Solomon calls for new Liberty State Park bill to protect Caven Point, ban major privatization


Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon called for the new Liberty State Park bill to include amendments to protect Caven Point and ban major privatization in an email blast this morning.

Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon speaking at a rally to preserve Liberty State Park on September 25th, 2021. Screenshot via YouTube.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Seemingly out of nowhere, our state legislators introduced a new bill on Liberty State Park. The bill would provide millions of dollars in funding and add much needed active recreation for Liberty State Park- but as you probably already suspect, there’s a catch,” the downtown councilman wrote.

“Right now, the bill has no protections in place to keep the park from being privatized or commercialized—and John, that’s exactly why billionaire golf course owner Paul Fireman’s handsomely paid lobbyists are promoting the bill.”

Solomon continues that the proposed 7,000-seat concert venue and 5,000-seat stadium will bring more benefit to private developers than public economies, citing a November 2018 story in The Atlantic.

Furthermore, he says that the 17-member Liberty State Park Design Task Force should include members from the Jersey City Parks Coalition, the Urban League of Hudson County, and statewide conservation groups.

Bill S2807, sponsored by state Senators Brian Stack (D-33), Sandra Cunningham (D-31), and Nick Sacco (D-32), would allocate $250 million from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection towards the park, with the task force deciding how to spend it.

The measure cleared the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on Thursday and the Assembly State and Local Government Committee will hear it tomorrow.

In the lower house, the bill is sponsored by Assembly members Angela McKnight, Will Sampson (both D-31), and Annette Chaparro (D-33).

Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), one of the prime sponsors of the Liberty State Park Protection Act, has said he won’t support the new legislation.

With the bill on a fast track, Solomon also urged residents to voice their concerns to Trenton leadership.

“As always, I’m grateful to partner with Friends of Liberty State Park to fight for a more accessible, sustainable Liberty State Park—and I’m grateful for your support in this fight,” his email blast concluded.

Solomon sponsored a city council resolution in support of the LSPPA in 2020 and attending rallies that year and the following year for the cause.

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