“Policy that is based on facts and data often gets overruled by the desire to hold onto power. I see my mom in the faces of people who have voiced their frustrations to the people with power, only to have their voices shushed or silenced. I’m running for office because my mom is tired of fighting and if she is tired, then so is everyone else.”https://union.njprogressives.com/aissaheath
Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Aissa Catherine Heath for Union County Freeholder:
Contract Vetting: I will rigorously review all county contracts to make sure they reflect fiscal responsibility and the values of constituents.
Pay to Play: I will not exchange professional service contracts for donations to my campaign or the campaigns of my friends/allies. When possible, I will open contracts up for a competitive bidding process, instead of automatically renewing last year’s contract.
Comment: I don’t understand why specific rules aren’t already in place in Union County to address pay-to-play and I would fight to have this stated in the by-laws of Freeholders.
Professionalism: I will commit my time and energy to full length meetings that make information accessible to the public. I will not support rushing through an abbreviated consent agenda.
Comment: I believe that information should not only be more accessible, but should be understandable by everyone. All meeting minutes should be translated into the three main languages in the county, at a minimum. In addition, there needs to be more time for feedback from the community.
Meeting location: I believe meetings should rotate throughout the county in order to make attendance more feasible for residents of all municipalities.
Comment: This, and it should conciser people with various disabilities who might need a ASL interpreter, someone who may not have visible disabilities, and similar considerations.
Meeting structure: I believe the bulk of the meeting should focus on county business rather than award ceremonies or speeches.
Comment: A lot of time is wasted not focusing on direct policy. We would have more time for public comment if we cut back on catered speeches.
Meeting accessibility: I support using technology to make meeting attendance more accessible for residents, via recording or live-streaming of meetings or other remote attendance options.
Comment: Again, I’m not sure why in 2020 people don’t have online access to meetings, especially for people who may not be able to physically attend a meeting but want to participate.
Information reporting: I support easily accessible online meeting agendas and minutes. I support user-friendly budgets so residents can easily see how public funds are allocated. I support user friendly agendas that include explainers about resolutions being voted on.
Comment: As someone who is running for Freeholder, I have spent hours trying to go through minutes and budgets. I can only imagine someone who doesn’t have the same amount of time to go through all of this information.
The “county line” in primary election ballots: Realizing that being placed in a preferential ballot position hinges on freeholder candidates and that the county line is misleading and manipulative to voters, I will take a firm stand against the county line and advocate for a bubble ballot as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ.
Comment: Yes, my running-mates and I have tried to explain how misleading the county line is, and I am for completely for changing the structure of the ballot to make it fair to everyone, regardless of political affiliation.
Responsible County Entity Oversight: I will work to ensure that the county entities I oversee — libraries, parks, technical schools, community colleges, correction facilities, infrastructure — are safe, professionally staffed and appropriately funded.
Appointments to Boards, Authorities and Commissions: I will appoint people with diverse perspectives to boards, authorities and committees, opening up government for greater participation, rather than selecting the well-connected. Because new ideas and voices are important, I will seek out new residents to fill these board positions rather than having the same individuals serve for decades.
More information about Aissa Catherine Heath:
Education: B.A in Economics with minor in Physics from Rutgers University – Newark. A.A in Business from Union County College
Current Occupation: Technical Research Assistant
Public/party service: Currently, I am a member of Kappa Psi Epsilon Sorority, Inc., which focuses on community service for children in the foster care system or dealing with homelessness. I also am a part of the Union County Mutual Aid group and run food deliveries when time allows for other groups. I have spent my time in college in a number of student organizations in leadership roles where I spent many hours doing community service including fundraising for Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria, fundraising for various charities like Alex’s Lemonade Stand, attending protest for Black Lives Matter since 2017/2018 and climate change protest in NYC, and was a photojournalist for the student yearbook. My time in politics is brief, but I have spent time advocating for better water quality in Elizabeth, NJ, attending and actively participating in protest advocating for an end to police brutality, and focusing on bringing attention to progressive issues and platforms in New Jersey.