Transportation and Infrastructure
Sound and accessible infrastructure are essential for the sustainable
development of communities, the flow of commercial activity, and the
safety of road users everywhere. Having worked at the New Jersey
Department of Transportation and for the late U.S. Senator Frank
Lautenberg, much of my experience in public service has focused on
In Essex County, we value safety and accessibility. I have been a part of a plethora of developments and strategies that seek to provide convenience within transportation without undue obstacles for disabled persons. Our county roadway intersections remain compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act by adjusting our sidewalks, on-ramps, and traffic signals to ensure optimal convenience for all users.
Parks, Recreation & Open Space
Essex County is home to the oldest county park system in the nation. It contains 6,000 acres of parkland, reservations, and recreational facilities. I’ve worked with the Department of Parks and Recreation and park conservancy groups across the fifth district to ensure that facilities and grounds are properly maintained.
As a commissioner, I introduced Essex County's idle-free policy, supported by the county Environmental Commission. Whether it's school zones, supermarkets, or playing fields, we all have a stake in keeping our air clean, and I'm proud to say that in Essex County, we are doing just that.
Transparency in Government
Part of governing successfully includes making government open and accessible to all constituents. During my first year on the Board of County Commissioners, I proposed an ordinance that will ensure transparency in Essex County's insurance contracting process. Also, I do my best to keep in contact with constituents from my district by taking phone calls, responding directly to emails and letters, and maintaining an online directory of key county projects, policies, and issues that are ongoing or forthcoming.
As a commissioner, I pushed for the authorization of funds towards the use of electronic polls in Essex County. I believe this technology has the potential to not only empower citizens but allow them to hold their governments accountable. Electronic voting machines could be advantageous in situations where disabled persons are not able to complete paper ballots, and they can also prevent many prevalent problems with paper ballots such as picking too many or no candidates. A more efficient voting process would only strengthen our democracy, and the implementation of these machines would go a long way in ensuring every individual has their voice heard.
One issue in particular that I am focused on is providing legal services to undocumented detainees in the Essex County Correctional Facility. I have been a proponent of providing legal representation to the undocumented detainees in the ECCF for some time. Many of the detainees in ICE custody are contributing neighbors to our communities who are being held without having committed a crime. Therefore, I believe that we must provide these funds for an accurate representation of the detainees in court. Although the request for funds to provide representation to the detainees came from the Board of County Commissioners well before the DHS/OIG Report issued in February of 2019, we were able to get approved for $750,000 for legal services on June 26, 2019.