By Jhoana T. Merino-Martinez
Teaneck Democratic chair Alexandria Soriano-Taveras announced that she is a candidate for a seat on the Democratic state Assembly and accusations of past anti-semitic remarks are coming up to haunt her.
Back in July 2020, Soriano-Taveras joined a rally outside of Teaneck’s municipal building and shouted the remark that caused controversy:
“Who owns those businesses that we continue to support on Cedar Lane? Boycott those businesses, including the Dunkin Donuts and everything, and we hurt them in their pockets,” New Jersey Globe reports.
Eight months later, these very words are called into question following her recently announced campaign in the 37th District.
The two Teaneck Deputy Majors, Elie Katz and Mark Schwartz, claim that her message was directed at the Jewish-owned stores on Cedar Lane, NorthJersey.com reports.
Soriano-Taveras told NorthJersey.com that her intention was to not shop in businesses owned by town leadership. None of the seven Teaneck council members listed income from Cedar Lane businesses on their 2020 financial disclosure forms that are required to be submitted to the state, the source continues.
Soriano-Taveras admitted that it was said in a “moment of passion,” and she never took action on it after considering the impact it would have on small businesses, New Jersey Globe reports.
The Bergen County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) defended Soriano-Taveras, claiming that the controversy is part of a pattern of attacks on people of color pursuing community positions in Teaneck.
“When people of color who have devoted endless volunteer hours to improving the community as a whole, [they] are met with attempted intimidation, attempted bullying or attempted harassment,” the NAACP said according to NorthJersey.com.
Soriano-Taveras is running against Palisades Park mayor Christopher Chung for Gordon Johnson’s Assembly seat, who is seeking a seat in the Senate himself, New Jersey Globe reports.
There was an increase of 3,691 positive COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, with 506 new cases in Bergen County.
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*Numbers according Google Statistics
Photo (top left) courtesy of the New Jersey Globe. Photo of Cedar Lane courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.