Is Jersey City councilman trying to evict Black-owned business to bring back police kiosk? Jersey City Ward C Councilman Richard Boggiano, a retired police detective, suggested ousting a Black-owned business from McGinley Square to reopen a police kiosk, according to an email from a fellow councilmember’s office.

The email from an aide to Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey became public when Shayla Cabrera, owner of Tia Planta, said in an Instagram post that Boggiano had backed down from his proposal, and that she was thankful “that our shop is no longer in jeopardy.”

Cabrera was featured in a Jersey Journal story in May for successfully opening during the coronavirus pandemic. Five months later, she is in fear that it could all be for naught.

“I know that I am walking on thin ice, even now, I feel like I can be kicked out at any point because maybe I upset someone or maybe, you know, there is a lot of politics in small business and I am willing to stand for my business,” said Cabrera, who has lived in Jersey City for the past 12 years. ” My business means everything to me.”

She said she received an email from Boggiano informing her it was a miscommunication.

On Wednesday, Boggiano, who is running for reelection against two challengers, said he never suggested that the kiosk be taken back for police use.

“We want walking cops in McGinley Square …we want cops back,” Boggiano said on Wednesday before directing questions to his aide, Pam Andes.

In the note, Prinz-Arey’s office said Boggiano had scheduled a meeting for Oct. 8 “with the police department to go over issues in McGinley Square and the possibility of bringing back the police kiosk.”

Cabrera’s fear of being removed from the kiosk comes at a time when people all over the country are calling for less police and more accountability in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In September 2020, Boggiano spoke in favor of police at a rally hosted by a conservative group in which Hudson County Republicans spoke about a “BLM Antifa cult” and criticized politicians who marched in Black Lives Matter rallies. Boggiano told The Jersey Journal he had left the event early and had not been told of any political leanings at the event.

“I just wanted to be respected as a business in general,” Cabrera said “I do understand the need for security, but I do think if the community invested in other resources outside of policing that it would be much more beneficial to the community.”

Cabrera, 33, said her lease can be terminated at will, based on her agreement with Jersey City.

Andes said in a statement that there was some confusion and misunderstanding over the issue, noting that Boggiano, Prinz-Arey and Ward F Councilman Jermaine Robinson had planned a meet-and-greet event with police in response to complaints about public safety issues.

“The kiosk was brought to our attention as the last active police presence the area had, but it was never our intention to utilize the kiosk again,” Andes said.

Andes declined to comment on why McGinley Square needs more policing.

Boggiano, part of Mayor Steve Fulop’s slate, is facing an election challenge from Kevin Bing and Tom Zuppa.

Bing on Wednesday was critical of Boggiano, even if this was a miscommunication.

“Clearly, he has no interest in speaking to every member of this community and I see this when I go door to door,” Bing said. “So often he will attempt to delay or cancel projects whether it is safety improvements on Baldwin and Summit Ave. or homeless outreach services claiming there hasn’t been enough community input.

“He brings up the lack of community input so often when he is against a project and then when he is for a project, it’s full speed ahead.”

This ‘remarkable’ social studies teacher is N.J.’s Teacher of the Year

Theresa Maughan, a high school social studies teacher at the East Orange STEM Academy, has been named the 2021-2022 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.

Theresa Maughan, a high school social studies teacher in East Orange, is the 2021-22 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.

Maughan, who teaches at the East Orange STEM Academy, received the honor at Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting.

“New Jersey has been recognized as having the best education system in the country, and this can be attributed to dedicated educators like Theresa,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “She embodies the strength of New Jersey’s school system and of our proud immigrant community.”

Maughan attributed her success to her own teachers, who saved her family from deportation and sparked her passion for education.

“I was in seventh grade when I realized I was a ‘Dreamer,’ as the term is used today,” said Maughan, whose family faced deportation to Belize when her parents’ visas expired.

Her social studies teacher started a letter writing campaign that led to the family becoming American citizens.

A few years later, another social studies teacher made her “teacher for the day.”

“I was hooked,” Maughan said in a statement. “Even though I had considered a career as an immigration lawyer to help people experiencing what I went through in the seventh grade, I knew that a career in teaching would provide me with the best opportunity to fulfill my commitment to work for change.”

Maughan has spent 34 of her 40 years in education in the East Orange School District, where officials called her a “remarkable educator” who puts students at the center of her lessons.

Her students have won the Black History Month Essay contest sponsored by the New Jersey Bar Association, the New Jersey Department of State Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission essay contest and were state finalists in the National History Day competition.

“We are truly proud of Ms. Maughan,” said AbdulSaleem Hasan, superintendent of the East Orange School District, in a statement. “In the midst of a global pandemic and the challenges inherent in virtual learning, she was able to adapt and overcome and ensure her students received a world-class education.”

As Teacher of the Year, Maughan will be an ambassador for Garden State educators. She will work with the New Jersey Department of Education, speak with aspiring teachers and visit classrooms to promote educational initiatives.

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