Brian Stack: positive changes in Union City
Rafael Román Martel
Fourteen years ago this May Union City was in the middle of a fierce political battle. People were just fed up with machine politics and a new leader had taken it upon himself to change the course: his logo was “Change ’98”. Brian Stack would lose by a few votes that election. But Stack and his followers would not change their objective, and in 2000 Stack became mayor.
Twelve years later Union City has changed dramatically. Newly paved streets, clean streets, numerous green areas, a strong and visible police presence. The scenery of the city has been transformed by new buildings, including 4 new schools with the latest technology. A Brand new facility of Hudson County Community College stands in Union City bringing opportunity to many Hudson County residents. Union City High School is a high tech institution, with all the advantages for our students.
Just in the last months two new parks have been opened to the public. Music and Art is sponsored by the current administration like never before. There are weekly events at the Union City Arts Center, an ultramodern theater in UCHS. A new library named after former mayor William Musto opened last year on 15th Street.
Union City’s mayor has been able to work with Governor Chris Christie, avoiding massive layoffs of teachers, bringing millions to improve the conditions of the city, supporting its students, taking care of our elderly, stabilizing taxes, and helping through his organization “Union City First” scores of thousands yearly.
Fourteen years ago I was one of those early supporters of Brian Stack . People, among them many in my own Cuban community, made it clear that after we had lost the election Stack was finished. Some turned their faces and preferred not to acknowledge our presence, as if we had an infectious disease. In fact some of us even lost our jobs. It was a lesson learned in Hudson County guerilla warfare.
But we never lost our faith in our mission and our candidate. We never took a step back. Stack’s contagious enthusiasm and dedication was never in doubt. That’s why I am extremely proud of the work he’s done, as thousands attest on every re-election for mayor or state senator. Well done Brian Stack!