Clean up Jersey City's Streets
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If you are tired of seeing trash on Jersey City's streets, I think there is an easy fix with one minor change to the Municipal code and we just need the city council to get motivated to make that change. So if you want cleaner streets, I will work hard to push the council to do what needs to be done, and just signing this petition will help!
The problem is people drinking on the sidewalk, who cause much of the trash on the sidewalks and there not being any consequences for their actions. I, and some of my neighbors, have been working with the police for 5 years and I still see the same people drinking on the sidewalk every day. The problem is even if the police come, 9 out of 10 times they tell them to just move along. When they do issue a citation, it isn't a deterrent because they never pay them. I have had police tell me the people in my neighborhood who are chronic offenders have on occasion gone in front of a judge with multiple drinking in public citations, but they say they can't afford to pay the fine. The judge doesn't want to put them in jail because that costs money for Jersey City to house them, so the citations are just thrown out. I believe this is partly why the police don't issue citations often, because it is a bunch of paperwork for nothing.
However, I believe the solution is quite simple. Jersey City's municipal code 84-39 is already very clear that it is illegal to drink in public or even have an open alcohol container. The penalty is currently a fine or jail time which isn't working. What needs to be done is to modify the code to state that the mandatory punishment for drinking in public is community service! Something anyone can do and doesn't cost Jersey City. Specifically each offender will be made to go back to where they committed the offense and spend their community service cleaning up the sidewalks. Back when I moved here 12 years ago, there was a similar program under the UEZ (Urban Enterprise Zone) where I live that paid people to clean up the streets. I saw people in blue jump suits and trash cans every day doing this and it was great. When Governor Christie was elected, he cut the funding for this program and I haven't seen it since, but it is a perfect precedent for implementing the municipal code as I describe, but instead of getting paid, participants are fulfilling their community service.
Bottom line, the people who trash our streets would either be forced to clean them up again or finally give up their habit of drinking in public. If you would like to see this change, please sign this petition.
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