Latest updates from the campaign:
On Monday morning yet another avoidable fatal collision on Kennedy
Boulevard took place. The unfortunate reality is that JFK Boulevard is one of
the most dangerous roads in our county and despite impact studies done in
2011 and 2019 there has been limited changes.
I’m writing this letter to ask our county to prioritize initiating fixes proposed
by the JFK Safety Corridor Study report of 2019 and create an
action plan to start fixing JFK this summer.
There are small changes that the county can make to start this summer to
make the road safer for pedestrians including daylighting intersections and
installing high visibility crosswalks.
As stated in the JFK Safety Corridor Study between 2014 to 2016, JFK and its
outlet roads saw over 4,000 accidents with over 1,100 injuries. We can no
longer wait. I urge the county to take action now and prioritize pedestrian
Candidate for Hudson County Commissioner
When I moved to Jersey City 4 ½ years ago I was amazed at how much my new neighbors cared. Jersey City folk take being a good neighbor and a good citizen to a whole new level. They are ready to roll up their sleeves and pitch in at a moment’s notice.
Giving back is at their core. This is how I was raised as the daughter of an Elizabeth, NJ, city councilman back in the 60s and early 70s and so I felt immediately at home. One of the very first people I met once I had settled in was Mamta Singh.
I was eager to meet new people and find volunteer opportunities and Mamta was already doing all of that and more.
She has a gift for matching needs with hands-on assistance. Like my dad Chet she meets people where they are at and knows how to build connection, consensus, and coalition.
Mamta’s many passions include health, safety, families, schools, infrastructure, green space, and fiscal responsibility. She is not afraid to ask the tough questions to get to the bottom of a problem that needs solving.
And then she goes on to figure out who can get the job done. And while building those connections and bringing various parties together she is right in the mix with her own sleeves rolled up ready to do the work.
Cast your vote for Mamta Singh for Hudson County Commissioner District 4 on June 6, 2023. I have no doubt that when elected Mamta will get to work for you and your family. To find out more about Mamta go to www.mamtasinghforjc.com.
Sharon M. Turk
Jersey City resident
1. What about your background makes you a good County Commissioner?
For the past 11 years, I have been the Executive Director of one of the largest nonprofits in Hudson County that work with families to provide them with the resources they need to thrive. I have also been an active member of the Hamilton Park neighborhood and have served on the County Committee since 2021.
2. How does your background inform how you approach your job?
I have worked on building coalitions between community leaders, experts, and elected officials for the last 11 years in my roles. I believe it should be the role of the County Commissioner to work with the state and municipal governments as well as local leaders and experts on addressing big issues facing the county, like housing affordability and public transportation so that we can work together on finding impactful solutions.
3. You’re running as a progressive. What makes you one?
Being a progressive will fight for working families to ensure every family has an affordable place to live, a clean environment, and good union jobs. I firmly believe we need to do more in this county to expand access to affordable homes, increase public transportation and protect our green spaces.
4. Can you tell us about specific causes you’ve worked on in Jersey City?
For the past few years, I have volunteered with AAPI, Hamilton park farmer Market, Youth Foundation of Jersey City, Hamilton Park Conservancy, and Hamilton Park neighborhood to keep our green spaces clean. I have also worked with local families to connect them with resources across the county.
5. What do you feel are the most important issues to Jersey City residents going forward, and what would you do to address them?
Affordability, the cost of living, has skyrocketed in the past three years. We need more low-cost housing. To do this, I propose we enact a county Right to Counsel, strengthen current rent control laws and work with local municipalities, experts, and local activists to form a coalition to examine ways to increase housing affordability.
Improve our climate resiliency by working towards enacting a county-wide Zero Waste Plan and improving stormwater management infrastructure.
Create safer county roads like JFK Blvd by improving county road design for pedestrian safety, traffic flow, and public transit times.
6. Do you support the plan proposed for Liberty State Park by the Paul Fireman backed groups “Liberty State Park for All” and “The People’s
While protecting and expanding public green space in Hudson County is critical, I am concerned that this proposal does not protect Caven Point.
7. Are Jersey City property taxes too low, about right, or too high?
County taxes, which have been raised to the maximum the state allows in the past three years, are high. We need more transparency in what our tax dollars are being spent on. To do this, I propose that the budget be word-searchable on the county website, that there’s public notice and transparency on how contracts are decided, and that we have regular newsletters and town halls for residents.
8. Is there anything else our readers should know about you?
I came to Jersey City because I wanted a tight-knit community where I could raise my son; the best years of Jersey City and Hudson County are ahead of us.
