Newark activist, Green Party candidate discuss Coronavirus crisis
Why was a state of emergency declared so quickly for COVID-19, but not for the city's lead water crisis?
Newark Water Coalition co-founder Anthony Díaz and Madelyn Hoffman, the New Jersey Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate, discussed COVID-19 in Newark last week
NEWARK, NJ – Why was a state of emergency declared so quickly for the new coronavirus, but not for Newark's lead water crisis? This question was one of several posed during a recent conversation between Newark Water Coalition co-founder Anthony Díaz and Madelyn Hoffman, the New Jersey Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020.
Patch / Newark, NJ
By Eric Kiefer
March 30, 2020
"I've received reports of police circling around neighborhoods… housing complexes," Díaz said. "It doesn't seem like a health issue, it seems like a military quarantine."
Díaz also said that work to replace thousands of lead service pipes as part of the city's ongoing lead water crisis isn't over yet, and the coronavirus is impacting the effort to keep residents safe in the meanwhile.
For example, because of panic-based hoarding and purchase limits in Newark, the Newark Water Coalition is unable to buy bottled water in bulk for in-need community members, Díaz said.
Hoffman said that expanded Medicare for all – which she supports as part of her campaign platform – could have helped to create a "far wider and more inclusive social safety net" during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"The crisis is really showing some of the problems that need to be addressed in this country," she declared.
Hoffman also said that all candidates in the 2020 election should be allowed to collect petition signatures online, as bans on public and private gatherings making it difficult to collect signatures in the usual way.
"The governor recently gave Republicans and Democrats the ability to do so to get on their respective primary ballots," Hoffman said. "Third-parties and independents should be granted the same abilities."
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