1. Addressing Fiscal Oversight: Public Health and Environmental Justice in Essex County
The budget is 767 million dollars and it needs to be used to cater to every corner of the county. The Department of Public Safety and the Department of the Sheriff combined cost taxpayers 152 million dollars or almost 20% of our budget. The construction of the parking deck at the Turtle Back Zoo cost 14.5 million dollars. Our public assistance grants were 3 million dollars. Yet there are cities that do not have any community centers and skills programs for students and young adults. I will see equity in the way the budget is allocated because we need to prioritize active learning that will inform future generations over expensive additions for a zoo.
2. Public Accountability and Reorganization of Law Enforcement Including Municipal, County, and Federal ICE contracts.
End Qualified Immunity! We must change the protocol for having police respond to mental health emergencies, addiction, homelessness and other ills of society.
3. Transparency and Fairness in Essex County
We should be able to expect accountability and transparency in resource management at the county level, and at all levels. Closed door meetings where 150 million dollars are allocated in 15 minutes have to be condemned. Meetings of this caliber need to be publicly posted, easy to find and welcoming. I will be sure that more people have access to the schedule of the meetings so that their community can be represented and heard.