Fulop blasts Trump $6B budget cuts, particularly to the needy
Mayor Steven Fulop slammed Donald Trump’s proposal last week to cut $6 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, saying the cuts would set the clock back years on progress made in cities like Jersey City and throughout the nation. Jersey City stands to lose over $9 million annually as a result of the cuts, with local non-profits – and those they serve – being hardest hit.
The mayor said the proposal, which eliminates entirely the decades-old Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, would have devastating effects on cities like Jersey City, where the funding has been a vital part of urban redevelopment and the elimination of blight, as well as providing critical social services like after-school programming, services for the homeless, Meals on Wheels, and job training, amongst others.
Specifically, in Jersey City, CDBG funding has been used to help support non-profits such as New City Kids, the Urban League, Garden State Episcopal CDC, and Women Rising, amongst dozens of other programs over the years.
“With these budget cuts, the president is turning the back the clock and reversing years and years of progress that has been made in cities like Jersey City, Newark and across the country,” said Mayor Fulop. “He is cutting programs we know are having a positive impact in urban areas, whether by turning a vacant building into a home or providing job training for the unemployed. These are investments in communities and investments in people. The Trump budget overlooks entirely how successful these programs have been and the role that HUD plays in local communities.”
Since 2010, Jersey City has received $40.7 million in CDBG funding and $11.9 million in federal HOME funding. In 2016 alone, Jersey City received $9.6 million in HUD entitlement grants, which includes $5.4 million for the CDBG program.
Additionally, the Trump budget blueprint contains significant cuts to public housing, eliminating the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the Choice Neighborhoods program and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, all of which help redevelop low-income communities and foster homeownership.
The mayor said these cuts may place a significant strain on public housing authorities across the country, including a loss of up to 200,000 subsidized housing vouchers in coming years, although the immediate impact to Jersey City is not known.
Ward A State of the City location changed
The State of the City address by Mayor Steven Fulop, which was postponed due to weather on Feb. 9, will be held on March 20. There is also a change of location. The speech will be given at 6:30 p.m. at PS 20, 239 Ocean Ave.
Wine and pig roast at Mana Contemporary
Mana Contemporary is hosting “In the Heat of the Wine: Wine & Pig Roast at the Keating Foundry” on March 29 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Foundry owner Ben Keating is a master sculptor who works primarily in bronze. He has also casted bronze sculptures for artists like Julian Schnabel, Michele Oka Doner, Kiki Smith, Tom Otterness, and many others. Visitors are invited to observe the age-old process of lost-wax casting, where a wax model of an object is placed inside a metal flask covered in plaster investment and fired; the wax is obliterated in the kiln, leaving behind plaster that is filled with molten metal.
The event will feature a taste wine selections – curated by Mana Wine Director Marla Priest – from CoolVines, Di Giovanni, and Aidil Portfolio. To complement these selections, Crave Events Group has prepared a pig roast and BBQ-style menu.
There will be live music by the blues-rock group P. Everett, who went from recording in a bedroom to touring with a five-piece crystal-garage band with musicians Jim Mellish, Arthur Kapp, Shawn Carney, and Bruno Smith. Their albums “Roomy Tombs,” “Fantasies,” and “Saints of Disaster” are available on their website, and on popular streaming platforms.
Mana Contemporary is located at 888 Newark Ave. in Jersey City. Tickets cost $45 ($25 for Mana artists).
Hudson Chamber offers small business workshops
The Hudson County Chamber of Commerce will expand its educational offerings with the introduction of a series of small business workshops on Wednesday, March 22. “Introduction to Franchising” is the first of a series of four workshops to be offered this spring in partnership with the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation and the Union County Economic Corporation. The small business workshops are free and open to the public.