“I’m excited to work together with Indian American Impact, their organization has been influential in electing South Asians to office across New Jersey,” Singh said in a statement.
Their website says that New Jersey has the most South Asian elected officials out of all 50 states, highlighting Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Hoboken Board of Education Trustee Chetali Khanna, Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), and Edison Mayor Sam Joshi to name a few.
The executive director of JC Families who announced her candidacy in January, Singh is seeking to unseat Commissioner Yraida Aponte-Lipski, who was elected for the first time in 2020, winning a close fight against progressive activist Eleana Little.
Little is now running for county executive on a progressive ticket that has six county commissioner candidates, including Singh.
After redistricting, the county’s 4th District includes Journal Square, the Heights, and parts of Downtown Jersey City.
The Democratic primary elections are on June 6th.
Mamta Singh, a long-time resident of Jersey City is a commun ..
“My concern is for small homeowners and making sure we are doing what we can to make sure they have representation also,” Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley said.
“I want to make sure we’re not duplicating services. But is the answer to fund another department to do the same thing?”
She explained that those who are poor are already eligible for representation, though added that she liked the idea as a whole.
“As a council, we’re all united, working for the people of Jersey City. We’re very, very excited to move this ordinance forward,” Ward E Councilman James Solomon, who sponsored the measures with Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh and Ward F Councilman Frank “Educational” Gilmore, said.
He argued it would help thousands of people stay in their homes.
Solomon explained that the ordinance establishing the developer’s fee funding mechanism would go to the Jersey City Planning Board, likely on March 25th, and would return to the council for final passage after that meeting.
“We’re committed to working together to ensuring … a committed full right-to-counsel ordinance,” he said.
Per state law, 80 percent of the annual development impact fee revenue must be dedicated to the production of affordable housing and would be placed in the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Additionally, the final 20 percent of the annual development impact fee revenue will be used to fund Jersey City’s RTC program. A conservative estimate is that the program will average a $4 million annual budget.
Gilmore explained he wants to have something “comprehensive and fair to everyone since it’s of major need.”
Councilwoman-at-Large Amy DeGise voted in favor, but said this was an ongoing dialogue between the council and that, as is, middle class residents would be excluded.
DeGise reiterated Ridley’s issue that some legal services are already eligible for those in dire need.
“I also don’t want to duplicate services,” she added, further stated that landlords of small buildings with a few units should also be represented in court free of charge.
Watterman concurred that the council is working towards a common goal and doing their due diligence to ensure it’s done right, noting the impact on small homeowners as well.
The ordinances passed unanimously (8-0). Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera was absent.
City Clerk Sean Gallagher explained the developer’s fee ordinance would not go to the planning board for approval immediately, so the second reading would likely be delayed a bit.
“I’ve been dealing with housing issues in Ward A for the past 20 years. It’s horrific. Some of the vulnerable tenants in Ward A and the city need legal advice and legal representation yesterday,” Hakim Hasan said during the public portion.
“I had no heat in my building. They claimed the boiler was broken … I withheld about $400 of my rent, and I wasn’t afraid of eviction. But that’s me,” Carolyn Rummel said, indicating she had to take her landlord to court and it took months to get resolved.
Hudson County commissioner candidate Mamta Singh said RTC is needed, given the high rental costs in Jersey City.
“Jersey City is the most expensive city. Unfortunately, we have no other solution than RTC. If we are getting evicted, we should have a voice. We are losing our city,” she said.
Former Ward B council candidate Joel Brooks, a member of the North Jersey Democratic Socialists of America, said RTC would give tenants a level playing field against landlords and developers.
He explained he helped a woman who has evicted by a judge who would have been able to stay in her home had she had representation.
Katie Brennan explained she was a small landlord who is in favor of the ordinance.
“With right to counsel the people of Jersey City can have a fighting chance … against landlords: Landlords like me have too much power.”
Hudson DSA Organizer Julia Tache explained she has been working on the RTC campaign and they would prefer universal coverage as opposed to income thresholds.
“Housing is a human right,” she declared.
Carol Sainthilaire, of the non-profit Waterfront Project, said they are representing 1,000 tenants so far this year and that RTC would be helpful.
“The status quo leaves thousands unrepresented. Right to counsel is vital to Jersey City,” she stated.
“Much of the city council is struggling to understand the housing crisis … Tenants’ rights need to be universal,” noted Hudson County DSA Co-Chair Isaac Jimenez.
He also also denounced the idea of providing lawyers to landlords.
