Ron Bautista

1. What about your background makes you a good County Commissioner?

I have years of experience influencing change in local government because I believe in showing people what we can achieve together even before holding an elected position. I’ve been a member of the Hoboken Vision Zero Task Force since 2019, and through our work, we’ve achieved zero traffic deaths in the past four years. As Co-Chair of the Port Authority Bus Terminal Advisory Council, I’ve pushed for more accountability around addressing homelessness with social services and housing support. I’ve also been an advocate for tenants, fighting alongside them in Jersey City and Hoboken. My work in local advocacy has been my way of giving back to our community, and my full-time job includes building internal coalitions at a large institution to bring change. 

2. How does your background inform how you approach your job?

I’ve been able to serve everyday people without selling out to political bosses. I’ve done this by showing my commitment through consistency, and by showing people what we can do together before even getting elected to a seat. As the saying goes, “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Neighbor by neighbor we build the leverage and the coalitions to make that change possible.

3. You’re running as a progressive. What makes you one?

To me, being a progressive starts by serving the needs of everyday people, not the needs of political bosses. My way of doing this is by consistently advocating for policies that can help everyday people thrive, afford to raise a family, and age with dignity in the neighborhoods they call “home.”

4. Can you tell us about specific causes you’ve worked on in Jersey City?

I’m a board member of the Coalition for Food and Health Equity, an organization that has addressed the meal and nutrition needs of over 1000 families, supported over 20 small businesses, and served over 200,000 healthy meals since 2020. I’ve been a pedestrian safety advocate for years, in collaboration with grassroots organizations in Jersey Ciy. I’ve also joined the Jersey City movement fighting for tenant protections, free legal representation for tenants and the enforcement of Rent Control. 

5. What do you feel are the most important issues to Jersey City residents going forward and what would you do to address them?

The main issues I’ve heard from Jersey City residents include rising rents, lack of representation at the county government, and the dangers and floodings of county roads that have been ignored for far too long.  

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 do NOT support the plan proposed Paul Fireman’s groups for Liberty State Park. There is plenty of active recreation that can happen at the park with the DEP proposal, without the need for a stadium.

7. Are Jersey City property taxes too low, about right or too high?

I believe taxes are tougher on small landlords than on corporate landlords. The focus should be on everyone contributing their fair share, and for residents to see results from our local governments, especially from a county government that right now is only accountable to the political bosses. 

8. Is there anything else our readers should know about you?

I’m running for office because of people like my 4-year-old daughter, Sofi, and my 70-year-old mother, beause they represent the neighbors who are the most vulnerable to unsafe streets, air pollution, and the inequalities perpetuated by our politicians. I believe it’s time for a public servant to be in office, not for someone who answers only to a political boss.