‘Community Day’ 2022 brings out the whole neighborhood

The event hosted by Assemblyman William Sampson aimed to give back to residents of LD-31

Community Day 2022 with Assemblyman William Sampson was a hit in southern Hudson County. Sampson represents the 31st Legislative District, which encompasses Bayonne and parts of Jersey City.

The celebration started in Jersey City at Bethune Park Center on Sunday, August 21. Following that, the festivities continued in Bayonne on Sunday, August 28 at 18th Street Park on Avenue C.

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Community Day was presented by the Pastor John H. McReynolds teen magazine, Monique’s Techniques, and the MoHair Foundation. Sponsors included: ILA Local 1588; Walmart; Staples; JoyFull Zone; Hispano American Travel; Brother Phil Carrington; Shoplife Mobile; DRIP Gelato and Café; Top2Not2 Catering; DJ-J Nice.

The Bayonne event with Sampson featured face painting, hot dogs and hamburgers, lots of fun, and more. There was also bookbag giveaways, right in time before students head back to school.

Children played games at the park and enjoyed music by a live DJ. Free haircuts were offered to kids in need of a trim out of a mobile barbershop parked on Avenue C.

Children enjoy a game of over-sized tic-tac-toe.

After the festivities, Sampson told the Bayonne Community News that he was proud to give back to the community in the neighborhood where he grew up: “This is what I said I was going to do. Today went fantastically well, I’m overwhelmed.”

Sampson thanked the Bayonne Fire Department, the Bayonne Police Department, Police Chief Robert Geisler, the Department of Public Works, the Division of Recreation, Recreation Supervisor Pete Amadeo, and the “whole entire city” as well, grateful for the successful event.

Oversized jenga was another fun game that kids took advantage of on Community Day.

Sampson has been holding events recently to get to know constituents, from an “Appreciation Breakfast” with seniors at the Chandelier in Bayonne in June, to a “Welcome to the Southside” party at Moore’s Lounge in Jersey City in July. This was another event aimed at getting to know as well as giving back to the people that he represents.

“I said I was going to give back to my city and I think my track record shows that,” Sampson said. “And we’re going to continue to build on that. I had senior event for free, a senior appreciation breakfast. Not only when it’s time to vote, but all year round I want to make sure that they know I appreciate them. Now I’m doing something for the kids that are back to school. I want to build upon this, and I want it to be even bigger next year.”

Members of the Bayonne Fire Department have a discussion with members of The Skee’s Way Foundation.

Sampson touted the success of Community Day 2022 and promised to outdo himself next year. He said that events like this are important to ensure the community knows that Sampson is here to help.

“What I’m doing here is making sure people know they have somebody that represents them, that cares about them,” Sampson said. “Everything here today was for free: hot dogs, hamburgers, face painting, games, cotton candy, ice cream, water. I want to make sure people know they have somebody that they put in office that cares about them beyond what you just see when it’s time to vote. That’s what I do this for, I don’t do it for the recognition. I do it to make a difference and let people see there’s positive things coming ut of the city of Bayonne, which I represent, as well as Jersey City.”

Free haircuts were given to kids in need.

Giving back to the community was key given the current ongoings in the world from COVID-19 to inflation. Sampson said this event helped children in need of school supplies before the new school year starts, but the assistance he aims to provide goes beyond that.

“What I do it for is making sure these kids know that they have somebody that cares about them, but also giving to those that are in need,” Sampson said. “I want to be a voice for the voiceless. I want to make sure that peoples’ voices are heard. Everybody here is the middle class. Everybody here doesn’t have the best background. Some people are on financial hard times. The inflation in New Jersey as well as the country is at an all-time high. People need help. People need help more than just bookbags. People need help more than just food. People need help with uniforms, people need help with clothing, with how expensive schools are with the uniforms. That’s what I’m trying to do and build on that. I want to do better, even more next year.”

Families and more enjoyed the playground, games, DJ, and other festivities at 18th Street Park.

Residents can expect a bigger and better Community Day from Sampson in 2023. In the meanwhile, locals can keep an eye out for more events in Bayonne and Jersey City.

“You can expect this every year for me to give back to my community, every single year,” Sampson said. “To give back to seniors, to give back to kids, that’s what I want to do and make a difference. It’s not about me, it’s about the people I represent. I will never be bigger than them and that’s what I’m doing it for. My track record speaks for itself.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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