In a Facebook Post this morning, Councilman-at-large Rolando Lavarro announced that he is running for re-election.
To get on the ballot, however, he will need to collect 1680 petitions signed by registered Democrats by 12 pm on August 30, a tall order.
In the post, Lavarro makes a case for his candidacy. “When a whistle blower alleged financial improprieties at a City agency, I demanded an investigation long before the Fulop appointee was charged by federal prosecutors in a 26-count indictment of embezzlement. When the MUA imposed a new, hidden trash collection fee, I called it what it is – a back door tax. I pushed for transparency and lthe refund and repeal of the ill-conceived Water Tax. I introduced a strong affordable housing ordinance backed by statewide housing advocates before Mayor Fulop and his rubber stamp City Council hijacked the process and passed a sham affordable housing law, which was struck down by the courts. Among my legislative achievements are the Expansion of Earned Sick Days, Wage Theft Protection, Common Sense Cannabis Protections, Smoking Prohibition in Public Parks, the 1st Immigrant Affairs Commission in the State of NJ, and a Living Wage Ordinance.”
In recent years, Lavarro has emerged as one of the Fulop administration’s loudest critics, having waged pitched battles on issues from inclusionary zoning to police funding.
Lavarro was first elected to the council in 2011. In 2012, he joined the slate of Mayor Steve Fulop and became city council president. In 2019, Lavarro split with the mayor, prompted after reading an expose on Bloomberg.com concerning the mayor’s relationship with the real estate firm known as Dixon Advisory. Councilwoman Joyce Watterman then assumed the office of council president.
In January, Jersey City Times published a lengthy interview with Lavarro.
Lavarro will be running against a large field of candidates vying for the three at-large seats, including independents Elvin Dominici, June Jones and Chris Gadsden and “Team Fulop” members Daniel Rivera, Joyce Watterman and Amy DeGise.