John Arvanites wants to represent everyone.
Arvanites is the Democratic candidate seeking to represent New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, which includes Essex County towns like Verona, Cedar Grove, Montclair, Bloomfield and the Caldwells. The district was redrawn following the 2010 Census.
Arvanites against longtime incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen.
Arvanites said he is interested in truly representing the needs of the entire district, not just people located on either end of the socio-economic and political spectrums.
“We don’t have a middle class anymore, we have a majority class and that’s who I want to represent,” Arvanites said. “That’s why you get elected to these positions, to do what’s best for the majority, not to do what is best for you and not just a small group of people who you want to represent.
A certified public accountant, Arvanites served on the Roseland Borough Council for 10 years. He was mayor of Roseland from 2007 to 2010.
Arvanites is president of Arvanites & Associates and co-founded Integrated Payroll Systems Inc.
Arvanites created an independent coalition comprised of people from various political viewpoints to help reform Roseland's municipal government.
“We were committed to doing what was right for the town and that’s the only way I know how to operate,” Arvanites said. “Figure out creative ways of solving a problem.”
Arvanites it would be an uphill battle to unseat Frelinghuysen in a district that has traditionally been dominated by Republicans. The new district includes parts of Essex, Passaic, Morris and Sussex counties.
Backing the construction of a drainage tunnel is one way Arvanites wants to alleviate the worries of people living in Wayne.
Arvanites’ father-in-law helped design the original flood tunnel that was proposed as a solution in the 1990s to alleviate flooding in the Passaic River Flood Basin. Then-Gov. Christie Todd Whitman decided against creating the tunnel.
Arvanites said residents should not be forced from their homes when the town floods.
“In the greatest country in the world, we shouldn’t have to live like that,” Arvanites said. “There is a solution on the table, let’s not ignore it. Let’s do something about it. I can’t see how it is not good public policy to save people from their homes.”