Local Beat: Voting Block partners talk election issues with NJ voters

Local Beat is the NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best reporting by community news sources.

VOTING BLOCK PARTNERS TALK ELECTION ISSUES WITH NEW JERSEY VOTERS
Reporters and local news partners involved with the ongoing collaborative reporting project known as Voting Block published some of their first stories this week. Each reporting partner was tasked with profiling a particular neighborhood or “block” within their respective communities to get a better understanding of the most important issues facing the state as we prepare to elect a new governor in November.

  • Mark Bonamo of TAPinto Newark focused on Halsey Street in Newark, where many voters are concerned about the spectre of gentrification and development.
  • Donny Levit of Village Green covered a well-trafficked stretch of Elmwood Avenue between Prospect Street and several blocks past Boyden Avenue in Maplewood, New Jersey.
  • Jeff Schwachter of SNJ Today asked a group of voters in Vineland, New Jersey to lay out the issues that they feel should be at the top of the new governor’s priority list.
  • Daniel Nee of Shorebeat visited Hurricane Sandy’s “ground zero” in Ortley Beach where he spoke with voters to find out what they expect from the new governor when it comes to the ongoing Sandy recovery efforts.

ANDERSON COOPER IN MORRISTOWN: ‘FAKE NEWS,’ THE FRONT LINES, AND THE EYE ROLL
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper took the stage last weekend at Morristown’s Mayo Preforming Arts Center to discuss everything from his days as a freelancer with a fake press pass to his coverage of the Trump administration. Kevin Coughlin of Morristown Green says Cooper also touched on his infamous “eye roll” earlier this year while interviewing Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway, which went viral on social media

BELFAST LORD MAYOR NUALA MCALLISTER VISITS PATERSON
Belfast Lord Mayor Nuala McCallister stopped in Paterson earlier this week as part of a six-day trip to the United States, where she reflected on her own city’s history as a once-prominent industrial powerhouse. Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson says the visit included a tour of South Paterson and a social non-profit service agency that focuses on empowering women and children and breaking the cycle of poverty.

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL HONORS PRINCETON GRAD STUDENT IMPRISONED IN IRAN
Friends, family, and colleagues of Xiyue Wang gathered for a candlelight vigil and called on the government of Iran to release the Princeton graduate student. Jeanette Beebe of Newsworks says Wang was sentenced to ten years in prison by Iranian authorities on charges of espionage and recently lost an appeal of his conviction.

MANUFACTURING CAUCUS DISCUSSES PLANS TO DIVERSIFY OPTIONS, REMOVE STIGMAS
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker stood in front of the new bipartisan Manufacturing Caucus in Paterson on Tuesday to discuss the group’s plans to prime New Jersey to produce the next Amazon, rather than simply clambering to convince the actual Amazon to open its new headquarters in the state. Anjalee Khemlani of ROI-NJ says the Manufacturing Caucus plans to diversify training options for workers, remove stigmas associated with manufacturing, and attract more workers through the removal of affordability barriers.

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