1. What about your background would make you a good state senator?
I have been a lifelong community advocate and have dedicated my life to service. In 2011 I founded AngelaCARES, which has provided support for senior citizens, caregivers, and youth in the Hudson County community. I continued my passion for helping the community when I decided to run for Assembly in 2015 and have served as an Assemblywoman since 2016.
During my time as an Assemblywoman, I have served as Deputy Majority Leader, Chairwoman of the Aging and Senior Services committee, and member of the Assembly Women and Children, and Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committees to name a few. As Senator, I would continue the work I have done as an Assemblywoman by sponsoring legislation to help move families forward.
2. What do you hope becoming a Senator will enable you to accomplish that you couldn’t as an Assemblyperson?
The main function of members of the legislature is to enact laws. As a Senator, I will work to continue to pass pieces of legislation for the betterment of the constituents in my district and all New Jerseyans. Senatorial courtesy on appointments is a power allocated to members of the Senate. I look forward to working with fellow Senators to provide advise and consent over nominations.
3. Some people believe that “the line” is unfair and illegal. What is your position on it?
There is an active legal case proceeding on this topic and ultimately the courts will decide whether the current system for awarding ballot lines in primary elections is appropriate. I believe that the Democratic Party should have a right to endorse candidates who share the party’s values and communicate that to the voters, however I also recognize that the system has been abused in other areas to disadvantage opposition candidates. In this primary election I will be running on Column B as the top of the ticket, and I do not see any inherent unfairness in the way the ballots are structured in this election.
4. Can you tell us about specific things you’ve accomplished for Jersey City?
One of the things I am most proud of is bringing birth certificates back to Jersey City. When I was elected in 2015, I made it a priority to work with city, State, and Federal officials to make birth certificates available to Jersey City residents without having to travel to Trenton. As of January 2022, anyone born in Jersey City can now obtain their birth certificate directly from City Hall. Additionally, I sponsored state legislation to enable Jersey City to create an arts fund. Throughout my legislative career, I have worked with the Motor Vehicle Commission to provide mobile services to residents. I was a cosponsor of S3732, now law, which will provide the Jersey City school district $33.7M in state school funding for the 2023-2024 school year. In 2018 I sponsored legislation that would allow Jersey City to impose an employer payroll tax to help provide funding to the Jersey City school district. I advocated for PS 34 to be named after the first African American president, President Barack Obama.
5. What do you feel are the most important issues to Jersey City residents and what would you do to address them?
All issues that are important to Jersey City residents are important to me. My door is always open to constituents, and I will always work to find a solution to their issues. As an Assemblywoman I have made it a priority to work for and with my constituents and as a Senator I look forward to the opportunity to continue the work.
6. Do you support the plan proposed for Liberty State Park by the Paul Fireman backed groups “Liberty State Park for All” and “The People’s Park?’
I was the sponsor of legislation that would establish the Liberty State Design task force which also appropriated $50M in funding. I will continue to with stakeholders to make sure that Liberty State Park is a crown jewel of Jersey City.
7. Is the overall state and local tax burden on Jersey City residents too low, about right or too high?”
Property taxes are too high across the board, and I believe that we should pursue reforms that would reduce the burden on lower income homeowners and renters by shifting the responsibility of funding essential services like our public schools to other areas. This is why I have supported increased state aid for education, and as a Senator I will fight for Jersey City, Bayonne, and Kearny to receive more state education aid.
8. Is there anything else our readers should know about you?
I am running for Senate to continue the work I did as the Assemblywoman and make a difference in the lives of my community and New Jersey. I am proud to serve as the first African American Assemblywoman for the 31st District. In addition to being the Assemblywoman, I am an entrepreneur, educator, and mentor. I am a lifelong Jersey City resident and have raised my family here. I look forward to working for and with my community if elected as Senator.