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Petition to remove Jersey City councilmember nears 5,000 signatures after hit and run

Petition to remove Jersey City councilmember nears 5,000 signatures after hit and run

Greater than 4,000 signatures have been amassed in a petition demanding {that a} Jersey City councilmember resign after she got here beneath hearth in a hit-and-run crash final month — and the resident who began the petition mentioned it is displaying no indicators of slowing down.

Councilwoman Amy DeGise allegedly hit bicycle owner Andrew Black on the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Forrest Avenue in Jersey City on the morning of July nineteenth. In video footage obtained by the Jersey Journal, DeGise’s automobile was recorded crashing into the bicycle owner with out slowing down. Black, who ran a purple mild, flipped onto her hood and rolled onto the highway, touchdown a number of ft away from his mangled bicycle.

DeGise waited six hours to report her hit-and-run crash to the police, in accordance to the Jersey Journal.

Megan Carolan, an early schooling coverage researcher, began the petition on the day the hit-and-run occurred, demanding DeGise step down and asking Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and different metropolis councilmembers to take part publicly calling for DeGise’s resignation.

Carolan mentioned there is no such thing as a good reply that would justify DeGise’s habits.

“If she spent those six hours from hitting the cyclist to turning herself in working at a soup kitchen and taking care of children, it still wouldn’t be OK because that was a human life and it’s the law to stop,” Carolan mentioned. “As somebody who makes the laws in Jersey City and helps to decide what’s right for our city, the fact that she couldn’t hold herself to even that bare standard is shocking.”

Carolan, 35, mentioned the variety of signatures hasn’t been slowing down and even consists of individuals from exterior of Jersey City and exterior the nation.

“People are not letting this go. This is not just a flash in the pan,” she mentioned. Carolan has lived in Jersey City for 9 years along with her husband and two babies.

DeGise didn’t reply to a request for remark. Her spokesperson advised Hudson County View final week that she is not going to resign and plans to full her full time period in workplace. She was elected to workplace final November and her time period runs by December 2025. She beforehand served on the Jersey City Faculty Board.

However DeGise comes from an influential household on the planet of Hudson County politics — one of many state’s most populous counties and a Democratic stronghold for generations. She was the previous head of the county Democratic Social gathering and her father, Tom DeGise, is the county government.

On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy referred to as DeGise’s hit-and-run “unacceptable” in an unrelated information convention, however he stopped in need of calling for her resignation, saying that he “would leave the politics to the local realities.” Councilmembers James Solomon and Frank Gilmore additionally referred to as for DeGise to resign after the hit-and-run footage was made public. In contrast to a lot of the remainder of the Council, they didn’t run on the identical slate with Fulop and DeGise in final 12 months’s municipal election.

Police physique digicam footage of DeGise from final November, printed by Hudson County View, reveals her pleading with a Hoboken police officer to not tow her illegally parked automobile, which had not been registered since 2019. She advised the police officer that she had a relative who’s an officer and supplied him a union card. She additionally mentioned that she was a metropolis councilmember endorsed by the native police union (although she had not but taken workplace) and mentioned she referred to as Hoboken metropolis legal professional John Allen to assist her.

“It’s kind of showing this pattern of somebody who thinks that the rules don’t apply to them,” Carolan mentioned.

Because the hit-and-run crash, Black, who was a meals supply employee, has began a GoFundMe web page and has obtained $4,570 as of Tuesday afternoon. “I’m left with questions about what to do and how to get back to work,” Black wrote on his GoFundMe web page.

Carolan mentioned the problem is particularly private to her as a result of her husband was hit by a automobile three years in the past when he was strolling residence from work from the Journal Sq. PATH prepare station in Jersey City. He’s nonetheless affected by again ache, she mentioned. In his case, nevertheless, the driving force stopped and participated within the police report, which has allowed Carolan’s household to pay medical payments by the driving force’s insurance coverage.

Carolan mentioned she hopes the petition she began places stress on elected officers and makes clear that they may face penalties through the subsequent election cycle if they permit DeGise to proceed serving on the council.

“Her job is to represent the constituents of the city. She hit a constituent and left him on the side of the road — it just speaks to a reckless disregard for the well-being of our city’s residents,” Carolan mentioned.

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