Hudson County DSA activist Jake Ephros chimed in that since he makes $65,000 a year, he would also not qualify.
“It leaves right to counsel in threat of being scaled back,” he argued.
“We are not against the RTC. The question is how we can get it done. We need to review it. Some of you brought out some good ideas,” Watterman said.
“Our hands was tied based on a certain time based on the law,” she added about enforcing rent control.
The Hudson County DSA had demonstrated outside City Hall prior to the meeting in favor of affordable housing and RTC.
Progressive Democrats of Hudson County turn in over a thousand signatures to get on the ballot for County Executive and six County Commissioner seats.
This represents the first hurdle cleared for the Progressive Democrats of Hudson County slate, and the opportunity for the Progressives to take the open County Executive seat as well as a majority on the Board of the County Commission.
(Jersey City, Monday, March 27th) — The Progressive Democrats of Hudson County have turned in over 1,000 signatures today for seven candidates, six county commissioner candidates in districts 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9, and for the open county executive seat being vacated by Tom DeGise.
“Progressives are committed to building a movement to elect a majority to the Board of Commissioners and take the County Executive. Hudson County voters are crying out for more non-profit affordable housing, preserving our urban green spaces, and ending the practice of ‘double dipping’ for county jobs.” Eleana Little, the Progressives nominee for County Executive, says. “These are issues the Progressive Democrats of Hudson County are committed to delivering on.”
Progressive are excited to carry the momentum from petitioning into the rest of the campaign. Already close to 5,000 doors have been knocked by the joint campaign, reaching out to voters from North Bergan to Jersey City to Bayonne and Kearny. The candidates have also raised over $70,000 dollars across all campaign accounts, ensuring they have the resources needed to take on the machine. The primary for all county-level seats is June 6th
Progressive slates will appear first on Camden, Hudson ballots
Off-the-line progressive slates in Hudson and Camden County will have favorable positioning on the June primary ballot thanks to random drawings today, giving them a small boost against two of the most powerful party organizations in the state.
In Camden County, county commissioner candidates Kate Delany and Sam Sweet – running on the South Jersey Progressive Democrats line – will get Column A, while their party-backed opponents will be in Column B.
The same is true in Hudson County, where the Progressive Democrats of Hudson County slate includes county executive candidate Eleana Little, two state legislative candidates in the 31st district, and six county commissioner candidates.
Ballot position alone won’t be enough for either slate to win; the Camden and Hudson Democratic Parties both have long histories of turning out voters on their behalf. But it’s an improvement from some prior election cycles, particularly in Camden County, where so-called “phantom candidates” have been known to push insurgent slates into Ballot Siberia.
Middlesex Democrats have also been shunted off into Column B, with two off-the-line commissioner candidates – Lawrence Zee Liu and Frances Bustos-Santiago, running under the “Dems for Justice, Transparency and Fairness” slogan – getting Column A.
In Union County, the Democratic organization came out on top, winning Column A against a rival slate led by former Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Roselle). Holley recruited a number of legislative and county-level candidates, but his real mission is to win back the mayor’s office in Roselle.
Hudson County News Live 4/4/2023 Guest Mamta Singh
Mamta Singh is running for County Commissioner
Founder of the wildly popular JC Families organization (which hosts various events and maintains a lively social media presence) has announced she’ll be running for County Commissioner against incumbent Yraida Aponte-Lipski in District 4. This district contains mostly parts of Wards C and D, with a little bit of E in there as well.
I’m pretty excited about this race. With very low voter turnout, a June election, and with few people even realizing that they’re represented by a County Commissioner at all, this ought to be pretty competitive even if Mamta winds up being outspent. Yraida Aponte-Lipski is a name familiar to people obsessed with Hudson County politics but beyond that, she’s hardly a household name. And Mamta has a very strong network that she can tap (JC Families’ “community connects over 40,000 families and provides regular opportunities to network and celebrate all Jersey City has to offer” according to the Hudson Reporter) and hopefully convince to turn out for her.
This might be a good opportunity to put in a few words about what, exactly, a Commissioner is. Previously referred to as a “Freeholder” (the name was recently changed to Commissioner, due to the former name having racist connotations), Commissioners sit on a board of nine and advise on county governance — they’re kind of like the city council but for the county.
