Roy Freiman (D) Candidate for NJ Assembly
Profession: full-time lawmaker
Q: Why are you running?
“I earnestly believe that all of NJ’s problems can be solved. We face a lot of challenges, and these are all man-made problems, so these are problems we can solve. We can move to making the environment safer and cleaner and support the growth of the business economy.”
Q: Can NJ Transit be fixed?
“The source of the problem and the solution are often found in the mirror. Blaming everything on Amtrak is unfair. They certainly own the Northeast Corridor line, but they don’t own 100 percent of everything.”
“I think it’s been years and years of gutting its budget, of poor leadership, on not having the prioritization. When one governor says, ‘I’m not going to prioritize it’ and does that for eight years and allows it to go downhill, you can’t flip it around instantaneously.”
Q: Open Space vs Affordable Housing
“The question is, how do you approach it? It starts with what are your core beliefs on both issues. Do you believe people should have access to housing in all of our communities regardless of their income level? What is our obligation of what’s appropriate and fair as it relates to housing?”
“Repurposing abandoned shopping areas and other areas and making it multi-use space and reconfiguring, I think these are all the creative approaches that could bring in affordable housing as well as not decimate the open space.”
Q: Thoughts on current NJ leadership?
“There are a lot things that are laudable that have been done. And I think Gov Murphy’s made missteps, so there are things that he’s done that I don’t agree with. His fighting with Senate President (Steve) Sweeney (D) is annoying. So you hear the headlines that we’re not getting things done because Trenton’s at a stalemate because they’re infighting.”
“I put together an abbreviated list of things we did in spite of all this infighting: Restoring women’s health care; establishing some of the best equal pay laws in the country; minimum wage so we have a living wage; fully funded the homestead rebate; gun violence prevention; expanded medical marijuana; secured choice; opened more retirement plans for individuals; doubled tax credits for veterans; and blocked off-shore drilling.”
Q: US News & World Report said NJ ranked near the bottom for fiscal stability. How do you ensure the state has balanced budgets and improves its credit rating?
“You need to make sure you have a thriving economy to support wherever you’re going. If we can start thinking differently about the issue, we stand a chance of actually having a different outcome.”
Q: Marijuana legalization?
“I support it. The way to legalize it should be through a referendum. If an adult wants to use it at home for recreation, do it responsibly. I’m fine with that. So that’s a choice they can make as an adult. It shouldn’t be in the kids’ hands.”
Q: What are the differences between you and your opponents?
“I haven’t heard a lot about the policy positions of my opponents yet. So I would rather talk about the things that I’m doing rather than them.” ■