Thursday, August 01, 2013

It Sounds As If Jersey City Has Elected Its Own Version of Eric Garcetti as Mayor

New Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is Jewish, served in the armed forces, is a social media junkie, supports economic development & liberal social issues and he is now Mayor of a city that desperately needs a tip to bottom makeover.  Sounds just like....Eric and you can read all about him in the Observer. And here are the opening paragraphs:

Down to the River: Newly Minted Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop Plans Big

From Goldman Sachs to the Marine Corps to mayor of New York’s sixth borough

On the day of his inauguration earlier this month, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop was interviewed about his plans to transform his city.
With bravado, the smooth-talking new Democratic mayor declared on WNYC’s airwaves that he wanted to make Jersey City the best midsized city in the country. The city is in the midst of an impressive and ongoing renaissance, and Mr. Fulop said his vision was to entice young urban professionals priced out of Manhattan to cross the Hudson in lieu of settling in Brooklyn and Queens.
But the pitch almost seemed to fall on deaf ears as host Brian Lehrer supplied his Big Apple listeners with a geography lesson.
“By the way, for those of you New Yorkers who think riding the PATH train would be an exotic adventure, Jersey City is right across the Hudson River, below the Holland Tunnel,” he declared.
A couple weeks later, Mayor Fulop sat in a bare second-floor office at City Hall, shaking his head in disappointment and calling the notion that New Yorkers have never visited Jersey City—New Jersey’s second-largest city, after Newark—“insulting.”
“Part of our challenge is a ‘branding’ issue. People across the river view us in a way that it’s like another country,” Mr. Fulop said. “It’s a mental barrier, but really we are no different geographically than Brooklyn or Queens.”
Likewise, he disdains the cliché that Jersey City is New York’s “sixth borough,” preferring that his 21-square-mile city—stretching across the peninsula between the Hudson and Hackensack Rivers and home to more than 250,000 residents—be regarded as having its own identity.
Beyond the city’s marketing strategies, Mr. Fulop faces formidable challenges. He now runs a city government that is facing a $21 million revenue shortfall and is still reeling from the effects of a 2009 FBI corruption sting that netted several officials, including the deputy mayor and the Council president, for taking bribes from developers.
But the 36-year-old has big ideas for the future and a strategy that’s exciting the hopes of an entire city.
Steve Fulop’s biography reads likes Horatio Alger: he grew up in middle-class Edison, N.J., the second of three sons of Israeli and Hungarian immigrants. His parents owned a deli in Newark, where Steve worked as a teenager. His grandparents were Holocaust survivors who the Fulop family says came to America penniless.
For the rest of the story - go to the Observer.

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