The hiring practices of the Jersey City Recreation Departmentâ€™s â€œStop the Dropâ€ anti-litter program were called into question during an energized council meeting that will be remembered for the support given to Councilman Daniel Rivera in light of recent political attacks.
A regular meeting of the Jersey City Council was more spirited than usual following the circulation of a racially charged flyer accusing Councilman Daniel Rivera of â€œNOT supporting the BLACK YOUTH of Jersey City.â€
A large group of residents, from both the Latino and black communities, spoke and held signs in support of Rivera amid controversy that stems from the labor practices of the Jersey City Recreation Department.
At the previous council meeting, recreation department employee Andrew Andrade alleged that the department was discriminating against non-African Americans.
Ward D Councilman Michael Yun cited information provided to him regarding the racial breakdown of hires from the â€˜Stop the Dropâ€™ anti-litter program â€“ which were 62% black, 24% Hispanic, 2% white, 1% Asian, and the rest other or unknown â€“ as well as the breakdown by ward.
Yun added that if â€œthe issue is not correctedâ€ he would bring a resolution at the next council meeting demanding a change of leadership at the recreation department.
Matthis Sharpless – who spoke as a â€œproxyâ€ for recreation director Ryan Strother and was a coordinator for the â€œStop the Dropâ€ program â€“ defended Strother and the hiring process of the program.
Sharpless also accused â€œoutsidersâ€ of being behind the racially charged flyer, to the dismay of many in the crowd.
At the end of the meeting Rivera thanked all those who came out to support him and said, â€œno weapon formed against him shall prosper.â€