Newark’s 17-Year-Old Kristen-vs-Governor Christie - My9 New Jersey

Newark’s 17-Year-Old Kristen-vs-Governor Christie

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Belmar, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

17 year-old Kristen Towkaniuk has been leading the charge to help change Newark’s public schools as Chasing New Jersey has previously reported. She wants the local administration to regain control of their public schools, not the state. This after Governor Christie recently appointed new Superintendent Cami Anderson.

Yesterday, Towkaniuk chased the Governor down to Belmar, New Jersey where he was addressing a crowd during the latest stop of his “No Pain, No Gain summer conversation tour”.

“I’ve heard a lot of different things about his town halls. That they were staged, that I wasn’t gonna get picked, but when I was picked it was like an adrenaline rush almost and I was like-this is it, wow!” she recalled.

She asked the governor if he would hold a town hall meeting in Newark.

“You claim to love Newark and it’s your hometown, but why have you blatantly ignored Newark in your over 120 town hall meetings and will you be willing to come to Newark?” she asked.

The governor responded by pleading his case that he has done a lot for New Jersey’s biggest city during his time in office.

“I’ve been to Newark, I would suspect, more than any governor who has been serving in the last 40 years. I don’t know if I had an actual town hall meeting, but I’ve had public events where people were able to ask me questions. And to say that the governor who spends $1 billion a year on the Newark school system, the governor who has spent over $4 billion on economic development for the city of Newark, is blatantly ignoring Newark, is with all due respect just not well informed. Go to Mayor Booker and ask him what he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact I spent as much time or more in Newark than anybody has and the idea that I have ignored Newark is really ridiculous,” he said.

Towkaniuk said that she wasn’t surprised by her interaction with the governor and his response to her questions.

“The entire time, as soon as I said I was the president of the Newark’s students union, his attitude just kind of went up there and he was condescending the entire time, but that’s what I expected,” she said.

 

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