NJ Mayors Meet to Discuss Urban Policy Issues

Booker meets with 20 mayors throughout NJ to discuss pressing policy issues and sending recommendations to President-Elect Obama’s Office of Urban Policy.

The transition and the new administration was a major discussion subject, as President-Elect Obama’s long-term vision for the nation will have direct impact on New Jersey’s cities. The mayors discussed the Obama plans to deal with urban crime, education, and health care, agreeing to come up with a document in one month’s time to present to the President-Elect and his transition team on the issues and challenges facing New Jersey cities.

“We are small CEOs around the state, who are dealing with rising pressures like the rising cost of health care, demands for public safety, and education, to figure out how to deal with the nation’s fiscal crisis and its impact on New Jersey municipalities,” said West New York Mayor Sal Vega.

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MAYOR BOOKER MEETS WITH MAYORS FROM ACROSS NEW JERSEY TO DISCUSS PRESSING ISSUES FACING THE STATE’S MUNICIPALITIES

Nearly 20 Mayors met in Newark to discuss the need for an economic stimulus plan and increased funding for urban cities to create more jobs and improve infrastructure; Mayors will create list of urban policy recommendations to present to President-Elect Obama

Newark, NJ – November 12, 2008 – Mayor Cory A. Booker and Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy joined with mayors from across the Garden State for a meeting to discuss the most pressing issues facing New Jersey’s municipalities. The meeting was the first of its kind and provided a forum for developing a comprehensive statement of the needs of New Jersey’s residents.

“It was very exciting to have some of New Jersey’s most outstanding leaders come together” said Mayor Booker. “We are at a critical moment in our country’s history, and we have a tremendous opportunity to shape the course of our nation’s future – through the work that we’re doing right here in Newark and New Jersey.”

The meeting, attended by nearly 20 mayors, focused on issues like economic development, education and public safety. The purpose of the meeting was to identify and discuss the issues that will impact New Jersey’s diverse municipalities and residents who are struggling to survive these tough economic times. According to The New Jersey Department of Labor, it is predicted that the state unemployment rate, currently at 5.8 percent, will rise to 8 percent before the end of 2009, and some economists predict that the economy will remain flat for the next two years. A list of the attending mayors is attached.

“It is refreshing to know that when President-Elect Obama heads home for the holidays with his family, it will be to the city of Chicago,” said Mayor Healy, expressing support for the gathering. “In my conversations with President-elect Obama, I can tell you that the needs of our cities will no longer be overlooked, as he has already demonstrated in his creation of an Office of Urban Policy within the White House.”

The transition and the new administration was a major discussion subject, as President-Elect Obama’s long-term vision for the nation will have direct impact on New Jersey’s cities. The mayors discussed the Obama plans to deal with urban crime, education, and health care, agreeing to come up with a document in one month’s time to present to the President-Elect and his transition team on the issues and challenges facing New Jersey cities.

“We are small CEOs around the state, who are dealing with rising pressures like the rising cost of health care, demands for public safety, and education, to figure out how to deal with the nation’s fiscal crisis and its impact on New Jersey municipalities,” said West New York Mayor Sal Vega.

East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser praised Mayor Booker for his vision in convening the conference and compared the current economic crisis with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression. “I’m glad we’ve come together as a group to discuss these issues,” Mayor Bowser said. “Our state and our country are in dire straits with unemployment going through the roof and more and more banks bailing out. This discussion will continue and be a focus of next week’s Annual New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.” Mayor Bowser is the president of the League.

“Today’s meeting demonstrates the power of New Jersey, reflecting what President-Elect Obama wants to do on the national level,” Mayor Booker said, “We will use every line and contact possible to provide this report to the President-Elect and his team. We have a vision for our state that resonates with President-Elect Obama’s vision, and what we are trying to do is bring together urban and suburban mayors with one voice and one vision.”

Today’s meeting represents the beginning of a discourse for New Jersey Mayors. Over the next 30 days, the group of mayors will continue to work to refine the policy recommendations gathered from today’s meeting. In addition, the group of mayors will submit a final report of urban policy recommendations to President-Elect Barack Obama aimed at improving the quality of life for all New Jersey residents.

LIST OF ATTENDING MAYORS

  • Cory A. Booker – Newark
  • Robert L. Bowser – East Orange
  • James Carroll – Demarest
  • Meryl L. Frank – Highland Park
  • Eldridge Hawkins, Jr. – Orange
  • Jerramiah T. Healy – Jersey City
  • Raymond McCarthy – Bloomfield
  • Matthew P. McHale – Dumont
  • Michael R. Melfi – Hackensack
  • Clifton People, Jr. – Union Township
  • Garrett Smith – Roselle
  • Mark Smith – Bayonne
  • Wayne Smith – Irvington
  • Anthony Suarez – Ridgefield
  • Richard F. Turner – Weehawken
  • Silverio A. Vega – West New York

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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