voice for democracy

Machine politics killing democracy in Hudson; Please, get vaccinated against COVID; Stronger gun laws needed – nj.com

Mayor Steve Fulop, with his wife, Jaclyn, gives his speech at Team Fulop's victory party at Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City on election night, Nov. 2, 2021. Fulop defeated Lewis Spears to win a third term. (Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal)
Step up to stop the machine
Only in a completely corrupted system could Nicholas Sacco and Stephen Fulop be returned to office yet again. The reality is the levers of power are so controlled as to favor machine politicians like these who lack even a scintilla of charisma, fewer ideas to govern in a way that uplifts all and not a single ideal save the perpetuation of power for power’s sake.
At least voters in the 32nd District had an option aside from Sacco (who seems determined to leave office only upon his demise, strongman style) and no member of the Fulop Machine went unchallenged. Even if Jersey City voters re-elected a guy who petitioned to discourage surfers public access to the waters adjacent to his million-dollar mansion in Rhode Island and retained his allies’ majority on the council, they at least had a choice, unlike voters in my town, where the Republican Party is apparently extinct. Once upon a time, we had rigorous, two-party contests (with the added attraction of an independent candidate here and there) for mayoral and council seats, but now we have sham, Soviet-style “elections” in which only the members of the Democratic ticket are on the ballot. It’s enough to make a cynic of anyone.
But, then, we hear of the David-slays-Goliath win of truck driver Edward Durr over state Senate President, Stephen Sweeney (as arrogant a guy as you’ll ever meet), and it gives hope that democracy still exists. If a nobody who raised only a few thousand dollars for his campaign can detach the most ossified fossil from the reins of power, we could actually pry Sacco, Fulop, Santos, Fife, DeGise and all the other fossils from the seats they’ve occupied for far too long if we’re willing to challenge them.
Complaining about bad roads, overdevelopment, tax breaks for developers, high municipal salaries and benefit packages and unaccountability of politicians isn’t enough. To get bad people out of office, we need good people to step up and run against them.
John Woodmaska, Kearny
Everyone, please, get vaccinated
I am a Black, 76-year-old American woman. I am a COVID-19 survivor.
Please, everyone, take the shot. I do not want anyone to go through what I went through. Take it from me. I suffer and still have side effects.
So, please, take the shot. All I have to show for the virus is a stack of medical bills, and I still get more every day. So, please, take the shot. I am pleading with everyone, take the shot. The flu one, too.
Please, everyone, take the shot.
Carolyn Manning, Jersey City
Stronger gun laws would help
I just read a moving letter written by Denise May (”There is no ‘One Jersey City,’ but I pray there will be,” Nov. 5) regarding Jersey City being one.
Let me spell out my contact with this city. I was a student in Jersey City for all of my high school years at a Catholic high school(now closed). After high school, I attended Jersey City State (now New Jersey City University) for four years and continued on there after graduation, to complete a master’s degree. During this period, I taught children at several public elementary schools in Jersey City and all of my experience for the next 38 years was teaching within the borders of Jersey City. All of my assignments were within the community most in need of professional educational support. Many, if not most of my ‘”kids” finished high school and many started a college education. Also, during this time, drugs and alcohol abuse were common within the community. This is nothing new. Violence was then, and currently is now, a topic that always needed to be addressed but never really has been.
The true response to the above problems is actually within reach, in my opinion. There will always be those that simply can’t change their behavior — they need to be locked up and remain in detention until they learn a skill and are clean of drugs and alcohol. Then a paying job needs to be found that they can do and earn a decent living and self respect as well. Booze and drugs are a crutch; education will help correct these problems for those affected. However, people have to want to work and earn respect.
Firearms in all communities need to be totally removed. Our laws need to be adjusted regarding people that have illegal firearms. We could start by building new prisons that house firearm offenders. We simply can’t tolerate this behavior. Laws are made by the population for the good of all the population, without regard to faith, color or national origin. People today seem to be killing each other with these guns without regard to consequences. If you kill, without reason, you need to suffer the same fate, at the hands of the state. We’ve become soft and simply place murders in jail. This has to stop.
The people are the only ones that can make these changes. We need to elect only those that will make these changes in our country and our lives. Also, understand, there will be errors made and we can adjust, to limit these likely errors. America can no longer sit back and not address the murder of innocent people praying in their church, or simply sitting outside their homes on a warm evening. We cannot allow people to walk into a school or a church and spray bullets into those praying there or very young children sitting in a classroom trying to learn. America will have to make these changes or suffer continued obscene behavior. We are well past trying to determine reasons for the above behavior; certainly there are many but really how much longer can we expect our population to give a pass to those that kill?
Ninety-nine percent of all of the children I taught and/or had contact with, were minority children. They, in every case, were as smart as my own kids and they dealt with far more problems than any child needed to deal with. I taught in the “inner-city” for 38 years in the elementary schools and also taught in a daycare program after school for over 20 years.
We must change our laws throughout this country and we must do it now. This is the only answer to the current outrageous problems this country now faces. There is hope to become one again and only we can make it happen.
James Aumack, Cape May
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