Statement by Spokesperson from Maritime Parc
New York Young Republican Club’s annual gala @ Maritime Parc, Jersey City
Yes, the Young Republicans held their gala at Maritime Parc in a room that had a capacity limit of 600 guests; it was a last-minute booking.
While I don’t have the exact headcount, I can confirm that it was within the allotted capacity under current NJ restrictions, that tables were spaced 6 feet apart, there were no bars (drinks were served tableside by servers wearing masks and gloves), and no dancing.
All guests were required to wear masks upon entering and exiting the event space and to keep on at all times outside of drinking & eating. While we cannot force compliance with the suggested social distancing guidelines at larger gatherings, all guests were informed upon entering the event. The NJ State Police had visited prior to the event to ensure compliance and go over rules/regulations.
The event ended at 9:30 PM.
We are aware that videos and photos have emerged on social media showing people in close proximity; we surmise this was at the end of the evening as we believe the agenda (only provided to determine A/V needs) called for 2 hours 45 minutes of speaking out of the entire 3.5-hour event. As we did not have any role in the event other than to serve as the venue, – this was a business transaction…there was no partnership nor should Maritime Parc serving as the venue be looked upon as an endorsement of the club or any political party – we cannot speak for certain on the final agenda – again, this is a conclusion staff on-site arrived at.
Siversen has since spoken with the mayor’s office, who was unaware that the event was within guidelines of a capacity, has a complete guest list and contact information as required by set regulations, and also that the New Jersey State Police were in fact onsite throughout the event to ensure guidelines were followed, prior to issuing the initial statement as well as the order to temporarily close.* Maritime Parc will assist the investigation in whatever ways necessary and is eager to help. They had done everything in their capacity and that is required to be compliant here – including informing the group several times of New Jersey’s social distancing regulations – and will as part of the investigation confirm that the capacity limits were not in breach.
*Maritime Parc learned of the order to close via social media/Mayor Steve Fulop’s TWEET; the conversation took place after several messages were left with the mayor’s office requesting a conference call with Mayor’s Aides but all attempts were unanswered/ignored.