It’s often a little confusing to disentangle county governance with city governance, but that difference has a lot of implications for Jersey City. For instance, JFK Boulevard is a county road, not a city road. If you want to advocate for something like speed bumps or for more parking availability on JFK, you have to take your request to the county. (Here’s a map of the county vs city roads, and a list if you prefer your info in that form.) Likewise, if there’s changes you’d like to see in Lincoln Park, anything related to that has to go through the county as well, while a place like Hamilton Park is under the jurisdiction of the city. (Here’s a map of the county parks.) And let’s not forget our notorious and troubled county prison, site of numerous inmate deaths a few years ago, with the most recent death occurring just this past November. Lastly, there are the county schools (here’s a list of those). In total, they oversee a budget of $634 million as of last year.
Nobody said Hudson County politics weren’t going to be confusing. But what this means is that while the commissioners don’t immediately appear to have a ton of power or be super high profile, they do oversee integral parts of our city that affect every other part of our city. It’s also important to point out that all the current office holders are supported by the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), and most have run with only minimal challengers in the past.
In addition to Mamta Singh, former Harsimus Cove president Eleana Little is also running in Jersey City, and Rob Bautista in a district that’s largely Hoboken. There are other candidates likely to toss their hats into the ring soon. I’ll be very curious to see if anyone challenges incumbent Commissioner Bill O’Dea, who has been fairly responsive to progressive feedback and criticism overall. Will progressives want to challenge a candidate who agrees with them on at least some issues already (some, but not all), and then also has lots of fundraising, organizing, and — that rarity in the county commissioner world — decent local name recognition to boot? We’ll see.
JCFamilies exec. dir. to challenge Aponte-Lipski for Jersey City county commissioner seat
I’m running for County Commissioner because I believe that the people of District 4 deserve to live in a county that is affordable, safe, and resilient to the challenges the future holds,” she said in a statement.
“It would be an honor to serve the same community that allowed me to live out my own American Dream and I am eager to get to work to ensure Hudson County is a place where everyone can live and thrive.”
JCFamilies Inc. is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing Jersey City residents’ parenting experience. The community connects over 40,000 families and provides regular opportunities to network and celebrate all Jersey City has to offer.
In addition to her work with JCFamilies, Singh is an active member of the Hamilton Park community, and serves on the county Democratic committee. She is also a member of the Jersey City Youth Foundation board, according to their website.
Her platform includes increasing climate resilience, revitalizing public transportation, and ensuring District 4 remains an affordable community to raise a family like hers.
She also is also pledging to ensure the county’s $600 million budget is managed fairly, transparently, and to directly benefit the community.
“Mamta Singh is an extraordinary leader. She’s already done so much for families across Jersey City, and I am so excited she’s decided to run for county commissioner on a platform of lower taxes, affordable homes, and progressive values,” noted Jersey City Ward E Councilman James Solomon.
Aponte-Lipski, the wife of former Jersey City Councilman Steve Lipski, was elected in 2019 in a close race against progressive challenger Eleana Little, who is running for county executive this time around.
Mamta Singh announces candidacy for Hudson County Commissioner for District 4
Mamta Singh has announced her candidacy for Hudson County Commissioner for District 4. Singh is running to ensure Hudson County remains a safe and affordable city and to bring increased transparency and accountability to local government.
District 4 encompasses Jersey City wards D and C and part of Ward E. The current commissioner is Yraida Aponte-Lipski.
“I’m running for County Commissioner because I believe that the people of District 4 deserve to live in a county that is affordable, safe, and resilient to the challenges the future holds,” Singh said. “It would be an honor to serve the same community that allowed me to live out my own American Dream and I am eager to get to work to ensure Hudson County is a place where everyone can live and thrive.”
As a mom and local non-profit founder, Singh understands the needs of the Hudson County community. She is the founder and executive director of JCFamilies Inc., a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing Jersey City residents’ parenting experience. The community connects over 40,000 families and provides regular opportunities to network and celebrate all Jersey City has to offer. In addition to her work with JCFamilies, Singh is an active member of the Hamilton Park community, and serves on the County Committee.
Singh is seeking to serve, in an even greater capacity, the community that embraced her 14 years ago when she immigrated to Jersey City. Her vision includes increasing climate resilience, revitalizing public transportation, and ensuring District 4 remains an affordable community to raise a family like hers. She also is eager to get to work ensuring the County’s $600 million budget is managed fairly, transparently, and to directly benefit the community.
“Mamta Singh is an extraordinary leader. She’s already done so much for families across Jersey City, and I am so excited she’s decided to run for County Commissioner on a platform of lower taxes, affordable homes, and progressive values,” said Jersey City Councilman James Solomon.
Election day for County Commissioners is June 6, 2023.