The first thing the next governor of New Jersey should do is get out of Atlantic City, a group of city residents agreed at a recent dinner in Bungalow Park. The almost one-year-old takeover of the city, which came after years of state oversight failed to avert a fiscal crisis in the gambling resort, is deeply unpopular with residents. Not one of the 13 guests at our Voting Block gathering at the Back Bay Ale House thought the state should continue its oversight. Neighbors from Bungalow Park, a bayfront enclave of homeowners that has withstood Superstorm Sandy and AtlanticheCity’s many cycles of urban renewal and urban neglect, fear rising property taxes are threatening their community. And with the state in charge of the city government, they have even less of a platform from which to raise that issue – and others – than ever before.
As part of Voting Block, a collaborative reporting project on the governor’s race involving 25 news organizations and dozens of neighbors, we want to know what your priorities are for the next governor. We’re creating a “people’s agenda” to send whoever wins the election on Nov. 7. And we need your help to build it. Tell us what you want the next governor to focus on during the first 100 days in office.
Route 40 gathered together a group of residents from Atlantic City’s Bungalow Park neighborhood at the Back Bay Ale House on Tuesday, Oct. 17 to talk about the New Jersey gubernatorial race and the issues their community would like to see addressed by the next governor. The conversation was recorded as part of the collaborative reporting project Voting Block.