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Anti-Blue Law Group Has Enough Signatures For November Ballot

"Modernize Bergen County" has gathered 2,500 signatures to get a referendum in front of voters this November.

Members of Modernize Bergen County. Photo submitted.
Members of Modernize Bergen County. Photo submitted.
A group of Bergen County residents who want to repeal the county's Blue Laws have secured the 2,500 signatures they need to get a referendum on the ballot in November.

The group, called Modernize Bergen County, began gathering signatures for their petition earlier this year after then-Westwood resident Rosemary Shashoua was inspired by Gov. Chris Christie's order to suspend the laws following Hurricane Sandy.

The group plans to file their petitions in early September and will continue gathering extra signatures until then, according to Shashoua.

The Blue Laws issue has been debated by other county residents who want to keep the laws. Even if the referendum is successful, some stores in retail-heavy Paramus will likely have to remain shut on Sundays because the town has its own additional Blue Laws.

Those who support keeping the laws have said they want to have a peaceful day with less traffic and let retail employees have a day off, while those who want to repeal the laws have argued an extra day of sales each week could help struggling businesses.

Previous referendums to repeal the laws were defeated 192,394 to 157,648 in 1980 and 185,821 to 105,040 in 1993, but Amy Margolin, a volunteer with Modernize Bergen County, said she believed this time could be different.

"No one else in the country lives this way anymore," Margolin said. "It's not normal to have laws like that. It's absolutely bizarre."

Shashoua said she hoped that a state bill which would allow car sales on Sundays across New Jersey would also bring in more support for the Bergen County issue.

Anyone who does want to sign the petition can find a copy here and mail it to Modernize Bergen County, P.O. Box 1247, Hackensack, NJ 07602.
BellairBerdan August 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Sure FL4LIFE, right after you name the majority of barber shops and salons in town open on Sundays and tell me the local mom and pop sock store and school supply store you need to shop at on Sunday, or how Goodmans wished they could be open on Sundays when they already were. These aren't difficult requests if you want to make those statements as fact as you did.
Q August 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Have they gone mad? It's not normal to put up with traffic, pollution just because other towns do. THINK peolple. You have no life if you need this every day! Sunday is such a relief from the horrible traffic, it should never be changed.
Phil Brooks August 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM
FL4LIFE, I proved your point? You don't have a point. You pull numbers out of your ass and call that a point. // If the lack of Sunday shopping was draining money out of the county as those people went, en masse, to Palisades, Willowbrook or wherever, stores would have been open here on Sundays a long time ago. // Your assumption is that there are a massive amount of people that do the majority of their shopping only on Sunday and their exodus to shopping centers in other counties is somehow bleeding Bergen dry. And I'll answer you that GSP is the third most profitable mall in this country, so maybe your assumption is a false one. // Nice try.
Think Twice August 28, 2013 at 03:47 PM
I hope this gets turned down once again. I've lived in Bergen my entire life and it's nice to know there's at least one day a week that you don't have to deal with absurd traffic any time of the day. I've also had friends and family working in retail who really appreciate Sundays off. They have to work just about every holiday and occasion, they should be guaranteed a day of rest. We're close enough to other shopping areas that are opened on Sundays if you decide that you MUST have something on a Sunday afternoon.
Beth Rosenberg August 28, 2013 at 09:19 PM
June 30 was deadline to submit. Give up! Blue laws will never be repealed. Stop being anti-Christian bigots

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