Perth Amboy, New Jersey

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Description

Perth Amboy is a city in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States. The City of Perth Amboy is part of the New York metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 50,814, reflecting an increase of 3,511 (+7.4%) from the 47,303 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 5,336 (+12.7%) from the 41,967 counted in the 1990 Census. The Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated that the city's population was 51,390 in 2019, ranking the city the 758th-most-populous in the country. Perth Amboy has a Hispanic majority population. In the 2010 census, persons of "Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin" made up 78.1% of the population, the second-highest in the state, behind Union City at 84.7%. Perth Amboy is known as the "City by the Bay", referring to its location adjoining Raritan Bay.The earliest residents of the area were the Lenape Native Americans, who called the point on which the city lies "Ompoge". Perth Amboy was settled in 1683 by Scottish colonists and was called "New Perth" after James Drummond, 4th Earl of Perth; the native name was eventually corrupted and the two names were merged. Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter in 1718, and the New Jersey Legislature reaffirmed its status in 1784, after independence. The city was a capital of the Province of New Jersey from 1686 to 1776. During the mid-1800s, the Industrial Revolution and immigration grew the city, developing a variety of neighborhoods which residents from a diverse range of ethnicities lived in. The city developed into a resort town for the Raritan Bayshore near it, but the city has grown in other industries since its redevelopment starting in the 1990s. Perth Amboy borders the Arthur Kill and features a historic waterfront. The Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was once an important ferry slip on the route south from New York City; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The Raritan Yacht Club, one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States, is located in the city. Perth Amboy is connected to the Staten Island borough of New York City via the Outerbridge Crossing.

History

Name

The Lenape Native Americans called the point on which the city is built "Ompoge", meaning "level ground" or "standing or upright". When settled in 1684, the new city was dubbed "New Perth" in honor of James Drummond, Earl of Perth, one of the 12 associates of a company of Scottish proprietors; Drummond has been honored with a statue located outside of city hall. The Algonquian language name persisted, corrupted to Ambo, or Point Amboy, and eventually a combination of the native and colonial names emerged, also appearing in South Amboy.

Scottish colony

Perth Amboy was settled by Scottish colonists around 1683 who had been recruited to inhabit the share of the East Jersey colony owned by Robert Barclay, a Quaker who would later become the absentee governor of the province.

Charter and incorporation

Perth Amboy was formed by Royal charter on August 4, 1718, within various townships and again by New Jersey Legislature on December 21, 1784, within Perth Amboy Township and from part of Woodbridge Township. Perth Amboy Township was formed on October 31, 1693, and was enlarged during the 1720s to encompass Perth Amboy city. Perth Amboy Township was incorporated as one of New Jersey's initial 104 townships through the Township Act of 1798 on February 21, 1798. The township was replaced by Perth Amboy city on April 8, 1844.

Provincial capital

Elizabeth (then known as Elizabethtown) was designated in 1668 as the first capital of New Jersey. In 1686, Perth Amboy was designated as the capital of East Jersey, while Burlington was the capital of West Jersey. After the two were united as a royal colony in 1702, the two cities alternated as the capital of the Province of New Jersey until November 1790, when Trenton was designated as the unified state capital, chosen based on its location midway between New York City and Philadelphia.A few of the buildings from this early period can still be seen today. Most notably, the Proprietary House, the home of William Franklin, the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and estranged son of Benjamin Franklin, still stands in the waterfront area of the city. Architect John Edward Pryor was hired in 1761 to design and construct the building, which was completed in September 1764, years late and over budget. Franklin preferred his alternate home in Burlington. Franklin finally moved in 1774 into the Proprietary House. Franklin's father, Ben, tried unsuccessfully to convince his son to support the Colonial cause. William Franklin was arrested and detained at Proprietary House in 1776 until he was tried and convicted of treason.Perth Amboy City Hall was first built as a court house for Middlesex County in 1714, having been designated as the county seat the previous year. The building was later used as the home of the East Jersey Provincial Assembly. The building was destroyed by a major fire in 1731 and rebuilt in 1745. Another fire was deliberately set in 1764, forcing a rebuilding that was completed in 1767. It is the oldest city hall in continuous use in the United States. On November 20, 1789, City Hall was the site where the New Jersey General Assembly met to ratify the Bill of Rights, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.Market Square, located across from City Hall, is a park that had been an outdoor marketplace during the Colonial era. Market Square includes a replica of the Liberty Bell, a statue of George Washington and the Bill of Rights Arch, which commemorates the fact that New Jersey was the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.St. Peter's Church, which held its first service in 1685 and received a royal charter in 1718, has been recognized as the first Episcopal congregation in the state. Its current building, dating from the 1850s, is surrounded by a graveyard of early inhabitants and displays a collection of stained-glass windows with religious scenes as well as early depictions of New Jersey receiving her charter and a meeting between William Franklin and his father, Ben.Perth Amboy was New Jersey's primary inbound port for African slaves.The Kearny Cottage is a remaining example of 18th-century vernacular architecture. Operated as a historic house museum and operated by the Kearny Cottage Historical Society. Built in 1781 on High Street, the house was moved to Sadowski Parkway in the 1920s, and was later relocated to its current site at 63 Catalpa Avenue, just inland from the mouth of the Raritan River.During the colonial period and for a significant time thereafter, Perth Amboy was an important way-station for travelers between New York City and Philadelphia, as it was the site of a ferry that crossed the Arthur Kill to Tottenville, Staten Island. The first ferry operated in 1684 and regular service began operating in 1709. This ferry became less important when the Outerbridge Crossing opened in 1928, but continued to operate until 1963. In 1998, the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip was restored to its 1904 appearance. A replica of the ticket office has been constructed and is used as a small museum.On March 31, 1870, Thomas Mundy Peterson became the first African-American in the United States to vote in an election under the recently enacted provisions of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Peterson voted in an election to update the Perth Amboy city charter.

