Gentrification in Asbury Park Leaves Locals Behind
ASBURY PARK, NJ – On the surface, the concept of gentrification seems like a wonderful process that begins pumping money into a poor community in the hopes of driving new population and business growth. You might start seeing some newer homes on some blocks, a handful of new stores, etc. District 11 Assembly Candidate Dominique Faison is speaking out on how the gentrification process is actually hurting Asbury Park residents.
"Gentrification is centered on wealth, not people," Faison points out. "This process has changed the town emotionally and financially as working families have no choice but to leave because they can't afford to live in the town anymore." Faison's position on this issue stems from the observation that the local community at-large is not a part of the process. The Green Party candidate cites that many members of the community feel as if their freedoms are being sold to the highest bidder, while they have absolutely no say in the process.
"The working poor need to be heard…the homeless need to be heard," Faison declares. "If the 'powers that be' want to make the community more profitable, they should be focused on the hard-working families who are already here and build local wealth." Faison points out the profits of the gentrification process goes to things that go against the community. "There's no adequate help for the homeless," says Faison, who is calling on public officials to make good on promises made over the years. "I'm tired of how we are placated by politicians who simply author/propose bills that go nowhere in the legislature," says Faison. "It's time for real change and follow through on programs that will actually help people."
Faison believes the issues of homelessness, working poor families not having a chance to get ahead, struggling school environment, and crime are all connected and impact one another. "The lack of social and economic mobility for working poor families has an affect on the community's children and young adolescents," comments Faison. "Instead of a school-to-college or a school-to-vocation pipeline…we see a school-to-prison pipeline." Faison also points out that gentrification only fuels more housing discrimination and homelessness within a community that is already struggling to improve in these areas. The 11th District hopeful also connects these issues to a rising number of not just physical health issues, but mental health issues as well. "People are hurting and need help," says Faison. "Government is supposed to be a place that represents everyone in the community…and no one gets left behind."
Faison is campaigning to raise citizen expectations for government leading to a more equitable, fair, and higher quality of life for all people. "It is time for real, meaningful change to come to Asbury Park and other communities like it," Faison declares. "Hope needs to turn into action and the results leading to a better life for all families in the community…we can achieve this if we empower our entire community."
Green Party of New Jersey Candidate for LD 11