We have an ambitious legislative agenda ahead of us. All of our initiatives will be focused on driving real change through ethics reform. There are many reforms that will make Bayonne more efficient, fairer, and cheaper to operate. Later initiatives will be to get term limits for executive office (mayor), creating community boards, and many others.
Our first local legislative hurdle will be trying to get the Bayonne City Council to pass comprehensive pay-to-play legislation.
What is pay-to-play legislation?
Every state and city, directly or indirectly, prohibits bribery in obtaining government contracts. But few towns or cities restrict campaign contributions from businesses seeking government contracts. Pay-to-play addresses just that: developers or vendors who give political
contributions to elected officials to garner special consideration or influence in acquiring a government contract and other perks.
Why is this bad for taxpayers?
There are many reasons why a lack of pay-to-play laws is detrimental to healthy government and hurts taxpayers. Here are the two main
1) Pay-to-play subverts the open and fair bidding process by steering government contracts to more connected, and sometimes more expensive, vendors and businesses, passing that financial burden to taxpayers.
2) Lack of pay-to-play laws hurts local small businesses, as they cannot afford to pay, even if they can perform the job. Pay-to-play contracts often go to out of town firms. We are currently conducting research to see what percentage of Bayonne vendors receive contracts vs out-of-town vendors.
We will also be advocating for more affordable housing for the Veterans of our city. Veterans are the fabric of our community, seeing them homeless or priced out of Bayonne is unacceptable. We will work with local, state, and federal agencies and officials to ensure that every Veteran in Bayonne, and in the State of New Jersey, has an affordable and reliable place to sleep at night. Click here to learn more.
To learn more about our current research projects, click here.