Industrialization and immigration

By the middle of the 19th century, immigration and industrialization transformed Perth Amboy. Factories such as A. Hall and Sons Terra Cotta, Guggenheim and Sons and the Copper Works Smelting Company fueled a thriving downtown and employed many area residents. Growth was further stimulated by becoming the tidewater terminal for the Lehigh Valley Railroad and a coal shipping point. Perth Amboy developed tightly-knit and insular ethnic neighborhoods such as Budapest, Dublin, and Chickentown. Immigrants from Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Russia, and Austria quickly dominated the factory jobs.In 1903, the Perth Amboy Public Library, one of the first Carnegie libraries in the state, made possible through grants from Andrew Carnegie and donations by local philanthropists, opened to the public.In 1914, Perth Amboy had a baseball team called the Pacers; they only played for one season.In late August 1923, an estimated 6,000 persons rioted, breaking through police lines after the Ku Klux Klan attempted to organize a meeting in the city.The city was a resort town in the 19th century and early 20th century, located on the northern edge of the Raritan Bayshore. Since the early 1990s Perth Amboy has seen redevelopment. Small businesses have started to open up, helped by the city's designation as an Urban Enterprise Zone. The waterfront has also seen a rebirth. The marina has been extended, and there are new promenades, parks, and housing overlooking the bay. The chapter "More Alarms at Night" in humorist James Thurber's biography My Life and Hard Times involves Perth Amboy. One night during his adolescence in Ohio, young Thurber is unable to go to sleep because he cannot remember the name of this New Jersey community. He wakens his father, demanding that he start naming towns in New Jersey. When the startled father names several towns with single-word names, Thurber replies that the name he is seeking is "two words, like helter skelter". This convinces his father that Thurber has become dangerously insane. Thurber also wrote the story later made into the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, about an "inconsequential guy from Perth Amboy, New Jersey". Perth Amboy's water pumping station is located in Old Bridge Township.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 5.93 square miles (15.36 km2), including 4.66 square miles (12.07 km2) of land and 1.27 square miles (3.28 km2) of water (21.37%).Perth Amboy, and South Amboy across the Raritan River, are collectively referred to as The Amboys. Signage for Exit 11 on the New Jersey Turnpike refers to "The Amboys" as a destination. The Amboys are the northern limit of the area informally referred to as the Bayshore. Perth Amboy borders Woodbridge Township (adjacent by land to the north and west), Sayreville (to the southwest, across the Raritan River), South Amboy (south across the upper reaches of Raritan Bay, directly connected only by rail), and the New York City borough of Staten Island (east across the Arthur Kill).Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the city include Barber, Eagleswood and Florida Grove.Perth Amboy sits on a geological layer of clay several hundred feet thick. Consequently, clay mining and factories such as A. Hall and Sons Terra Cotta located in Perth Amboy in the late 19th century.In the September 2005 issue, Golf Magazine named Perth Amboy the unofficial "Golf Capital of the U.S.", despite the fact that there are no golf courses within the city limits, citing the city's access to 25 of the magazine's Top 100 Golf Courses in the U.S., which can be found within 150 mi (240 km) of Perth Amboy.

