A group led by progressive activists Hector Oseguera, David Ocampo-Grajales and Ron Bautista have announced a rally tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the Grove Street PATH Station plaza to demand the resignation of embattled Councilwoman-at-large Amy DeGise.
Last week, CCTV footage was released to the public that showed DeGise striking a bicyclist as she drove through the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Street.
The video showed the cyclist, 29-year-old Andrew Black, flipping in the air and falling to the pavement. Black was not seriously injured, however.
DeGise continued driving without stopping and was later issued summonses for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report the accident.
The hit-and-run has become a rallying point for pedestrian safety and bicycle activists as well as progressives who have unsuccessfully battled the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization which DeGise ran until recently.
In a statement to the Jersey City City Times, the group explained, “We need to hold our elected officials to a higher standard than your average citizen. While some of our current elected officials claim to want to give the opportunity for a court of law to judge the matter, we have regular citizens who don’t get the same treatment. How can we trust a government body that is not willing to be the gold standard for what we should be like in society? We can pass judgment all we want but the video is clear. A hit and run occurred and the driver did not even press on the brakes or check to see if anything happened. The average resident at least taps on the brakes if they hit a pothole! Many residents hold Jersey City elected officials in high regards and assume they have good moral standards. If there is no accountability, this event will yet again stain and tarnish the reputation of our local government.”
For several years, DeGise was a rising star in Hudson County politics. The daughter of Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, the former teacher served on the Jersey City Board of Education, as the Chairwoman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization and was elected to an at-large seat on the Jersey City Municipal Council last year after joining Mayor Fulop’s slate. She has been mentioned as a possible mayoral candidate should Mayor Fulop step down to run for governor, as many expect.
While members of “Team Fulop” with which DeGise ran for office in November have remained largely quiet, Ward E Councilman James Solomon and Ward F Councilman Frank Gilmore have called for her resignation. Mayor Fulop did criticize DeGise’s decision to leave the scene of the accident.