will be important over the next four years, and generally should just ensure that the city is livable for all residents.
Altman also said that the NJWFA has “been very impressed with Mayor Fulop” and trusts his leadership, especially after leading the city through the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020.
The non-partisan Jersey City municipal elections are on Tuesday and early voting is available through Sunday evening.