LeFrak looted, black caucus embarrassed, white libs set policy agenda. Chapter over.
For the final story on RealJerseyCity.com, Michael Shurin analyzes the 2019 Jersey City elections and briefly reflects on the end of a chapter.
First off, good riddance to Jersey City Board of Education (JCBOE) Pres. Sudhan Thomas following his election loss (amid an active FBI investigation). As one of the first people to sound the alarm about Thomas back in 2016, I’m relieved he’s no longer on the board, yet remain perplexed that some in the media protected & enabled him.
Nevertheless, if Thomas is guilty of allegations that he misappropriated funds during his tenure as acting-executive director of a prison reentry/job training program, I don’t think he deserves a harsher punishment than any of the Jersey City Police Department (JCPD) narcotics/street crimes cops that engaged in off-duty theft through the Jersey City Housing Authority (JCHA)…
Anyhow, speaking of misappropriation of funds, the LeFrak Organization spent hundreds of thousands to elect candidates that are allies of Mayor Steven Fulop (Noemi Velazquez) and Ward E Councilman James Solomon (Alexander Hamilton). In simpler terms, they elected the friends of their enemies from the payroll tax fight with a Super PAC they formed in retaliation of the payroll tax.
I suppose that’s what happens when you place your trust in guys like Jeremy Farrell, arguably Fulop’s top legal lackey, but I could be wrong.
That said, I’m almost sad for LeFrak because 1) I’m legitimately anti-payroll tax (and pro-income tax); 2) LeFrak was vilified by the same newspaper that routinely demonizes & marginalizes whistleblowers; and 3) for half the money LeFrak was robbed of I could’ve turned Fulop into a permanent Rhode Island resident… enough said.
Likewise, I suppose the only thing worse than wasting money on an election is burning your credibility with weak endorsements – which is why the Hudson County Black Democratic Caucus is officially a dumpster fire of meaningless politicians until further notice.
As a matter of fact, the two JCBOE candidates (Asheenia Johnson and Anthony “Sport” Sharperson) who received endorsements from black caucus members not only lost decisively, but lost to the other black candidates not endorsed by the caucus! One of those other black candidates, Tara Stafford, had literally no money or organization and finished as the runner-up for a three-year seat (and won multiple districts with predominately black voters).
Now imagine a world where the black caucus was more concerned about uniting the black community than protecting their personal interests. I suppose things would’ve turned out better for the caucus and maybe the black community would finally have strong representation. As of today, they’re nothing more than glorified puppets that can be replaced at any time by white progressives who now control the policy narrative.
And the white progressives definitely flexed their muscles with that regressive Airbnb ordinance (which was opposed by the NAACP). I’m not going to analyze all the misinformation at this time, mostly because it was abundant & mind-numbing on both sides, but I can say blaming STRs for gentrification in Jersey City is either ignorant or disingenuous (and nothing else).
In reality, white progressives like Solomon are the ultimate perpetuators of gentrification & displacement in Jersey City – pushing policies such as historic preservation, bike lanes/reduced parking, and “affordable housing” initiatives (among other rubbish). Those regressive ideas will be dealt with thoroughly on my next website.
And yes, I’m finally rebranding & refocusing, both professionally & personally, under a new moniker. This will be my final post on RealJerseyCity.com, which has been a project dedicated towards change & justice since its inception.
Unfortunately, despite some success, Real Jersey City has been unsustainable for me. I’m proud of what I’ve done, upset with how certain things never came to fruition (go back to second paragraph of this piece), but I’ve found a lot of inner peace which is priceless.
In the same breath, I’m not stopping, just looking at things from a business perspective. In reality, priceless things don’t pay bills, and I’ve got to focus more on financial viability to accomplish my personal goals.
Finally, if you think I’m done writing about issues covered on this website, think again. I still have around 20 stories I need to publish – which will help populate the next website as I begin to shift my focus from Jersey City to a broader audience.
Publisher’s Note: A special thanks to everyone that’s supported me over the years! Please stay tuned for the next chapter.