Childcare for All
A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s why we will fight to collectively provide education and care for all children zero to five years old (Pre-K), the same way we already fund K-12 education. This is how we can address some of the major challenges we face; children with early childhood education have shown higher college graduation rates and higher rates of employment. This policy, which requires funding at the county level, will also help mothers and working families improve their incomes, as well as nutrition and health outcomes. Together we can create a generational shift that strengthens the local economy and impacts everyone in our neighborhoods.
Increase Funding for Social Services to Prevent the Criminalization of Communities
Together we can end cycles of violence by providing social support to survivors of crime and investing in social services for our communities. This connects directly with policies that make sure we avoid unnecessary police interventions. Also, there are many cases where a police officer is not the right choice, for example homelessness should be addressed with housing first, as well as the intervention of social workers and mental health professionals. We support pilot programs, such as mental-health crisis response programs that would train and send EMS, mental health professionals and social workers to respond to these calls.
Despite roughly equal usage rates, Black people are 1.9 times more likely than White people to be arrested for marijuana (Source: ACLU). A directive from the County to stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases can help address this immediately.
Equity and Inclusion for People with Disabilities
Disabled people make up an estimated 20% of the population in Hudson County, and yet local municipal and county governments do not have specific offices or committees dedicated to ensuring their rights are upheld in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This lack of representation and consideration has led to a low quality of life for disabled people here in Hudson County. Together, we can start by making our streets and sidewalks ADA
compliant, strengthening the local Heightened Independence and Progress programs, and providing government virtual/online content that is accessible.
Disability is an identity which disproportionally effects Black, Indigenous, and people of color and low-income households, and intersects with issues such as pollution, gentrification, aging, healthcare and police violence. Addressing access, awareness and safety for the disabled community means also fortifying the other policies. Disability must be a part of the general discourse in our polices; that’s the true path to equity and inclusion.
Community Land Trust: A Hudson County for People of All Incomes
The COVID-19 pandemic has widened a massive crack in our Hudson County Society. We live in one of the most expensive communities in the country, with senior citizens worried about paying next month’s rent. Young professionals and working people constantly wonder; can we afford to raise a family here? That’s why we are committed to fight for a Community Land Trust that will build more nonprofit apartment units, so that people of all incomes can afford to live here. As a County, we have designated a fund for parks for years; now, we need representatives with the political courage to fund more homes for all incomes.
100% Renewable Energy by 2030
Municipal and county governments have the power to increase the use of clean energy in their communities without any additional state or federal action. This is especially important in the cities of Hudson County, where unhealthy levels of air pollution make residents sick and vulnerable to the pandemic. The by-products of fossil-fuel combustion in our region threaten the futures of our children while contributing to inequality and environmental injustice.
Clean energy goes beyond protecting public health and fighting climate change. When we change the way we buy energy – specifically, the sources generating that power — we can also save money, thanks to the power of bulk purchasing. Through community choice aggregation (CCA), municipalities or counties may bulk purchase electricity on behalf of their residents, providing 100 percent clean renewable sources of electricity by the year 2030 - or sooner.
Accessible Government Process
Governments operate with the best interests of the people when the people can participate and have their voices heard. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, government bodies have been turning to video conferencing software which has allowed for public comment to be made without being physically present. Government bodies should continue to provide opportunities for remote public comment when they resume in-person meetings. This will enable individuals with disabilities and/or busy work schedules to give their input to government officials on matters important to them.
Ensuring Quality Internet Access for all Hudson County Residents
COVID-19 has highlighted the “digital divide”, where suddenly millions of Americans were forced to start working and/or receiving their education from home. Without reliable internet connection, the adverse impacts of the pandemic compound on families across Hudson County. For example, reports over the past few months have catalogued the number of students throughout Hudson County and the state still lacking access to an internet-enabled device, a reliable internet connection, or both. To address this issue, our elected officials should expand existing programs and explore subsidy programs which will deliver quality internet access for all.