This week the administration heralded receipt of an award for its policies on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community, fire department promotions and park improvements.

***

For the 11th consecutive year, Jersey City has earned a perfect score from the nationwide 2023 Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index.

“To achieve a perfect score in LGBTQ+ rights 11 years in a row is a testament to our unwavering dedication towards establishing equality for all,” said Mayor Fulop.  “Every person deserves equal rights and equal opportunity, and as one of the most diverse cities in the nation, Jersey City is proudly leading by example.”

The annual Pride event and other important initiatives have “catapulted Jersey City to the top of most gay-friendly lists, consistently outranking places such as New York City and San Francisco” said a press release.  Earlier this year, the award-winning documentary “Strength through Visibility” was released to mark 20 years of Pride in Jersey City.

***

The city promoted a Deputy Chief, five Battalion Chiefs, and five Captains during a ceremony inside Council Chambers yesterday.  Said a press release, “The historic number of promotions made by the Fulop Administration over the past 10 years has not only led to additional firefighters and more leadership department-wide, but it has also established more diversity throughout the department’s ranks and much-needed manpower for the over 13,000 annual calls for service the JCFD responds to.”

Joseph DiTommaso was promoted to Deputy Chief; Christopher Daliani, Peter Nowak, Kevin Child, Jeffrey Batt, and Daniel Dornacker Jr. were promoted to Battalion Chief and Christopher Russell, Erik Dolaghan, Nicholas Laietta, John Calderone and Matthew Weisman were promoted to Captain.

***

Mayor Fulop announced the completion of over 25 park improvement projects.  Utilizing community input and $846,000 in Community Development Block Grants awarded to Jersey City, it was “among the largest citywide park improvement projects in decades” said a press release.

“In Jersey City, we have made a commitment to open space by not only renovating parks but also opening new parks, whether it’s Coles Street Park or Fairmount Park or Bethune Park or even Berry Lane Park, which didn’t exist ten years ago and has become one of the most popular parks in our City,” Fulop said at a press conference Friday in Bayside Park. 

Construction on several major park projects began in 2023 and will be finished in the new year, including Bergen Square (new plaza and park), Reservoir 3 (safety upgrades and a new continuous recreational path for public use), Leonard Gordon Park, (safety upgrades) and Riverview Park Field (new turf field to make the space more usable for free play).

The administration's record on parks has been mixed, however. This year The Trust for Public Land annual ParkScore® index ranked Jersey City 45th of the 100 largest U.S. cities, down from 36th last year, owing largely to the fact that spending on parks did not keep pace with population growth reported in the 2020 census. As a result, Jersey City saw its per capita spending on parks fall to $56 per person from $74.

The city did receive high marks for park access, with ninety-eight percent of residents living within a 10-minute walk of a park. But Jersey City’s ParkScore ranking was hurt by the city’s median park size of 0.6 acres, which is below the national ParkScore average of 5.4 acres.