I am an Assistant Professor at Saint Peter’s University, where I teach accounting and taxation. I’m a licensed CPA and formerly worked in public accounting. I live in Jersey City and have children who attend the public schools. The spirit of CivicParent is to inform friends, neighbors, and community about local, public finance. My research interests include property taxes, tax abatements, and public school funding.
Civic Parent’s Roots.
I started CivicParent in December 2013 after Mayor Fulop reversed from a key campaign promise to help fund the public schools with abatement funding. What started out as a relatively low-cost, easy way for me to research, learn, and share what I learned about abatements and taxes with friends and neighbors has transformed over the years into a fiscal literacy platform that includes:
- A targeted series of articles that aim to help educate taxpayers about core financial data impacting civic life (e.g. Revaluation, Abatements)
- Community organizing & advocacy that leverages the CivicParent.org platform as an information-sharing vehicle
- Civic tools that offer readers interactive, filterable views into state, county, and local public data.
I was ruined for life by the Jesuit Volunteer Corps when I was twenty-two; that experience taught me the value of systemic, practiced civic engagement to help the marginalized and under-served. If we don’t proactively care for our community, our community will degrade & suffer and those at the margin will be most at risk. Always strive to do more, to help more; that was the lesson I learned from JVC & what continues to drive me today.
I enjoy advocacy in community. It’s social, interesting, and ever-changing. Connecting in community is a great way to build your network, learn about your neighbors, and grow your community footprint.
Professionally, I’m a tax accountant and licensed CPA and spent most of my career in public accounting. I started CivicParent.org as I learned more about how local government in Jersey City works. I enjoy learning about, writing about, and talking about taxes because they represent the intersection of public and private interests. We can learn a lot about our community’s priorities by looking at how, and where, we prioritize our spending.
I currently work at Saint Peter’s University, the Jesuit University of NJ. It is a welcome return to my civic roots, as I aim to combine my professional background with Ignatian principles.
Brigid D’Souza, CPA MBA | Brigid@CivicParent.org