(Long Branch, NJ, 01/06/2011) Jacob Zychick, chairman of the
newly created Reform Party of New Jersey, recently visited the
largely vacant storefronts of downtown Long Branch. The
oceanfront resort’s business district, located along Broadway, is
populated primarily by empty structures, a reminder of a failed
“Broadway Center” redevelopment project.
Long Branch garnered national controversy in the early 2000s
when the city, seeking to redevelop the boardwalk, utilized
Eminent Domain to evict homeowners along the city’s
oceanfront. Similar tactics were to be implemented on Broadway,
however, the plan is largely viewed as dead, leaving the city’s
once bustling business district an empty shell. In August of 2009,
a New Jersey court ruled against the city in its redevelopment
“Long Branch is a city suffering economic stagnation,” said
Zychick. “The public sector has let the people down, and now it is
time to call them out on it!”
The Reform Party of New Jersey was first conceived in 2009 by a
group of student activists seeking to form a viable alternative to
the two major parties. The party is the successor to the original
NJ Reform Party, which was founded in the wake of independent
Ross Perot’s presidential bid in 1992.
While the original NJ Reform Party was dissolved in 2000, the
new organization has made great strides over the past year,
even sending members to Dallas to meet with national party
leadership (and Ross Perot) in October 2010. The party, which
seeks to serve “Main Street and not Wall Street,” has become
vocally critical of Eminent Domain abuse, and local government’s
failure to acknowledge their own flawed policies.
“Long Branch will become just a city-wide strip mall,” said
Zychick. “The continued implementation of Eminent Domain
abuse has caused a rapid deterioration in the city’s once prized
character. This attempted corporate gentrification has, ironically,
resulted in the loss of almost all businesses; I counted only one
open business on the eastern portion of Broadway.”
Zychick plans on leading a group of Reform Party activists to
Asbury Park, another oceanfront city plagued by Eminent Domain
abuse, to discuss the issue with local business owners.
“The residents cannot allow the city’s government to blame the
national economic downturn for this loss of businesses,” said
Zychick. “They must remember that it was the lack of true
leadership that brought cities like Long Branch and Asbury Park
to their own economic demise.”
In the wake of Zychick’s visit to Long Branch, the Reform Party
of NJ has announced a meeting of anti-Eminent Domain activists
to take place in downtown Asbury Park, on January 22nd, 2011.
The group hopes to meet with local business and homeowners,
many of whom live under the constant threat of having their
properties seized. The reformers will congregate in John F.
Kennedy Park, located on Grand Avenue, starting at 2:30pm.
Further details and scheduled guests will be announced.
“If you are as angry as I am,” said Zychick, “then join the
Reform Party of New Jersey’s activists on our visit to downtown
Asbury Park on January 22nd, 2011!”
Visit www.reformpartynj.org or e-mail
ReformPartyNJ@Gmail.com for further information or to confirm