The NJDSC Week in Review for January 13, 2012
Welcome to the latest installment of the NJDSC's week in review.
Here's a look back at some of the news from this past week and toward the end, some of the upcoming events around the state next week:
Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King
- Chairman Wisniewski offered the following remarks in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "As we remember the life and the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let usalso reflect on the relevance of his life’s work to our lives here and now. In recent weeks, anti-Semitism has reared its ugly head in Hackensack, Highland Park, Maywood, Paramus and, most recently, with a fire bombing in Rutherford. Unemployment and poverty persist. The fight against school-bullying, racial profiling, domestic violence and gay-bashing are modern day manifestations of the battles he fought against violence and racism. Dr. King’s life is a part of our history, but his struggle for peace and justice goes on. As we celebrate his life, let us recommit ourselves to the work of achieving his dream."
The Time is Now For Marriage Equality
- Philadelphia Inquirer: NJ Dems vow Marriage Equality vote.
- NJ Today: Dems Make Marriage Equality First Order Of Business.
- In this video, advocates for marriage equality announce a new legislative push to allow same-sex couples to marry in the Garden State.
- Speaker Oliver on marriage equality: "I’m confident the majority of the Assembly supports this equal rights issue..."
- New Jersey’s entire Democratic Congressional delegation tells state legislators: Pass the marriage equality bill.
- Video: Congressman Holt on Marriage Equality.
- Marriage equality in N.J.: a civil rights issue.
- NJ Spotlight - Marriage Equality: Not an Issue for the Under-30 Generation.
- Jeff Gardner at Blue Jersey: Civil Rights should not be decided by referendum. Period.
Wisniewski On Romney's New Hampshire Win
- Chairman Wisniewski offered this response to the results of the New Hampshire primary: "America's millionaires are popping open the champagne bottles tonight because when it comes to looking out for their interests, nobody does it better than Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, the rest of us are crying in our beer."
Christie Must Stop Talking Down To Women
- Star Ledger Editorial: Gov. Chris Christie must stop talking down to women.
- Slate: They seem to think his remark is a zinger, something to be proud of, rather than recognizing it as flagrantly demeaning, even misogynistic. How would Christie have responded to male protesters saying the same thing? Probably not by changing the subject to what acts they perform in the bedroom. His handlers should be apologizing for the remark, not promoting it.
- Clutch: "Keep in mind that this display of trash-mouth is not some deftly hidden gaffe that Christie was trying to talk his way out of as soon as he made it. The video is posted proudly on the New Jersey GOP YouTube Channel..."
- Gawker: Chris Christie, the Campaign Trail’s Most Reliable Wind-Up Toy.
Remembering Minority Leader DeCroce
- Chairman Wisniewski: "New Jersey has lost a true public servant in Alex DeCroce. I came to know him as an honorable adversary whose disagreements were never disagreeable and whose motivation was always to do his best for our state and the constituents he represented. His passing leaves a great void in our Legislature and it is with immense sadness that I join my colleagues in offering my condolences to his wife, his family and to all who had the privilege of calling him a friend."
- Congressman Pascrell: "On behalf of my family, I want to express my deepest condolences to Assemblyman DeCroce's family. Alex was a good man with whom I got along very well. He took courageous positions in the Assembly, but always treated everyone fairly. What you saw is what you got with Alex. He was a true patriot. He had many friends. This is a tragedy for his family, for those who worked with him in the State Legislature and all of us. We will miss him very, very much. May he rest in peace."
- Senate President Sweeney: "Alex DeCroce was a good man, a good leader, a good legislator and an outstanding New Jerseyan. Alex was always willing to meet on the issues important to us all, and despite our political differences, he always approached the work before us with resolve and good humor. We may have had disagreements, but we did not have arguments."
- Speaker Oliver and Majority Leader Greenwald: "We are saddened beyond words. We grieve his loss and know that the prayers and condolences of the entire New Jersey General Assembly are with his friends and family."
- Senate Majority Leader Weinberg: “This is an unimaginable loss for the State of New Jersey, for the people of Alex's district, but mostly for the DeCroce family. My thoughts and prayers go out to them at this time."
- Assemblyman Prieto: "Alex was a devoted representative for his constituents, yet an ally to all of New Jersey. No matter his role, Alex was a leader through and through. Yet most importantly, Alex DeCroce was a gentleman, and quite simply he was a friend. To say he will be sorely missed is an understatement"
- Blue Jersey: Tragedy mars the new Legislative session.
