Jersey City Councilman Robinson, NAACP NJ President Smith, Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Executive Director Johnson Call On DEP To Hold More Public Hearings on LSP Plan
JERSEY CITY, NJ – The Liberty State Park For All Coalition today released letters from Jersey City Councilman Jermaine Robinson, NAACP New Jersey State Conference President and Liberty State Park For All Coalition member Richard Smith and Jersey City Anti-Violence Coalition Executive Director Pamela Johnson all calling on the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to have more than just one virtual meeting on their recently announced remediation plan for Liberty State Park.
The DEP announced a plan last month to remediate the contaminated Interior portion of Liberty State Park. But the plan, announced without input from local communities of color, would leave contamination in the Park and has provided no specifics on active recreation. Moreover, the DEP has announced only a single virtual hearing – at 6 p.m. on a Tuesday – to discuss their plan, all but guaranteeing that communities of color are again shut out of the decision-making process on Liberty State Park.
“Does the DEP really believe that a single virtual meeting, held at a time when most parents are taking care of their children and many in the community are either still working or just returning from work, is sufficient,” asks Councilman Robinson of the DEP.
“Surely the DEP must recognize the disparities that communities of color face in terms of being able to access a single virtual meeting,” wrote Smith. “I should not have to point out that such a set-up – and I use that word deliberately – favors well-organized, largely white groups that have dominated the Park conversation for years.”
Smith also notes that “it is beyond hypocritical that just weeks after Governor Murphy signed a law allegedly establishing New Jersey as a leader in environmental justice, DEP would support a public input process that, as of this moment, provides so many barriers to communities of color being heard.”
“If you want to show us your office is serious about environmental justice, that you really care about the thoughts and opinions of Black and Brown people, we need multiple meetings on the urban planning of Liberty State Park,” wrote Johnson.
All three called on the DEP to immediately announce they will hold more than one meeting and that those meetings will be scheduled in coordination with local Jersey City community leaders.
Robinson, Smith and Johnson also noted a variety of problems around the Park, from the proposed Liberty State Park Protection Act’s advisory committee lacking any diversity to the Park having none of the active recreation that was promised 40 years ago.
Copies of all three letters are attached.PAMELA JOHNSON DEP LETTER
Councilman Robinson DEP letter
Richard Smith DEP letter
The Liberty State Park For All Coalition was created to increase awareness about the broken promises of Liberty State Park and to ensure the community has a voice on the decisions around the Park. The Coalition wants a plan that will fully clean-up Liberty State Park and create recreational, cultural and economic opportunities and accessibility for everyone. Learn more about the Coalition at https://libertystateparkforall.com/ follow us on Twitter @lspnj4all and Instagram libertystateparkforall and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/LIBERTYSTATEPARKFORALL