Ane Roseborough-Eberhard is running on a progressive platform in the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey, which encompasses much of Hudson County. In an interview with the Hudson Reporter, Roseborough described what issues she is running on ahead of the June 7 Democratic Primary election.
Roseborough was born to mother Sylvia and father James, who was a first sergeant in the Army, and grew up on bases across the world from Oklahoma to Germany. By time high school came around, she was in South Carolina, where she attended college. Roseborough earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of South Carolina as well as a master’s degree in American History from Pace University in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Institute.
After graduation, Roseborough followed her passion and wound up in the upper echelons of the music industry in London, Chicago, and many other places, especially New York City. She moved to the township about 20 years ago from New York City, following her work for the past 30 years in various marketing roles for Sony Music, Island Records, RCA Records and Bad Boy Entertainment, among others. Roseborough has lived many other places too, from Switzerland to Hong Kong, before ultimately calling Weehawken home again.
History teacher eyes congressional seat
Since then, she decided to embrace teaching, and teaches history at Weehawken High School.
“I teach every day and do all my congressional campaigning after work,” she said. “It’s important for me to stand as an example for my students to show them I am committed to public education.”
In addition to being a public school teacher in the Weehawken School District, Roseborough also runs her own record company On-E Records. That came about after working on the soundtrack for the documentary “Driving while Black,” where she struck a deal to start a record company of her own.
“It’s pretty cool, but now I’ve pivoted and now I’m running for Congress,” she said.
Roseborough is also a commissioner, specifically the Marketing Chair, on the New Jersey Amistad Commission since being appointed in 2018. The commission ensures that the Department of Education and public schools of New Jersey implement materials and texts which integrate the history and contributions of African-Americans and the descendants of the African Diaspora, according to the state.
Roseborough said she has always thought about running for office. Being raised as part of an active military family was in part an inspiration.
“Growing up on Army bases, I had this sense of patriotism and thinking about how I can give back to my country,” she said.
According to Roseborough, that sense of patriotism led her to try and enlist in the military, but she was unable to due to eczema. However, that sense of patriotism remained, and now with an opportunity available to her in the form of an open congressional seat left vacant by a retiring Rep. Albio Sires, Roseborough is finally working toward that goal of running and being elected to Congress.
Platform focuses on education and youth
As a teacher, it comes as no surprise that many of the key issues to Roseborough this election cycle involve education and youth. Her top priority however, is ensuring the school system is well funded.
“One of the main issues for me is to make sure that public education is thoroughly and efficiently funded and supported,” she said. “A well-educated populace is the foundation of democracy. It’s important to me that our public education system stays well-funded.”
In addition to a well-funded education system, Roseborough wants to ensure schools implement an inclusive curriculum that highlights the numerous contributions of the diverse groups of people in the country. She is supportive of free post-high school education.
“I believe that college should be free,” she said. “It could be technical school, vocational school, four-year college or two-year college. But I truly believe that once students enter seventh, eighth, or ninth grade, they know that money is not an obstacle for them to go to college. They’re better off because they’re not worried about that. I’ve had so many students over the years tell me their family can’t afford college. That should not be in the equation at all for any student in this country.”
Another important issue to Roseborough is climate change, and dealing with the repercussions of that in Hudson County. She said that means taking the issue seriously now.
“This is not a joke,” Roseborough said of climate change. “We have to do whatever we can to promote green programs and initiatives. That could look like many different things. But on the individual level, we have to make a stand.”
Roseborough is encouraging others to be as environmentally conscious as possible in their lives, and is leading by example.
“So what does that look like?,” she said. “Instead of driving, take public transportation, walk, ride your bike. I’ve started walking this last year to my school whenever it’s not raining or the weather isn’t too crazy.”
In addition to biking, Roseborough emphasized the need to recycle among other personal steps, adding: “We may be one person individually, but all of us together, if we all try to make a difference, we can. Green initiatives are very important to me, and promoting clean energy sources as well. It’s important to support those programs.”
Recreation centers and Secretary of Culture
Part of Roseborough’s platform includes calls for the creation of more recreation centers in municipalities.
“Teenagers need to have a safe space to go to just hang out and just relax a little bit,” she said. “Growing up in Germany, we had these places called dependent youth activity centers where there would be these dances. We could go there and play games and take trips as well. These places can really play a big role in making sure that teens have something to do.”
According to Roseborough, not every teenager may be involved in traditional after-school activities like sports or drama and outlets like a recreation center can provide alternatives: “It’s important to include all teens and to give them something to do and a place to hang out.”
Roseborough is also seeking to establish the office of the Secretary of Culture.
“That’s really a nod to my background in the music industry,” she said. “America has such an incredible culture. I think it’s about time we had a person who could represent that on a national level. It shows the world that we’re proud of what we accomplished, this country that is made up from diverse people from all over. We created the film industry with Hollywood and rock and roll music. If you look at some of our art, architecture, and literature, we have some pretty amazing things coming out of this nation. I think it would be great to have a Secretary of Culture to represent that. It really would send a strong message.”
Speaking of the film industry, with Cinelease Studio’s Caven Point Studio in Jersey City and the planned 1888 Studios in Bayonne and more potentially in the works, Hudson County is seeing the beginnings of an expanding industry in the area. Roseborough said she would support that as a congress member as well.
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “We need to push the art, and let’s make the arts obtainable for everybody. Having a film studio in the district is fantastic, and it will help create jobs as well as student opportunities to learn about an industry that’s pretty major. It’s always about giving back and using these new things to help teach a new generation of students another industry.”
DREAMers, public safety, and other issues
Another aspect of Roseborough’s campaign is supporting the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021. This would make American citizens out of young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S., often referred to as DREAMers after past failed legislation seeking to do the same.
“DREAMers have to be made citizens,” she said. “That’s something that is super important to me. I know someone who is a teacher. She’s a dreamer. She can teach our children, but she cannot vote. That is just crazy to me.”
One other key issue Roseborough has made part of her platform involves public safety, and supporting initiatives to make people feel safer. She is running on the slogan “Passion Driving Action!” which she broke down in detail.
“I am passionate about making a change,” she said. “I’m passionate about my country. I’m passionate about doing the right thing. I’m also about action, stepping out, doing it, making things happen. A big part of my campaign right now is that I’m visiting all of the towns in the district and pounding the pavement, giving out cards and meeting people. It’s really a passion talking to people about what concerns they had and how I could be of service to them. Because this is a public servant job, so a public servant I need to make. I need to know what are the issues that are on the forefront of the public. So it’s my passion that drives my action.”
In a new revelation in the interview with the Hudson Reporter on April 20, Roseborough said her campaign was self-funded. She added that more information can be found on her website at aneforcongress.com.
“I’m not raising any money at this point in my campaign,” she said. “It’s all self-funded at this point. I’ve already spoken to the Federal Election Commission and I know the maximum amount I can spend on myself. So I won’t go above that. It’s really about connecting directly with the people.”
Roseborough is set to participate in a candidate forum on April 29 with fellow progressive congressional hopeful David Ocampo Grajales. They face establishment-endorsed Robert Menendez Jr., who will not be attending the forum, in the primary on June 7. Whichever Democrat wins the primary will then take on the Republican candidate and likely claim victory on November 8.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.