BY BILL MATSIKOUDIS
Over the past year, I have come to know, respect and admire Esmeralda Trinidad, and I am extremely proud to announce her as my first candidate for Council-At-Large. Esmeralda is a courageous fighter for those in need and a tireless worker who is not afraid to speak truth to power.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Esmeralda came to Jersey City at the age of 10 and has lived here ever since. Constituting over 5.5% of our population, Dominicans make up one of the biggest groups in our City and Esmeralda’s candidacy marks an opportunity to make history, as she would be the first Dominican to serve on the Jersey City City Council.
A Democratic Committee Woman from Ward F who served as the Vice Chairwoman of the Jersey City Democratic Organization in 2010-2014, Esmeralda has experience working on numerous campaigns and working for council members in West New York and Jersey City.
Esmeralda has a Masters Degree in Administrative Science from Farleigh Dickinson and currently operates a small business assisting in tax preparation and Spanish translation. A former board member of the Hispanic American Commerce Association of Jersey City (HACA), she understands the importance of having Hispanic small business owners being involved in social and economic activities across the city.
Esmeralda assists immigrants by teaching English as a second language, conducting citizenship classes and helping with citizenship application documentation. Esmerelda has helped over 500 immigrants become naturalized. And Esmeralda’s public service goes well beyond Jersey City, as she has spent 13 years visiting and helping impoverished communities in Latin America and the Caribbean as a volunteer of her church.
Esmeralda and I have begun a dialogue with the residents of Jersey City as we go door to door explaining our positions and hearing residents’ concerns. We have heard people express fear about violence in their neighborhood and complain about the lack of police presence. We are concerned that many residents we have spoken to have had to leave the neighborhoods because of rising rents and share their apprehension that their next move will be out of Jersey City. We have heard disappointment over the stark difference between promises of reform and transparency and the reality of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from people that do business with the City and a mayor who will not even share his schedule so people can know who he is meeting with.
Our top priority is to make Jersey City safer and more affordable. We are committed to increasing police presence and fully implementing community policing whereby the police will regularly interact in a positive way with the public they serve. We will require developers to build affordable housing and revise the rent control laws to extend to more people. Our conversation with the community will continue after we take office because we firmly believe that government performs best when officials engage in regular dialogue with the community they serve.
BILL Matsikoudis is a candidate for Mayor of Jersey City
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