Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer praised the job Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33) has done in Trenton during a fundraiser at Mills Tavern last night.
“She actually cares about the district, cares about the residents and she is a tremendous fighter. I can tell you personally, in caucus, there’s nobody more outspoken,” said Prieto.
“And if you’ve seen her in committees, like last Friday, when New Jersey Transit [was on the agenda] … she is not scared to go where she was to go to make sure she represents Hoboken, the district, the county, the state to the fullest to make sure the quality of life of all the residents is made better.”
Zimmer echoed Prieto’s sentiment, stating that Chaparro is exactly what the 33rd Legislative District needed.
“To our Assemblywoman, I mean, she is exactly what Hoboken needed, it’s exactly what we needed for representation and exactly what I was looking for. She is working on policy, it’s all about creating the policy that’s right for our community, that moves our cities and our state in the right direction,” the mayor stated.
“She’s working with us on legislation after the fatality in Hoboken, a hit-and-run, on a personal level, having lost my father-in-law to a hit-and-run in Hoboken, I am deeply appreciative of the work, the leadership she has taken and this legislation will be done.”
Last month, Chaparro introduced “Zackhary’s Law,” named after Zackhary Simmons, the 21-year-old killed in a Hoboken hit-and-run in July. The legislation would create an emergency alert system to help authorities apprehend these drivers as quickly as possible.
The bill advanced the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, which Chaparro sits on, this morning. Assemblywomen Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), as well as Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-14, also the chair of the committee) co-sponsored the legislation.
Zimmer also emphasized over and over again that statewide officials need to keep the pressure on NJ Transit to ensure that safety reforms are enacted in light of the horrific Hoboken train crash where one woman was killed and 108 were injured.
After Chaparro and Zimmer joked about whether or not the Assemblywoman was â€œforcedâ€ to run for the seat on the Hudson County Democratic organization line in 2015, she said it was a good thing the mayor talked her into running because she was unlikely to follow through with the decision on her own.
“I realized that I really love what I’m doing, and I know I don’t have all the answers and I’m not perfect, but I’m happy that I’m on the right path. And all I want to do is make a difference and make things a little bit better. If I could make it a little bit better then I’m happy,” Chaparro said.
“I know there are so many things that need to be worked on: law and public safety, a lot of people think I just picked certain committees, but law and public safety, other than the obvious – that I live with the chief of police – I grew up in the housing authority so I see a different aspect of things too.”
Chaparro, who works at Hoboken City Hall and is engaged to Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante, went on to say that her son is a military veteran who currently works at the NSA – a major reason why she chose to also sit on the Assembly’s Home Security Committee.
Before thanking her supports for coming out, she also encouraged residents to reach out to her about their needs and concerns so that they can be addressed on the state level.
Others in attendance included council members Mike DeFusco, Tiffanie Fisher and Ravi Bhalla, Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), Board of Education Trustees Irene Sobolov and Jennifer Evans, along with their Forward Together teammate Sheillah Dallara, former state Senate Majority Leader Bernie Kenny, as well as representatives from the New Jersey Education Association and the Fraternal Order of Police.