Waterfront

Perth Amboy features a historic waterfront, which has gone through significant revitalization. Local attractions include the Perth Amboy Ferry Slip, two small museums, an art gallery, a yacht club, and a marina. Near the marina lies a park with a small bandshell. On Sunday afternoons in the summertime, Perth Amboy hosts the Concerts by the Bay in the park's bandshell. Every Thursday evening in the summer, Perth Amboy hosts the Mayor's Concert Series in Bayview Park. Perth Amboy also hosts an annual Waterfront Arts Festival. The waterfront is also characterized by a redbrick promenade near the water and many stately Victorian homes, some on hills overlooking the bay and tree lined streets with well-manicured lawns. The land rises steeply after two blocks. This hides the rest of the town, making the waterfront look like a quiet fishing village. Points of interest on the waterfront include St. Peter's Episcopal Church, and the Proprietary House, which is now the former governor's mansion and houses a museum and some offices. Kearny Cottage, which also has a museum, is here. This section of Perth Amboy once had a thriving Jewish community with yeshivas, synagogues, kosher butchers and bakers. Today, however, there are only two synagogues left, each with only a few older members. A project called 'The Landings at Harborside' was to have featured 2,100 residential units along with indoor parking, 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2) of retail space, a community center, and recreation amenities for the public as well. However, after meeting with Charles Kushner, the developer who spent two years in prison after being convicted of witness tampering, tax evasion and making illegal campaign contributions, Mayor Wilda Diaz endorsed a scaled-back design concept for the development, allowing Section 8 housing rentals instead of owner-occupied units as originally promised.The Raritan Yacht Club is the state's second-oldest and one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States, founded in 1882 from the merger of two older clubs, one found in 1865 and the other in 1874. Also located on the waterfront and founded in 1917, St. Demetrios was one of the first Greek Orthodox churches in central New Jersey. Established by the Greek immigrants who came to the United States at the turn of the 19th century, this community has stood as a beacon of the Orthodox Faith and Hellenism in Middlesex County.

Downtown Perth Amboy

Perth Amboy was settled by Europeans in 1683 and incorporated as a city in 1718. It was founded by English merchants, Scots seeking religious freedom, and French Protestants, who sought to make use of Perth Amboy's harbor to its full potential. Downtown is the main commercial district, and is centered on Smith Street. It is an Urban Enterprise Zone, and the reduced sales tax rate (half of the statewide rate) funds revitalization of Smith Street with newly planted trees, Victorian streetlights, benches, garbage cans, and redbrick sidewalks. Smith Street is a shopping center seven blocks wide, with stores catering to working-class customers. The street is flanked by mainly two- to three-story buildings of varied architecture. It also has a lone bank skyscraper called 'Amboy Towers', 10 stories tall, located at Five Corners, the intersection of Smith Street, New Brunswick Avenue and State Street. Once home to several department stores downtown, the largest today is discount retailer Bargain Man.

Harbortown

Harbortown is a townhouse development on the waterfront which continues to be expanded since construction started in 1987. Affordable housing (Section 8) along with more affluent homes can be found in Harbortown, an economically and ethnically diverse townhouse development in the city.This area was the Lehigh Valley Railroad marshaling yards where coal was loaded onto barges for shipment to New York City and elsewhere until the LVRR went bankrupt in 1976.

Hall Avenue

Hall Avenue is a neighborhood centered on Hall Avenue east of the NJ Transit train tracks. The street itself, Hall Avenue, is no longer the commercial strip it once was. However, there is a recently built strip mall on the corner of Hall Avenue and State Street called the "Firehouse Plaza". There is also a "Banco Popular" branch of the bank headquartered in Puerto Rico. However, Hall Avenue is now primarily residential. Most of the homes are aging apartments, but there are also some newly constructed homes. Hall Avenue remains a traditional Puerto Rican neighborhood, and it hosts the city's annual Puerto Rican Day Festival, which is held on the same day of the historic Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Rudyk Park is north of Route 440 and features the Roberto Clemente Baseball Field and an industrial park.

