Tag Archive: Haledon

Is that a MoneyBomb in your Pocket or are you just excited to meet me?

RSVP now to join the Jeff Gardner for Senate Money Bomb March 24th!

IMG_0389Senatorial Ambitions

Let’s face it: Monday Morning Suck. Of course it’s really easy to say that when you’re staring down the barrel of a spring-like weekend which is only now just beginning.

But sure enough, Monday morning will come around (again) and chances are you’ll be looking for a little lift to get going. Something besides the morning cup to give your day a bit of purpose.

RSVP now to join the Jeff Gardner for Senate Money Bomb March 24th!

Every contribution counts – $5, $10, or $25 donations add up. If the progressive community shows our real strength – by making Jeff the next Senator from the 35th District – maybe Democrats in Trenton will think twice before they betray fundamental policies the Democratic Party stands for.

#WIunion

Domenick is the Mayor of Haledon, NJ. – promoted by Rosi

Last December I wrote an op-ed for the Hall Institute of Public Policy about unions and Governor Christie.  The main point of my piece was simple: union members are not the enemy, they are the backbone of our middle class.  We need real dialogue for reform, but that does not mean a wholesale annihilation of a hundred years of progress for expanding worker’s rights.  

Now with the recent events in Wisconsin, unions are again at the forefront of political chatter. But just like in New Jersey, Governor Walker does not want to compromise to save tax dollars.  He wants to totally dismantle the right to organize and collective bargaining.  We all understand the need for give-and-take in reform.  As a proud member of American Federation of Teachers Local 2375 and a local Mayor, I see both sides of the coin.  

more below

Separate is never equal

promoted by Rosi

As the Mayor of my hometown one of my greatest privileges is performing marriage ceremonies for residents, friends, and family.  It is very special to play a small role in such an important event for people. So when I picked up last Sunday’s edition of the Bergen Record this article caught my eye. What is lacking in the content and warrants a more in-depth look is the real politics of local Mayors performing marriage ceremonies.

The process allows Mayors to refuse performing Civil Unions.  This puts same-sex couples in precarious situations where they are forced to drive hours from their home just to obtain someone willing to perform the ceremony.  I experience this firsthand.  As one of the only Mayors in the greater-Passaic County area willing to perform civil unions, I am often performing ceremonies for people outside of Haledon.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am happy to help, but it shouldn’t be this way.  This is the definition of discrimination.  

Separate is never equal.  Whether it is banning interracial marriage, segregating African-Americans in the South, or not hiring someone because of their gender, it all falls under the same umbrella of prejudice.  As a society we need to evaluate the message this is sending to our children. This legalized and open intolerance of same-sex couples is shameful.  Whether it is through the courts or in the State Legislature, we need to continue fighting for marriage equality.      

One week out

promoted by Rosi

Pundits and experts around the country are predicting a wave election for Republicans, wiping out all of the progress made over the last four years.  The only way we can prove them wrong is by helping Democrats up-and-down the ballot on these seven crucial days until Election Day.  As everyone on Blue Jersey already knows, we faced a competitive Democratic primary in Haledon.  Although we always hope to solve issues within our party in-house, the primary was a blessing in disguise.  We had a trial run for our GOTV program, canvassed our entire community, and got our network of volunteers organized and motivated.  

The Haledon Democratic Organization is now a well-oiled operation ready for Election Day.  This is what grassroots organizing is all about.  We had a local leader who was more self-interested than moving the Democratic Party forward. After I stepped in to block a high paying post for him at the Manchester Utilities Authority, there was no reconciling the relationship.  The best interests of Haledon’s residents and taxpayers are always put first in my administration.    

We didn’t complain or sulk when he threatened us with a primary – we got organized and ran candidates for every County Committee seat in our six districts. After winning 10 of 12 on primary day, we now control the local party.  If we want to start moving the Democratic Party forward in Passaic County and New Jersey, it has to start at the local level.  One County Committee seat at a time is the only way to get real, lasting change in our party.    