“With a growing number of start-ups and small businesses choosing to make Hudson County their home, the chamber is expanding our educational offerings and focusing on topic areas we believe are highly relevant for business owners,” said Maria Nieves, the chamber’s president and CEO. “We look forward to partnering with both the Hudson County and Union EDC’s, both incredibly well regarded organizations with track records of supporting local businesses, to make these workshops available at various locations in the county.”
Upcoming small business workshops take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the following Wednesdays:
“Introduction to Franchising,” March 22, at Hudson County Plaza·
“Basics of Intellectual Property for Small Businesses and Start-Ups,” April 19, at Hudson County Plaza·
“QuickBooks 101,” May 10, at North Bergen Public Library·
“The How-To’s of Pricing Your Products and Services,” June 7, Kearny Public Library·
For more information about these workshops, please call (201) 386-0699 x 220 or visit the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce website: www.hudsonchamber.org.
Oritani Bank collecting and matching donations for Union City fire victims
Oritani Bank, headquartered in the Township of Washington, recently announced that it will be collecting and matching donations to assist the victims of the devastating fire in Union City. The incident took place on March 4 and claimed the life of a two-year-old boy, in addition to severely injuring his father and leaving many families without homes.
The blaze ravaged through several buildings including the steeple of Saints Michael and Joseph Church causing numerous families, most with children, to lose all their belongings. These families are facing numerous difficulties during this dreadful time. Oritani Bank is hoping to receive donations to assist these families during their time of need. Oritani Bank will match all cash donations up to a total of $10,000.
“This terrible fire has affected many innocent individuals of our community and it is our duty to help them,” said Kevin J. Lynch, president of the Oritani Bank Charitable Foundation and Chairman, President and CEO of Oritani Bank. “We hope that donations will help these families return to their normal lives as soon as possible. Our thoughts are with the victims at this heartbreaking time.”
Monetary donations can be delivered in person to:
4200 Bergenline Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087
Name of the Account: CITY OF UNION CITY FIRE VICTIMS FUND
OR directly mail or bring in your monetary donations to:
City of Union City
C/O: City of Union City Fire Victims
3715 Palisade Avenue – 3rd floor
Union City, NJ 07087
Corrections’ officers compensation bill goes to governor
Legislation sponsored by Senator Sandra B. Cunningham, Senator Linda Greenstein and Senate President Steve Sweeney establishing compensation programs for certain officers and staff who are injured while performing official duties cleared the full Senate last week.
S-596 will cover state corrections officers, juvenile corrections officers, juvenile detention officers, human services officers, park police and conservation officers who, in the course of performing their official duties, suffer bodily injury as the result of a riot or assault by inmates under their custody. Parole officers injured while performing their duties by someone under their supervision would also be covered.
Civilian employees who work directly with inmates or detainees would also be included under the bill’s provisions, as well as probation officers who suffer bodily injury as the result of an assault committed by an inmate, detainee, or person on probation while engaged in official duties. The bill was amended to include Palisades Interstate Park officers, campus police officers appointed by a county college or four year public institution of higher education, and medical security officers under the supervision of the Department of Human Services.
Corrections Officers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations, according to the United States Department of Labor. Injuries are often covered to some degree by worker’s compensation but, by law, an individual must be unable to work for seven days before being eligible for temporary benefits. This bill attempts to reduce the financial stress placed upon officers who have suffered an injury as a result of a workplace attack. The bill would establish a program to cover the shortfall caused by the delay in worker’s compensation benefits or the difference between the amount recovered through benefits and the amount the officer would have earned had the attack never occurred.
Under the bill, the injured officer would be entitled to receive his or her full salary until worker’s compensation payments begin. The bill would also allow the injured officer to receive supplemental payments from his or her employer in an amount that, when added to any worker’s compensation payments, would equal the net wage of the injured officer at the time of the injury. The payments would continue as long as the officer remains a corrections or parole officer and continues to receive worker’s compensation.
The bill cleared the Senate 34-0 and cleared the Assembly 62-4-2 last month. The bill now goes to the governor.