Southwestern section

The southwestern section is a mainly working-class residential neighborhood with some light industry, once the site of Eagleswood Military Academy. The city's largest strip mall is located here. This neighborhood has a large and diversified Hispanic neighborhood with many Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and recently, South Americans. Much of the city's Mexican population also lives in this section. Previously, this section of Perth Amboy had a large Irish population and was once named "Dublin". Following the Irish came the Eastern Europeans, primarily Polish and Hungarian. Most of the housing consists of small one- or two-family houses. The main commercial strip is Smith Street, west of the NJ Transit train tracks.

Western section

The western section of the waterfront is west of Kearny Avenue. It is an overwhelmingly blue-collar Hispanic neighborhood. Most of the homes are over 100 years old; many are modest row houses. Sadowski Parkway Park lines through the southern end of the neighborhood and has a walkway with a beach. The park also hosts the Dominican festival and other festivals during the summer.

State Street

State Street is a neighborhood east of the NJ Transit train tracks, north of Fayette Street, and south of Harbortown. Like the southwestern section of Perth Amboy, it is predominantly working-class Hispanic. In addition, this neighborhood had many industries and factories before they moved overseas. The neighborhood is mainly Caribbean Hispanic. This section once had a large Cuban community. The State and Fayette Gardens, an apartment complex in the neighborhood, were called "The Cuban Buildings" at one time. The Landings at Harborside redevelopment project is being constructed in this neighborhood.

Amboy Avenue

Amboy Avenue is a quasi-suburban, working to middle-class neighborhood. It is also referred to as the "Hospital section" or the "High School section" due to the fact that these places are located in the neighborhood. Today most residents are Hispanic; Amboy Avenue once had a strong Italian population.

Maurer

Maurer is a chiefly working to middle-class neighborhood that lies in the northern part of Route 440. It is heavily industrial with many oil refineries and brownfields. Like Amboy Avenue, it is quasi-suburban.

Chickentown

Chickentown is a neighborhood in the western part of Route 35 south of Spa Springs, just south of Route 440. It shares many of the same characteristics of Spa Springs but to a lesser extent. The city's largest park, Washington Park, is located here. It received its name from all the chicken farms (hens and eggs) that were located here before World War II.

Spa Springs

Along with the waterfront, Spa Springs, in the northwestern part of the city, remains one of the most attractive and middle-class areas of the city. The population tends to be older. Spa Springs is the wealthiest neighborhood in town and is the most suburban with single-family houses and garages.

Climate

Perth Amboy has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) typical of New Jersey with hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters.

Demographics

The city is one of many U.S. communities with a majority Hispanic population.

2010 Census

The 2010 United States Census counted 50,814 people, 15,419 households, and 11,456 families in the city. The population density was 10,806.8 per square mile (4,172.5/km2). There were 16,556 housing units at an average density of 3,521.0 per square mile (1,359.5/km2). The racial makeup was 50.26% (25,541) White, 10.54% (5,358) Black or African American, 1.10% (561) Native American, 1.69% (859) Asian, 0.05% (27) Pacific Islander, 30.77% (15,634) from other races, and 5.58% (2,834) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 78.10% (39,685) of the population. The city's Hispanic population was the second-highest percentage among municipalities in New Jersey as of the 2010 Census, ranked behind Union City with 84.7%.Of the 15,419 households, 40.0% had children under the age of 18; 40.1% were married couples living together; 24.6% had a female householder with no husband present and 25.7% were non-families. Of all households, 20.3% were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.65.27.3% of the population were under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.4 years. For every 100 females, the population had 97.3 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 94.3 males.The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $47,696 (with a margin of error of +/− $3,644) and the median family income was $53,792 (+/− $2,943). Males had a median income of $38,485 (+/− $2,450) versus $30,078 (+/− $3,452) for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,162 (+/−$933). About 16.3% of families and 19.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 15.2% of those age 65 or over.

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 47,303 people, 14,562 households, and 10,761 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,892.0 people per square mile (3,820.9/km2). There were 15,236 housing units at an average density of 3,186.2 per square mile (1,230.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 46.41% White, 10.04% African American, 0.70% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 35.59% from other races, and 5.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 69.83% of the population.There were 14,562 households, out of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 21.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.63.In the city the population was spread out, with 28.5% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 31.6% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.8 males.The median income for a household in the city was $37,608, and the median income for a family was $40,740. Males had a median income of $29,399 versus $21,954 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,989. About 14.3% of families and 17.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.1% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.In 2000, 27.79% of Perth Amboy residents identified themselves as being of Puerto Rican ancestry, the fifth highest concentration of Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland of those municipalities with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. In the same census, 18.81% of Perth Amboy residents identified themselves as being of Dominican ancestry, the third highest concentration in the country of Dominicans in the United States after Haverstraw, New York and Lawrence, Massachusetts using the same criteria.