Delegate Selection Applications Available
If you are interested in becoming a delegate, click here for the statement of candidacy and pledge of support forms. Statement Of Candidacy and Pledge Of Support forms must be returned by March 12, 2012 for District Level Delegate and Alternate Candidates and June 7, 2012 for At-Large delegate and Alternate Candidates and PLEO Delegate Candidates. Forms must be returned to the NJDSC at 196 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608.
Judge Disenfranchises 4th District Voters With Mosquera Decision
- Open Letter to NJ Residents - Judge to South Jersey residents: Your votes don't count.
- Chairman Wisniewski condemned the decision disenfranchising voters: "I wholeheartedly disagree with the unprecedented decision to invalidate the election of 4th District Assemblywoman-Elect Gabriela Mosquera due to a challenge to her residency," said Wisniewski. "This decision has disenfranchised over 19,000 voters in the 4th district. It is a setback to the diversity of the New Jersey Legislature and a blow to our efforts to elect more women to serve. She followed all the rules of the state, but when Republicans couldn't defeat her at the ballot box, they went to the court to have the rules changed after the game had already ended."
- Speaker Oliver: “The people of the 4th District elected Gabriela Mosquera because of her devotion to public service, her plans to help working families and her hard work and dedication. Yet today, at the last minute, they were denied Assemblywoman-elect Mosquera’s representation because of this disappointing ruling. The right of voters to decide who will represent them should be protected. The voters made their say clear more than two months ago."
- Blue Jersey: AG Engages in Politicized Reversal to Unelect Mosquera.
Calls to Raise the Minimum Wage
- Star Ledger: Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver said one of her top priorities this year will be raising New Jersey's minimum wage, calling it a necessary move if the state wants to stimulate its lagging economy.
- Speaker Oliver: "Six hundred and forty-seven thousand minimum-wage workers across the country started the new year with a minimum-wage increase, but not in New Jersey. Quite simply, we should all support economic stimulus, increased consumer spending and livable wages, and that's what a minimum wage increase would accomplish for New Jersey."
- Asbury Park Press Editorial: "Support for such an increase should be a bipartisan effort. Sadly, it may not be. But if Gov. Chris Christie is serious about jump-starting the economy, he should resist the groundless arguments typically advanced by opponents of raising the minimum wage and support such an increase. Far too many Trenton Republicans, including Declan O’Scanlon, R-Monmouth, a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, seem to buy into the stale old contentions that come up every time an increase in the minimum wage is on the table: that it will unnecessarily burden employers or result in substantial job layoffs — claims that experience in states that have raised the minimum wage have shown to be largely unfounded. There is no justification for a minimum wage that is well below the 2011-12 federal poverty line for a family of four of $22,350. The arguments in favor of the increase far outweigh fears that it will halt New Jersey’s stutter-step economic recovery."
- Times of Trenton Editorial: N.J. should raise the minimum wage to $8.50.
- Senators Lautenberg and Menendez announced a New Jersey fire department and an Emergency Medical Services organization have received more than $250,000 in combined federal funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program. Eligible uses of this grant funding include investments in training, equipment, and health programs.
- Senator Lautenberg recognized the 10th anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Brownfields program, which funds the rehabilitation of abandoned and polluted properties to increase safety and attract new businesses to communities. Senator Lautenberg was the sponsor of the first legislation that proposed establishing a Brownfields program, and he is now working on a reauthorization bill to build on the success of the program and further improve its effectiveness.
- Senator Menendez joined in a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open a new and modern VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Northfield, Atlantic County. This new 10,000 square-foot VA medical facility offers improved access and upgraded technology for veterans who previously relied on a smaller, outdated facility in Ventnor for local care.
- Senators Menendez and Lautenberg announced the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety nearly $2 million to improve highway safety and reduce traffic accidents, injuries, and deaths.
- Congressman Holt visited East Brunswick and Monroe to unveil library bills.
- Before Congress’ holiday recess, Congressman Sires introduced legislation to expand and further coordinate efforts towards research for Tourette syndrome. Titled the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act of 2011 (H.R. 3760), the legislation would amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the expansion, intensification and coordination of the programs and activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with respect to Tourette Syndrome.
- Congressman Pallone visited the Navesink Hook & Ladder Fire Company, which recently received a $465,320 federal grant to help pay for a new radio communication system.
- Continuing in his commitment to supporting hometown security as a critical part of homeland security, Congressman Pascrell urged U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to maintain federal funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Nonprofit Security Grant Program. The program provides funding support for target hardening activities to nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack and located within one of the specific FY 2011 UASI-eligible urban areas.
- Congressman Rothman called on the FBI to investiage hate crimes against New Jersey synagogues.