Blue Jersey Radio LIVE Tonight at 8:00 p.m. with Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone

BlueJerseyRadio

Each week, Blue Jersey Radio streams LIVE with New Jersey’s latest political buzz, interviews with newsmakers, and your stimulating calls. Call-in Number: (646) 652-2773

This Week: with Labor Day behind us, it’s time to kick off the heart of the campaign season, and we’ll be joined by the mayor of the great Borough of Haledon, Domenick Stampone discussing the post-Speziale Passaic County Democrats, and running as a democrat for reelection in a Republican year.

Are you running for office this year, or working on a campaign? Join us and let us know how it feels for you. We’re live at 8:00 p.m., and we’d love to know what you’re thinking. Or, drop your thoughts in the comments, and we’ll discuss them on the show.

That’s tonight and every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. for a little bit o’ this, and a little bit o’ that.

You won’t want to miss an episode – and of course, you never have to. Listen to them all on Blogtalkradio, or download any show on iTunes. Talk to you later!  

Kicking Off the General Election Campaign

After a hard fought primary campaign, the Democratic Party is united and energized for the general election.  The progress we made in Haledon is visible throughout the town-on our streets, in our parks, and with our quality of life. And, together, we need to continue that progress for four more years.  The final two-month sprint starts today, and we need to work at every level to elect Democrats this November.  

Passaic County Democrats were hit with a bombshell when Sheriff Jerry Speziale resigned to take a job with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Although this was disappointing news, as Sheriff Speziale was a strong partner and an asset for Haledon, I am excited about our new Sheriff candidate and the unique skills he brings to the table.  Clifton Lt. Richard Berdnik is a strong candidate who will keep Passaic County families safe, efficiently manage the Sheriff Department’s budget, and bring an outside perspective to reforming our prison system.  Our Passaic County Democratic Committee meeting to ratify Berdnik was a monumental event – you can read my tweets to see how it all played out that night in Paterson.  

Up-and-down the Row B bracket the Passaic County Democratic Committee has strong candidates to serve our families and our community.  Congressman Bill Pascrell has a track record of delivering for the 8th Congressional District and Haledon specifically, bringing in stimulus dollars to renovate our infrastructure. When we needed assistance upgrading the Roe Street Park, Freeholders Terry Duffy and Pat Lepore were there for us.  Together, we worked to earmark the funds through the county open space grant program and now our children are benefiting from the upgrades and improvements.    

Starting the Dialogue of Shared Services in Passaic County

Promoted by Rosi

Cross Posted on New Jersey Newsroom and PolitickerNJ

Sharing services between local communities is an obvious and pragmatic approach to stabilizing our taxes and maintaining a high level of municipal services our residents have come to expect.  As a result of decreasing tax revenues, a new statutory law capping taxes at 2%, and increasing pressure on local governments to provide services they aren’t equipped to deliver, new ideas and reforms need to be discussed and adopted.  In my hometown of Haledon we have six bordering communities – Paterson, North Haledon, Wayne, Prospect Park, Hawthorne, and Totowa – all of which have their own police forces, their own Department of Public Works, and a slew of other duplicative services.  Now is the time to begin the dialogue of shared services to increase our purchasing power, lower our costs, and, most importantly, pass along necessary property tax relief to our families.  

The task of bringing together seven Mayors, seven sets of locally elected officials, and numerous community stakeholders in any potential shared services agreements is daunting.  That is why I am proposing the creation of a shared services task force – under the umbrella of the Passaic County Improvement Authority – to begin the necessary work of hashing out meaningful, cost saving shared service agreements between our communities.  If we can begin the dialogue on sharing services now, during an economically challenging time, when our economy rebounds we will be better positioned to pass responsible local budgets offering new investment in updating our infrastructure, investment in our schools, and lowering our tax bills.  

