By Yadira Betances
---- — LAWRENCE — If elected mayor, Nestor H. De Jesus said he does not want to run the city alone.
“I want to have an administration where City Hall works in conjunction with residents, neighborhood groups, police and fire departments,” said De Jesus.
He compares it to the National Night Out events where fire and police departments along with neighborhood associations host block parties throughout the city so they can get to know residents better and vice versa and learn from each other better and how they can serve them.
De Jesus said top priorities during his campaign have been public safety, education and economic development.
“They all go hand in hand,” De Jesus said. “First and foremost, we have to educate our residents by providing technical workshops so they can learn new skills, foster public safety and create incentives so we can attract new factories to the city.”
Among the incentives he proposes is giving employers tax breaks.
He said education does not just mean learning math, English and science. De Jesus said he wants to work with service agencies and nonprofit organizations in hosting civic and morale classes for parents, similar to classes on etiquette.
As for education, De Jesus wants to not just provide it for children, but also for adults, specially single mothers who can learn English as a second language. By mastering the English language, they can aid their children with their homework so they can be successful in school.
Even though he is not considered a front runner in the elections, De Jesus said he is working tirelessly to get his name and ideas known throughout the city. He has been knocking on doors handing out fliers and answering questions about his plans for Lawrence. De Jesus and his volunteers also keep busy by holding signs at different city corners.
“These elections are extremely important, because we have to clean the city’s image before neighboring cities, towns and the entire nation,” said De Jesus, 60. “Unfortunately the city has lost the prestige and respect of other cities, and the time to change is now.”
One way to correct the city’s appearance is by creating a public relations program.
“We need a mayor who can boost the economy because if not, we risk the institutionalization of the city,” he said pointing at the naming of a receiver for the public schools and an overseer for the city’s finances.
To boost the city’s economy, De Jesus said he will create a committee that will work with the Economic Development Department to create incentives for possible investors.
“If you want to reduce the unemployment rate, we have to create incentives to bring in investors. We have the work force, we just need employers,” he said.
De Jesus also wants to provide more support to small businesses, which he considers the backbone of Lawrence’s economy.
De Jesus wants to go over the residential and real estate taxes, and compare them to nearby cities and towns.
To combat delinquency, De Jesus said he wants to see police officers walking the beat so they can get to know the neighbors and store owners.
“I’m running for mayor because I want to be part of the solution. An administration fails when you have few resources or investments. I want to develop a better city by working and collaborating alongside every member of the community,” De Jesus said.
Bio in Brief Born in the Dominican Republic and immigrated to Lawrence in 1985. Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting and business administration from Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. He also took psychology classes at the university. Upon his arrival to Lawrence, he enrolled at Northern Essex Community College. Work history: Founder and president of De Jesus & Asociados, an accounting firm in Lawrence. He also worked as a computer technician at Wang Laboratories. Political experience: De Jesus was a mayoral candidate in 2001, but dropped out of the race. He ran unsuccessfully for City Councilor at Large in 2009 and lost his bid to represent District D on the City Council in 1999. Community involvement: Served as president of the Association of Latin American Business Merchants, the city's Licensing Board, YMCA of Greater Lawrence and the Latin Lions Club. Family: Married to Ivelisse A. De Jesus and they have three children, Glennys, Bistany and Nestor, Jr. He has two other children, Reyna M. and Carolina De Jesus. He has three brothers and two sisters who live in Massachusetts, Florida and Puerto Rico. His brother, Jorge De Jesus is a city inspector. Jorge De Jesus ran a sticker campaign for District D in 2001, served as director of Veterans' Services and was liaison for the Hispanic Community.