To the Editor:
I’ve worked at The Hudson Reporter for almost 18 years and have handled the advertising for dozens of political candidates all over Hudson County. I treat each candidate equally and with respect, regardless of my own personal political beliefs. I did this for the many years we lived in Jersey City and for the past almost nine years in Bayonne. I do not attend political fundraisers or contribute to political campaigns. I do not have the power to influence the editorial component of our newspapers.
This week I was handed a copy of The Peninsula City Tribune, a “newspaper” that is nothing more than political propaganda, published to smear the current administration. My daughter, who is developmentally disabled and working in city hall, was referenced in this paper to allegedly show that the Bayonne Community News receives “economic benefit” due to my daughter’s job. This cheap, political shot was repulsive, and has made this mother very angry and disappointed in our political system.
For the record, my daughter was offered a part-time job in city hall more than three years ago, after she received an award from The Simpson Baber Foundation for her fundraising efforts and many hours of volunteer work in the Bayonne community. At the awards ceremony, Mayor Smith saw potential in her and offered her this opportunity based on her accomplishments—not my position at the Bayonne Community News. Any parent of an adult child with a cognitive disability will tell you how difficult it is for them to find employment. This was a great opportunity, and although my husband and I were apprehensive because of this perceived connection, we allowed her to take the job.
Last summer, when a permanent position became available in the mailroom, it was offered to our daughter. She does not have a “no show” job. She’s on the job every day and works to the best of her ability.
Is this what the families of developmentally disabled children and adults should expect from politicians? Do you have any idea how many people in Bayonne are affected by developmental disabilities? The number of organizations that serve this segment of our community should say it all: The Simpson Baber Foundation, The Windmill Alliance, Friends of the Handicapped, Friends of Special Children, Bayonne Mental Health, and more.
My husband and I have spent our lives defending our daughter against bullies and teaching her to stand up for herself. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected that we would have to defend her against intelligent, professional, fully functional adults. This is shameful.
Three years ago, when I told Mayor Smith of our apprehension about our daughter being hired at City Hall, his response was “If I can’t help a kid like her, then I have no business being mayor.”
Please consider the source of these evil campaign tactics when casting your vote next Tuesday and what they mean for the leadership of our city.