A group of Bergen residents seeking to repeal the county's "blue laws" intend to get 2,500 signatures for a petition by the end of June so they can get their initiative on the ballot in November.
The laws prohibit the sale of certain items — clothes, furniture, etc. — on Sundays. Westwood resident Rosemary Shashoua, the founder and chair of "Modernize Bergen County," previously told Patch she believed that permitting seven days of retail business each week would create more jobs and increase local tax revenue to counter economic troubles and ever-increasing property taxes.
Members of the group also pointed to the difficulty of enforcing the laws because of online commerce on sites like eBay.
The group has now just about completed their petition and members will be gathering signatures at community events and other public places around the county, according to Shashoua. They aim to get all 2,500 legally-required signatures by June 30, before many families begin going away for summer vacations, though they may get extras to be safe.
One place they probably won't be going for help is Paramus, members said. Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera has been an outspoken proponent of the blue laws.
If they are successful with the petition, the question will go to Bergen County voters via a referendum in November. Shashoua estimated they would need more than 187,000 votes to pass the referendum.
The group has also decided against pursuing state legislation to end the blue laws, according to Shashoua. Local representatives have not been enthusiastic about the plan, she said.
Shashoua also said she has reached out to NJTransit to see about what schedule changes would need to be made for buses on Sundays if the malls were to remain open.
Anyone interested in learning more about Modernize Bergen County or participating in the petition can check out their Facebook page here.