Bill Pascrell began his career as a high school teacher, so when it comes to giving out grades, the longtime congressman knows what he’s doing.
Asked to grade the new mayor of his hometown, Paterson, after just 58 days on the job, Pascrell though for a few seconds and that gave Andre Sayegh an A.
“I know that he’s working hard every day,” said Pascrell, who played an influential role in electing Sayegh last May. “We talk frequently.”
Pascrell, who was mayor from 1990 to 1997, said he’s never stopped thinking of himself as the mayor – a point Sayegh agreed with – and said that he constantly calls his successor with comments.
Now seeking re-election to a 12th term in Congress, Pascrell was at the Boys & Girls Club in Paterson this morning to announce $5.4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Paterson. The grants will help fund housing for low and moderate income residents, support Paterson’s homeless population, and provide funding for residents infected with HIV and AIDS.
“These HUD awards are a game-changer for Paterson. They will be a big help to some of our city’s residents struggling the most: those seeking stable housing opportunities, the homeless, and men and women struggling with HIV and AIDS,” Pascrell said. “The affordable housing crisis in America leaves too many New Jersey families facing impossible financial challenges. These grants will give New Jerseyans in my district some of the tools they need to get in safe and affordable housing, the first step to a better life.”
Sayegh called Pascrell a “100% Jersey fighter who continues to deliver for his district.”
“Thank you, Congressman, for bringing home the bacon continuously,” the mayor said.
“These HUD grants are needed more than ever as my Administration looks to combat some of our city’s biggest challenges – from homelessness to increased opportunities for youth and so much more,” said Sayegh. “This funding not only allows us to address certain community needs, but to empower our non-profit and faith based community to be partners in these efforts.”