Economy

Portions of the city are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), one of 32 zones covering 37 municipalities statewide. The city was selected in 1994 as one of a group of 10 zones added to participate in the program. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the UEZ, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3.3125% sales tax rate (half of the ​6 5⁄8% rate charged statewide) at eligible merchants. Established in October 1994, the city's Urban Enterprise Zone status expires in October 2025.

Government

Local government

The City of Perth Amboy is governed under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government under the Faulkner Act. The city is one of 71 municipalities (of the 565) statewide governed under this form. The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and the City Council, all of whom are elected at-large on a non-partisan basis. The city council is comprised of five members who are elected to four-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election in even-numbered years. The mayor also serves a four-year term of office, which is up for election the same year that two council seats are up for vote. In October 2010, the City Council voted to shift the city's non-partisan elections from May to November, with the first balloting held in conjunction with the General Election in November 2012.As of January 1st 2021. the mayor of Perth Amboy is newly elected Helmin Caba, who defeated former three term mayor Wilda Diaz after she served 12 years in office from 2008 to 2020. Caba ran on a platform of pointing out Perth Amboy's failing infrastructure and graffiti laced public spaces, for which he blamed Wilda Diaz for a lack of leadership on infastructure issues. After a tight 2020 campaign, he narrowly won the Mayoral Runoff Election against Wilda Diaz on December 15th 2020. In the November 2014 general election Fernando Gonzalez came in third place, winning the final seat up for election ahead of Sergio Diaz by nine votes. In March 2015, a Superior Court judge ordered a special election between Diaz and Gonzalez after finding that votes had been illegally cast and that there was evidence of fraud in mail voting. In the special election, Gonzalez beat Diaz by a 112-vote margin.

Federal, state and county representation

Perth Amboy is located in the 6th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 19th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Perth Amboy had been part of the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Sixth Congressional District is represented by Frank Pallone (D, Long Branch). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 19th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Joe Vitale (D, Woodbridge Township) and in the General Assembly by Craig Coughlin (D, Woodbridge Township) and Yvonne Lopez (D, Perth Amboy).Middlesex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose seven members are elected at-large on a partisan basis to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with either two or three seats coming up for election each year as part of the November general election. At an annual reorganization meeting held in January, the board selects from among its members a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director. As of 2015, Middlesex County's Freeholders (with party affiliation, term-end year, residence and committee chairmanship listed in parentheses) are Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios (D, term ends December 31, 2015, Carteret; Ex-officio on all committees), Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Barrett Bellante (D, 2017; Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township; County Administration), Kenneth Armwood (D, 2016, Piscataway; Business Development and Education), Charles Kenny ( D, 2016, Woodbridge Township; Finance), H. James Polos (D, 2015, Highland Park; Public Safety and Health), Charles E. Tomaro (D, 2017, Edison; Infrastructure Management) and Blanquita B. Valenti (D, 2016, New Brunswick; Community Services). Constitutional officers are County Clerk Elaine M. Flynn (D, Old Bridge Township), Sheriff Mildred S. Scott (D, 2016, Piscataway) and Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland (D, 2017; New Brunswick).

