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A community in decline tends to hunker down to save itself – mistrustful of new people and new ideas. Bayonne is past that and has learned to love again as it claws its way out of the 2008 financial crisis. “I’m from Bayonne,” Mayor James Davis declared proudly about a dozen times throughout his State of the City address, initially striking a nativist tone that grew into a message of inclusivity and openness by its end, converting pride in Bayonne’s rich history into optimism for its next chapter. His speech on June 15 at Villa Maria was different from past speeches. He looked more to the city’s future this time than to the idyllic version of Bayonne remembered fondly by residents of his generation. Davis believes Bayonne can be better than ever, but not without preserving what urbanizing cities across the country too commonly forfeit in exchange for growth—a sense of community. Click here for more.

The Bayonne School district is not accustomed to good news, but here is some: under a newly proposed funding formula agreed to by leaders of the General Assembly and Senate, Bayonne would receive six percent more than what Gov. Christopher Christie proposed in his “Fairness Formula,” amounting to about $3.2 million. Statewide, the new funding formula would increase state funding by $125 million, with $25 million allocated to expand pre-k and kindergarten. Not all municipalities in Hudson County will benefit, though. Jersey City would see a two percent reduction, or about $8.5 million.In hearings that led up to the bicameral agreement, Bayonne administrators made the case for equitable funding across all districts, citing Jersey City receiving eight times more in state funding than Bayonne, with three times as many students, as a case in point. Click here for more.

The Bayonne Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Bergen Point Art Installation Project is calling for artists to submit proposals to help transform Broadway in the Bergen Point neighborhood into an art streetscape. Artists from Hudson County interested in being commissioned to paint call boxes, fire boxes, statues, and wall murals, to transform street features can apply using the official RFP application at the city’s homepage at bayonnenj.org and scroll through the slideshow at the top of the page. The deadline to enter is Friday, June 23. After seeing the long-term success of the streetscapes on Central Avenue in the Jersey City Heights SID, which started in 2009, Bayonne allocated $60,000 of UEZ funds to facilitate an initiative of its own, with the coordination of the new local art spot, The Bridge Art Gallery, and the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. Click here for more.

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