Rice on LD11 Drop-In with Beck: ‘Nobody’s Campaigning’



State Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) made no apologies today for going into a battleground district to stand at the side of state Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11) and tenant advocates in multi-family subsidized housing units in Asbury Park as part of what he said was an effort to highlight squalid urban living conditions.

In a competitive contest this coming November as she squares off against well-funded challenger Vin Gopal, Beck tag teamed with Rice on S-3270, which the pair introduced earlier this month to hold negligent landlords accountable for deplorable, unsanitary conditions in subsidized housing.  The “Safe Sanitary Subsidized Rental Housing Bill of Rights” addresses problems, including children and families living side by side with rats and cockroaches, crumbling walls and ceilings, a lack of heat and hot water, that were identified in the recent Asbury Park Press (APP) investigative series, “Renter Hell.”

“Some of the living conditions revealed in subsidized housing across New Jersey are absolutely horrifying,” said Beck. “No family or child should be forced to live in squalor as a result of landlord negligence. Our legislation targets the playbook that bad landlords have used to avoid accountability and responsibility for too long.”

Beck went to Newark and the heart of Rice’s district to talk about the bill, and today Rice traveled to Beck’s district.

“Nobody’s campaigning,” the veteran senator told InsiderNJ. “We’re looking at the issue here. We are talking to tenants who claim they’re going to get evicted. This legislation of ours is aimed at kids – brown and black children in dire conditions. I didn’t endorse anybody. This has nothing to do with a campaign. It has nothing to do with politics. This stuff is all over the state, and it has nothing to do with one particular district.

“If someone is trying to play politics, that person has no idea what’s going on here,” Rice added. “This has nothing to do with the dimensions of a political district. All of New Jersey is a battleground. If anybody running for office is working on things of substance, they need to check out the cities and the way kids are living. I’m being honest with you, if this were about the politics of other districts I would have been down there in Sweeney’s district or anywhere, campaigning.

“It’s not about politics. It’s not about this or that elected official,” the senator said. “Right now we’re working on helping some real folks. If there is a legislator out there complaining, who doesn’t like it, you tell that person to call me.”

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