|Still from the 8-year chronicle of Hoboken gentrification, Delivered Vacant|
At 2PM today, the fate of HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia's run for Assembly will be decided by Superior Court Judge Peter Bariso.
So what do you think will happen?The hearing scheduled before Superior Court Assignment Judge Peter Bariso on the voters’ lawsuit challenging the eligibility of Carmelo Garcia to run for General Assembly in LD 33, originally scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow, has been moved to Friday at 2 p.m.The change in time follows an unsuccessful attempt by Garcia to have a federal, rather than a state judge, decide the issues in the case.Late this afternoon, U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi issued a 6-page opinion remanding the case back to Judge Bariso. In granting the remand, Judge Cecchi wrote that “it would be more efficient for Judge Bariso to continue with the resolution of this matter” since Judge Bariso has already begun considering the issues involved and had previously issued an order stopping the printing of ballots.
GA has no idea.
But last week, something on MSV caught my eye. It was buried in a comment by Mi Reinona!, who had posted an essay called "Why I became an elected official" by Carmelo Garcia. Here's what Garcia wrote:
Growing up, I witnessed many injustices to minorities and to those of the underprivileged class... In the 1980s my family lost our home due to arson. We were forced to leap from a third-story window to escape the flames. This was during a time in Hoboken, N.J. when Hispanic families were being burned out to make room for the gentrification of the condo development.Garcia tells us of his life experience of being burned out of his home for the gentrification of Hoboken, depicted in Nora Jacobsen's brilliant documentary Delivered Vacant.
How ironic then, that one of the tenant's rights activists featured in the movie, a fighter for tenants like Garcia and his family, is Sheilah Scully, one of 5 Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Carmelo Garcia.
From The Hoboken Reporter, Apr 23, 2007:
One of the tenant activists featured in the movie, Sheilah Scully, hasn't been involved in town politics in recent years but still resides in Hoboken. She told the Reporter in 1997 that things have definitely changed since the 1980s.Isn't that ironic?
"[I]t was very, very traumatic," Scully said. "People were dying. The issues were very visceral, very profound. It seemed very black and white. It just doesn't feel that way now. I have a strong sense of 'we're all in this together.' "
I thought it was. Because the subtext of Garcia's schtick is that those who burned him out of his home (yuppies) are the ones trying to scalp him now, and that his ethnicity, Hispanic, is a factor.
Sheilah's long history of community activism, her battles for clean elections, and her fight against powerful interests for the rights of (Garcia's words) the "minorities and the underprivileged class" in the days of gentrification-by-fire, obliterates playing the ethnicity card.
Boy, does it ever.