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Despite bad press, Liberty State Park bill represents progress

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Proposed rendering of a modernized Liberty State Park.

Liberty State Park is on the verge of transformational change as legislators in Trenton seem poised to finally pass a bill that would modernize the park.

The proposal currently being fast-tracked in the state legislature would dedicate $250,000,000 to remediating contaminated land, developing eco-sustainability projects to combat climate change, and building world-class recreation facilities in Liberty State Park.

In an effort to undermine that progress, The Jersey Journal has portrayed Paul Fireman – owner of Liberty National Gold Club – as the “Billionaire Boogeyman” behind a conspiracy to turn Liberty State Park into one giant golf course with the help of his devious political cronies.

Given the newspaper’s track record of deliberately overlooking social injustice, it’s probably best they engage in self-reflection rather than virtue signaling by boosting Sam Pesin’s exclusionary vision for “the real People’s Park.”

Pesin – leader of the non-profit Friends of Liberty State Park – isn’t a billionaire, but he’s politically powerful. For decades, he’s successfully opposed efforts to reimagine & redevelop parts of the park which would lead to an increase in visitors. Nevertheless, it appears the time for real change has finally arrived – especially when you consider the State of New Jersey has a $12 billion budget surplus.

Politically speaking, Fireman’s proposal would serve a much broader and diverse population than Pesin’s status quo. On top of building athletic facilities befitting of national competitions, adding more recreational opportunities to Liberty State Park will create more safe spaces for Jersey City’s youth.

That’s why, despite the bad press, all three of Hudson County’s state senators are sponsoring the legislation. Be that as it may, people should decide for themselves if the outrage is false or not by reading the Liberty State Park Conservation, Recreation, and Community Inclusion Act for themselves (the bill is seven pages, the statement/summary is two pages).

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