Once the task force is established the committee would undertake the task of sifting through the seven local budgets, identifying areas where services could be shared, and developing framework agreements to pass those proposals into law. It is nonsensical that we are not pooling our purchases of basic commodities used by every community; we are not receiving the best possible rates for goods we are all purchasing.  Because of this we are wasting taxpayer dollars when better arrangements can be achieved with some local cooperation.  

Denouncing Racial Profiling

Promoted by Jason Springer

UPDATE: you can view the text of the resolution here

Like many elected officials throughout the country, I was shocked and appalled by the recent immigration legislation passed in  Arizona legalizing racial profiling and eroding civil rights.  Immigration is a federal issue that needs to be tackled by Congress – not by local governments and the states.  We need a uniformed policy tackling an array of issues arising out of the problem on the Mexican-American border, not piecemeal attempts by the states to regulate a federal issue.  

In Haledon we have a strong Latino population that has been making strong contributions to our community.  Councilman Reynaldo Martinez – the first Dominican American elected to the Haledon Council – is one example.  In his 4 years on the Council he has been a strong voice in balancing our budget, improving our quality of life, and bringing more people into the democratic process.  We need to encourage more participation by the Latino American community – not dissuade it like the Arizona law will surely do.  

That is why I am proud to announce the resolution passed last night by the Haledon Council denouncing Arizona’s actions.  I see first hand everyday the impact the Latino population has in Haledon: a commitment to family values, a hard work ethic, and an investment in making our borough a better place to live. As Dr. Martin Luther King stated in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  We need to make our voices heard against this injustice.    

By empowering local law enforcement officials to demand a citizen produce documentation of citizenship, we are fueling an already explosive issue. It is obvious we officials will be targeting in Arizona, and I agree with Assemblywoman Nellie Pou in her assessment of this law: it is Un-American.  It chips at our civil rights and instills a fear into immigrants legally in our country of being harassed and detained by law enforcement.  

So please, sign our petition against this Arizona legislation.  We need to let local and state officials all over the nation know that we will not stand idly by and let the civil rights of any ethic group be eroded.

Change Starts at the Bottom

It all started with Jeff Jones in Paterson.  Then Jeff Gardner struck in Hawthorne and Mayor Domenick Stampone in Haledon.  Now we have a Passaic County Democratic Party wondering what this all means.  

Each was a unique situation.  All have the establishment wondering what it means to the status quo.  Mayor-Elect Jeff Jones took a complacent incumbent and strong African-American turn out to win 43% of the vote in a non-partisan May municipal race. Jeff Gardner recruited 26 grassroots activists and out hustled, out messaged, and out classed Senator John Girgenti to take over the Hawthorne Democratic County Committee and provide fresh leadership to what was a lackluster under performing local party.  Mayor Domenick Stampone used a combination of establishment support, a strong record of accomplishments, and a diverse ticket to gain over 55% of the vote in a Democratic Primary where he was challenged by a sitting Councilman running with the support of the local municipal leader.  

All 3 races had different circumstances sharing a common thread: an injection of new faces and leadership into the Passaic County Democratic Organization.  In the short term it is hard to tell how these races will affect the current party leadership.    

Chairman John Currie is not reelected until June 2011.  His record has been strong, going a decade without losing a countywide race.  But after a lackluster 2009 cycle where all 4 of his candidates lost, his fate will surely be judged by the electoral outcome of Sheriff Jerry Speziale and Freeholders Terry Duffy and Pat Lepore in November.  Losses in any of these races will surely spark a challenge to his Chairmanship.  Regardless of November’s outcome, the Chairman will be dealing with an energized County Committee looking to bring a fresh approach to the party apparatus.  

But the biggest lesson we should all take from the events in Passaic County is if you want to make a difference, get off this site and start organizing.  Start attending your local DFA-NJ meetings.  Join the County Committee in your town or engage local leaders.  You’d be amazed how quickly you can get intertwined in the local political scene.  Writing on Blue Jersey, although a good start, is not enough.  As Jeff proved, change starts at the bottom.  

(Full Disclosure: I was a paid consultant for Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone’s primary campaign and will be working for him through the general election.)