Politics

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 22,737 registered voters in Perth Amboy, of which 9,212 (40.5%) were registered as Democrats, 1,022 (4.5%) were registered as Republicans and 12,500 (55.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 87.0% of the vote (11,774 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 12.3% (1,667 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (100 votes), among the 13,869 ballots cast by the city's 24,253 registered voters (328 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 57.2%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 81.6% of the vote (10,999 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 16.8% (2,261 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (91 votes), among the 13,473 ballots cast by the city's 23,248 registered voters, for a turnout of 58.0%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 71.0% of the vote (8,677 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 27.5% (3,359 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (79 votes), among the 12,223 ballots cast by the city's 21,686 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 56.4.In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Democrat Barbara Buono received 63.1% of the vote (3,574 cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 35.6% (2,014 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (74 votes), among the 5,915 ballots cast by the city's 24,593 registered voters (253 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 24.1%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 69.8% of the vote (4,645 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 24.2% (1,611 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 3.4% (228 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (50 votes), among the 6,654 ballots cast by the city's 22,185 registered voters, yielding a 30.0% turnout.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of March 2019, the city had a total of 75.14 miles (120.93 km) of roadways, of which 58.59 miles (94.29 km) were maintained by the municipality, 11.11 miles (17.88 km) by Middlesex County, 4.27 miles (6.87 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 1.17 miles (1.88 km) by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.The city is crisscrossed by many many major roads and highways. Major roads in the city include Route 35 Route 184, Route 440, County Route 616 and County Route 616.The Outerbridge Crossing, which opened to traffic on June 29, 1928, is a cantilever bridge over the Arthur Kill that connects Perth Amboy with Staten Island. Known locally as the "Outerbridge", it is part of a major route on NY-440 / NJ-440 from the south and west to New York City and Long Island. Despite the assumption that the name is derived from its location as the southernmost bridge in New York State and Staten Island, the Outerbridge Crossing was named in honor of Eugenius H. Outerbridge, first Chairman of the Port Authority. The bridge clears the channel by 143 ft (44 m), providing passage for some of the largest ships entering the Port of New York and New Jersey. The Victory Bridge carries Route 35 over the Raritan River, connecting Perth Amboy on the north with the borough of Sayreville to the south. From the time of its construction in 1926 until the Edison Bridge was completed in 1939, all traffic heading across the Raritan River was funneled through the Victory Bridge, whose original single-span swing bridge was replaced under a project completed in 2005 that provides two spans of traffic, including a 134-metre (440 ft) main span that was the longest precast cantilever segmental construction in the United States at the time of its construction.

Public transportation

The city has NJ Transit train service at Perth Amboy station. The station provides service on the North Jersey Coast Line to Newark Penn Station, Hoboken Terminal, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and the Jersey Shore.NJ Transit buses serve the Port Authority Bus Terminal on the 116 route, Elizabeth on the 48 line, with local service available on the 813, 815, and 817 bus routes.

Education

Public schools in Perth Amboy are operated by Perth Amboy Public Schools, serving students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide, which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of 11 schools, had an enrollment of 11,135 students and 890.1 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.5:1. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Ignacio Cruz Early Childhood Center (755 students; in PreK), Edmund Hmieleski Jr. Early Childhood Center (397; PreK), Anthony V. Ceres Elementary School (694; K-4), James J. Flynn Elementary School (812; K-4), Edward J. Patten Elementary School (963; K-4), Dr. Herbert N. Richardson 21st Century Elementary School (779; K-4), Robert N. Wilentz Elementary School (845; K-4), Dual Language School (295; 2-6), William C. McGinnis Middle School (1,513; 5-8), Samuel E. Shull Middle School (1,397; 5-8) and Perth Amboy High School (2,208; 9-12).Based on data from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey, 14.5% of adults over the age of 25 in Perth Amboy have a bachelor's degree or higher, a percentage significantly below the state average of 38.9% and the 42.7% of those in Middlesex County.The Academy for Urban Leadership Charter High School is a public high school serving grades 7–12 open since September 2010, operating independently of the Perth Amboy Public Schools under the terms of a charter granted by the New Jersey Department of Education. The school opened with one hundred 9th graders, with plans to add a class of 100 students each year until it reached its goal of 400 students in grades 9–12 by the 2013–14 school year and has since added grades 7 and 8. As of the 2017–18 school year, the school had an enrollment of 576 students and 49.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.8:1.Eighth grade students from all of Middlesex County are eligible to apply to attend the high school programs offered by the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, a county-wide vocational school district that offers full-time career and technical education at Middlesex County Academy in Edison, the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge Township and at its East Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Piscataway technical high schools, with no tuition charged to students for attendance.Assumption Catholic School (Pre-K–8) and Perth Amboy Catholic Primary School / Upper School (PreK–8) operate under the supervision of Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.In 1903, the Perth Amboy Public Library became the first Carnegie library in the state, made possible through a grant of $20,000 from Andrew Carnegie Foundation and donations from local philanthropists, which were supplemented in 1914 by an additional $30,000 in Carnegie grants to pay for two additional reading rooms. The library reopened in 2015 after a $2 million renovation project that kept the library closed for more than two years.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Perth Amboy include:

Sister cities

Caldas da Rainha, Portugal Hillsdale, Michigan
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