Neighborhoods Matter!

Dear Editor:

At one time, Downtown Jersey City consisted of many diverse neighborhoods. Each neighborhood had its own unique chemistry, its own traditions, and its own special, unparalleled charm and beauty. Unfortunately, long established neighborhoods within Downtown have succumbed to selfish monetary ventures and municipal mismanagement.

Traditionally, dedicated, community-minded people had been the solid foundation upon which a neighborhood was built. Regrettably, over the years, that solid foundation has suffered from a bizarre form of “social erosion.” Self-serving, greedy politicians have managed to destabilize the enduring and endearing chemistry that had cemented people together to form viable, vibrant neighborhoods.

“Progressive” projects by avaricious developers have benefited the wealthy few while, simultaneously, have been the bane – the “bête noire” – for many. The developments within Downtown have yielded little to no value for the masses; instead, they have generated larger tax burdens. It has gotten to the point where uncaring, opportunistic transient lodgers and absentee landlords have supplanted permanent, civic-minded residents.

As was seen with the controversial proposal to move the Katyn Massacre Memorial, there is no greater unifying power than a community discovering what it cares about the most. Consequently, the people should harmoniously work together to re-establish flourishing, worthwhile communities. The local government should focus on investing in neighborhoods and infrastructure, instead of doling out tax abatements like candy to every greedy developer.

Neighborhoods and communities are the backbone of a municipality. Once they are gone, the city will cease to be prosperous.

John Di Genio