|Address||75-36 Liberty Avenue |
Jersey City, New Jersey 07306, United States
Jan 10, 2009 09:13pm
|Info||Raised in the Greenville and West Side neighborhoods of Jersey City, Manzo still resides in close proximity to his childhood locale. A graduate of Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University), Lou holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Health Education. He continued his education with postgraduate degree studies at Rutgers University, completing the Health and Environmental Law course which is a prerequisite for sitting for New Jersey’s State Licensing exam for Sanitarian and Environmental Health Technician. Manzo successfully passed his licensing exams and is nationally registered in both titles. |
Manzo was initially employed as a Sanitarian with the Jersey City Health Division in 1977. He rose through the ranks of the Division and was appointed the Division’s Chief in 1986, allowing an agency that was threatened by State takeover in 1981 to become respectable. During his tenure of employment with the Jersey City Health Division, Manzo earned the respect of numerous state and local officials and most importantly, the public community through his successful efforts to reduce health risks for the people of Hudson County.
Early in his career, Manzo spearheaded the drive to clean up the Jersey City PJP landfill, a toxic waste site in which underground fires burned out of control, spewing pollutants on adjacent neighborhoods, for years. As a result of Manzo’s efforts, the fires were extinguished and the site was cleaned.
Lou was responsible for curtailing the Jersey City measles epidemic in the late 1980's, launching a public information and vaccination program to protect pregnant women and children from tragic consequences.
When ocean pollution forced the beaches of several New Jersey shore communities to close in the summers of 1985 and 1986, Manzo launched a study of the Jersey City sewerage system. He discovered deteriorated outfall pipes which were contributing to the discharge of millions of gallons of untreated, raw sewerage into the Hudson River. Manzo penned a 200 page technical report which served as a catalyst for upgrading the city’s outfall pipes.
Manzo was not afraid to take on powerful political figures and big developers. In the mid 1980's, Manzo halted construction at the site of one of New Jersey’s largest developments, Newport, on the Jersey City waterfront. He challenged the world-renowned developer, Samuel LeFrak, when he discovered that the development was dumping contaminated soil on the site and into the Hudson River. Furthermore, Manzo shutdown portions of the Newport Mall when it became infested with rodents because of the developer’s failure to properly bait excavation sites.
In 1989 when a pro-development candidate was elected Jersey City’s Mayor, Manzo locked horns with politicians over attempts to stifle his Division’s efforts to have chromium sites excavated. The Mayor felt that Manzo’s efforts were scaring away potential developers from the city. Manzo was forced out of office and pursued a lengthy, unsuccessful battle in the courts to retain his job.
In 1990, Manzo became the first independent in Hudson County history to win election to the Hudson county Board of Freeholders, defeating the hand-picked candidate of the very Mayor who forced him out of his Health Division post. Manzo was elected Chairman of the Board’s Environmental Committee.
In 1992, Manzo led a fight to dismantle plans to construct a county incinerator. Again, working with state and local environmental organizations, Manzo was successful in securing a moratorium for the construction of the incinerator. After chairing a year long hearing on the issue, and then compiling a 500 page report which highlighted the dangers posed by incinerator plants, Manzo sponsored legislation calling for the dismantling of the plans to build the unit. The very same Board that once voted to construct the incinerator, now voted unanimously to dismantle it.
Manzo also organized a successful public-private cooperative effort to clean up the banks of the Hackensack River, which runs through Hudson County. More than 500 people turned out to participate in the endeavor.
In 1994, Manzo was appointed the Director of the Hudson County Division of Environmental and Public Health. He has been working on a two-year project to garner the agency State certification. During his tenure as Director, Manzo has reorganized and expanded the county’s Tuberculosis Control Program, and has provided the region’s first breast and cervical cancer screening program for women. He has also overseen the upgrading of the county’s bacteriological laboratory and the creation of an environmental lab. The Division has been successful in securing more than 500,000 dollars in grants since Manzo’s appointment.
In 1997, Manzo served a brief stint as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist for Bayonne, New Jersey, before attending insurance school and acquiring a New Jersey State Insurance Brokers Licence. He is an active broker today as well as a part-time Registered Environmental Health Specialist in Union City.
Manzo has been highlighted on national news networks and on every major local news network including WCBS, WNBC, WABC, WOR, WPIX and New Jersey News. He has appeared on Dateline NBC and was featured on a WCBS radio special anchored by Fred Fishken. Manzo’s various endeavors have been reported in most New Jersey newspapers and, on occasion, featured in The New York Times.
In 1995, in fulfillment of a lifelong ambition, Louis Manzo began research and work on his novel, God’s Earth Also Cries, which has been published by Dorrance Publishing and is available now.
Always active in his community, Louis Manzo has been involved in Jersey City activities for over twenty years, and has been a coach for the St. Peter’s Prep and Marist High School football teams, as well as a baseball coach for the West Side Little League and St. Aloysius Grammar School. He is a member of the Jersey City chapter of the Loyal Order of Moose and a supporter of the Ray of Hope Foundation.