The recently formed Future of North Hudson, a community organization made up of community leaders and small business owners in North Bergen, West New York, Union City, Guttenberg and Weehawken, has released a 9 point list of principles for lifting the restrictions on business, and ultimately reopening towns once given the go-ahead from Governor Phil Murphy.
The group was founded by local attorney Adil Ahmed of West New York. The checkpoint list of recommendations was comprised by 29 of the group’s members, with a goal of providing the government leadership from each of the five municipalities with its suggestions.
Ahmed told Hudson TV during a telephone conversation this afternoon that, “I plan to reach out to the Mayor’s and Clerk’s Offices tomorrow morning to see what their reaction to our suggestions is.” Ahmed says the towns can take ownership of any of the nine ideas presented in their recovery plan.
The bullet point suggestions for recovery are:
- Expanded Testing Capacity in West New York, North Bergen and Guttenberg. All residents, regardless of immigration status or symptoms, should be tested for the coronavirus at no cost. Ahmed says, “there is a lack of testing in the northern part of the county right now.” Independent pharmacies should be allowed to test.
- Ensure that all Residents Have Ample Access to Hand Sanitizer, Soap, Masks & Gloves. The towns should form a partnership with a New Jersey-based manufacturer that is producing these products and they should be purchased in bulk and be distributed to residents living in the five towns.
- Community & Economic Development Focused on Filling Food Deserts. Ahmed says grocery stores, particularly those on Palisade and Hudson Avenues, are struggling to stay open. Residents must have access to fresh foods. Stores need to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Designated hours allowing senior citizens to shop must be maintained through the end of the pandemic.
- Rent Abatements for Property Owners Predicated on Mandatory Rent Reductions. Ahmed says rental payments should be canceled for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This would depend on Governor Murphy.
- House the Rapidly Increasing Homeless Community. The homeless must be tested and housed in safe unit where they can socially distance. Ahmed says North Hudson needs two, new homeless shelters. The closest is in Union City and it is often filled to capacity.
- Implement Robust and Sensitive Contact Tracing. Contact tracing must be culturally sensitive, immigrant friendly and language accessible.
- Open Municipal Parks & Staff them with Town Employees. This would ensure that social distancing guidelines are observed. Parks would only be open to exhibit the works of local artists and to walk pets.
- All Warehouses & Factories Must be Inspected on a Regular Basis. Reports must be provided on Tuesdays and Fridays from each factory or warehouse of the number of positive COVID-19 cases, deaths, etc. in that facility.
- All Data Must be Shared Among the 5 Towns. Statistically, all data must be broken down by municipality.
For further information on the Future of North Hudson, just visit their website at www.thefutureofwny.com .