- Congressman Andrews weighed in on a South Jersey hospital merger: “I think the impact is uncertain right now. I think the plan is that Woodbury will keep its hospital, and they need to. I think this has a lot of promise, but we have to watch it carefully."
- On the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, Congressman Payne said “we must take a moment to remember the men, women and children who lost their lives, homes and loved ones during one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters. Before and since the earthquake in 2010, Haiti has faced great challenges, and continues to work very hard to confront the humanitarian needs and strengthen its disaster preparedness.
- Chairman Wisniewski's legislation to help combat the flooding of the South River in Sayreville was approved Monday by the Assembly and the Senate and now heads to the Governor's desk.
- Legislation to permit direct shipping by New Jersey wineries was approved 51-18-4 Monday by the Assembly and the Senate.
- Legislation that would make it possible for military men and women serving overseas to marry their significant other back home has received final legislative approval and now heads to the Governor's desk.
- Democrats Benjie E. Wimberly and Shavonda E. Sumter on Tuesday took their oath of office to represent the 35th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly. Wimberly and Sumter were sworn-in during an afternoon ceremony in the General Assembly Chambers in the State House in Trenton. They are among six first-term Democrats to take their oaths at the start of the 215th Legislature.
- Legislation to create a council to oversee Veterans Haven, a state operated facility for homeless veterans serving veterans from all over New Jersey, has been signed into law.
- Video: Senate Democratic Leadership interview with Blue Jersey.
- Legislation to drastically reduce penalties associated with the new state fishing registry has been signed into law.
- Legislation to help curtail steroid use in student-athletes received final legislative approval by the full Assembly on Monday by a vote of 74-2 and now heads to the Governor's desk.
- Legislation that would boost the state’s extensive efforts to protect high school student athletes from head injuries has been signed into law.
- Legislation to encourage more online donations to many of the beneficial programs intrinsically linked to New Jersey, received final legislative approval this week and now heads to the Governor's desk.
- Legislation to help protect the trade secrets of New Jersey businesses has been signed into law.
- Legislation to promote the establishment of partnerships between institutions of higher education and the business community to increase collaborative research and innovation received final approval in the Assembly.
- Legislation sponsored by Chairman Wisniewski known as "Caylee's Law," which will make it a felony for failing to report the disappearance of a child within 24 hours or for failing to report a death, was signed into law.
- Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats establishing a statewide ovarian cancer public awareness campaign to help increase survival rates among women has been signed into law.
- Legislation that would permit an employer of at least 10 full-time, non-seasonal employees to provide a shared work program was signed into law.
- A bipartisan bill which creates the “Grow New Jersey” program to provide tax incentives for companies which maintain existing employment levels and create new jobs in New Jersey was signed into law.
- Legislation intended to help bring supermarkets to underserved communities throughout the state has received final legislative approval and awaits action by the Governor.
- Legislation to remedy problems surrounding overcrowded parking at NJ Transit train stations was approved 51-24-1 by the Assembly on Monday and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
- School districts with significant enrollment growth got one step closer to receiving a one-time infusion of funding as a bill aimed at helping so-called “super-growth” districts received final Legislative approval.
- Assemblyman Diegnan and Burzichelli on Wednesday called for the overhaul of NJTV in light of the public broadcasting station's latest failure to provide New Jersey residents with important coverage of state news.
- January 16
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Observances throughout New Jersey
- January 17
12:00 PM: Reorganization of the Assembly, Assembly Session in The War Memorial
3:00 PM: Governor's State of State Address, Joint Session in Assembly Chambers
- January 17
NJDSC Reorganization Meeting
IBEW 456, 1295 Livingston Avenue, North Brunswick
For More Information, Call Margaret at 609-392-3367
- January 19
NJDSC Delegate Selection Workshop for Essex County
Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Place, Newark
- January 21
NJDSC Delegate Selection Workshop for Camden County
Camden County Democratic Committee HQ, 22400-15 Route 70 West, Cherry Hill
- January 24
NJDSC Delegate Selection Workshop for Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem County
Gloucester County Democrats HQ, 27 South Broad Street, Woodbury
- January 26
NJDSC Delegate Selection Workshop for Mercer and Burlington County
Ewing Democrats HQ, 9 Scotch Road, Ewing
- January 28
NJDSC Delegate Selection Workshop for Passaic County
Passaic County Community College, 1 College Boulevard, Paterson
Workshop in the Auditorium
Support the New Jersey Democratic State Committee
We will continue to have updates about news from our elected officials and the many campaigns across the state. There will certainly be more to come next week. Have a great weekend.
John Wisniewski, Chairman
New Jersey Democratic State Committee