Q: New Brunswick has had the same Mayor since 1991. Do you think you can do a better job than Mr. Cahill?
A: Yes, I do. A city of 60,000 people deserves to have a full-time mayor who is 100% dedicated to the people and not distracted or compromised by side jobs and conflicts of interest. Unlike our current Mayor, I promise that I will not run any businesses or work any other jobs on the side while I am in office. I will be completely devoted to cleaning up our streets, making sure that our city is safe and welcoming, and that our air and water are clean, and that our government is honest.
Q: What has shaped your desire to serve as New Brunswick’s Mayor?
A: I came to New Brunswick to go to Rutgers University and I was lucky enough to get involved with some great organizations, meet some wonderful people, and earn my degree in Journalism and Media Studies. I fell in love with this city, got to know the community, and decided to make it my permanent home. In 2011, I started New Brunswick Today, a bilingual community newspaper and, in doing that work, I learned a lot about the problems facing New Brunswick and some of the reasons why these problems persist. I was disturbed when no one challenged the Mayor in 2014 and I wanted to make sure that would not happen again in this election. It’s not a democracy if there is only one choice on the ballot. I wanted to give the voters a choice.
Q: How do you plan to improve New Brunswick’s city government?
I will work with the major institutions in our city to establish a system of clean, electric buses to connect our neighborhoods and make it easier to get around for New Brunswick’s residents, workers, and visitors. I will also work to re-organize the city government, by eliminating the New Brunswick Parking Authority and transitioning over to a Transportation Department, and establishing a Public Safety Department to oversee police, fire, and emergency management. These changes will result in a more comprehensive approach to transportation and public safety. I will also create an anti-corruption task force that will investigate allegations of misconduct in all parts of the city.
Q: Why do you want to eliminate the New Brunswick Parking Authority?
Unfortunately, we have become the parking deck capital of New Jersey and it is costing us millions of dollars every year. The NBPA borrowed to build all of these parking decks and now they are in almost $400 million worth of debt. That’s not a healthy amount of debt and it’s also not good to have an agency like that with such little oversight from the city. If elected, I will support dissolving the authority and assuming its responsibilities within the city government. We would not be the first city to do this. Jersey City, Montclair, and Bloomfield all decided to eliminate their parking authorities and take a new approach. It’s time we do the same here.
Q: What can readers do to help you become the next Mayor of New Brunswick and how can they stay informed?
We have a chance to really make history here, but we need everyone who is eligible to vote to get registered to vote. If you know someone who can vote, make sure they get registered and make sure they know how important this election is. The choice couldn’t be more clear this November: four more years of the same out-of-touch political machine, or a new administration that will finally put the people of New Brunswick first. If you want to join our movement, just go to our website, CleanUpBrunswick.com, and click on “Volunteer.” You can also follow the campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @Charlie4Change.