NJ7 Citizens for Change
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    The Bonfire of Our Values

     The Trump administration is a dumpster fire in which the primary victims of the conflagration are American values – the values that did indeed make America great. Without our vocal respect for the rule of law, for democratic institutions, for a free and open press, what distinguishes us from the oligarchs and despots large and small with whom our President feels most at ease? Without a clear distinction between the public interest and the profit motive, what distinguishes the U.S. from just another multinational corporation?  Trump sees the judiciary as a fiefdom, meant to do his bidding.  He has no qualms about asking the head of the FBI to lay off his friends; or to request the prosecution and persecution of political foes; or to criticize judges with whose decisions he disagrees; or to appoint a lickspittle lackey as interim AG to oversee the Mueller investigation.  Trump’s assaults on the press, and his use of the "fake news" mantra whenever it's convenient or politically expedient, are both used routinely by autocratic regimes to justify suppressing speech they don’t like. MBS could lay plans to murder and dismember a dissenting journalist with few qualms about the response from his most important ally, a calculation amply justified by Trump’s equivocation.  Trump has never made the slightest distinction between his political ambitions and the enrichment of both himself and his family. His long standing reliance on cash from both the Russians and the Saudis have clearly influenced his foreign policy outlook. Now we know that while making secret effortsfor the removal of sanctions on the Russians, he was simultaneously negotiating for Trump Tower Moscow, with Russian financing and a $50 million penthouse as a sweetener for Putin.  The public interest in our environment has been suborned to Trump’s support for the fossil fuel industry, from slicing up the Bear Ears Monument, to opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to offshore drilling, to dissing a 1600 page environmental assessment that highlights the catastrophic coming impact of climate change.  Think about this as we prepare to lay to rest #41,  former Republican President G.H.W. Bush. How far have the Presidency and the Republican party Fallen?  
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    Sign Up for Healthcare- Know the Facts On Healthcare Insurance

      Open enrollment is underway. Here are important things to know: Open enrollment for all those covered by Individual Plans (non-employer) is Nov. 1st - Dec 15th. This is your opportunity to change your plan. All plans renew on January 1st. After December 15th there is no opportunity to buy or change your plan unless you experience a qualifying event (i.e. getting married, having a baby, or losing health coverage). Subsidized Plans – If, based on your income, you qualify for a subsidy through the ACA please visit the exchange website to renew or purchase a plan. Open enrollment dates and restrictions apply. Visit www.healthcare.gov NJ Individual Mandate - NJ passed legislation that requires all NJ residents to have health insurance in 2019 and beyond. The NJ mandate replaces the Federal mandate that was repealed by Congress in 2018 (for 2019). The NJ penalty applies to 2019. The Penalty – If you reside in NJ and do not have health insurance in place for 2019 the penalty is 2.5% of household income with a minimum of $695.00/adult and $347.50/child. Some good news! – Because of actions taken by NJ, most individual premiums are lower in 2019. Thank you NJ!
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    NJ7 Youth Series : Your Future is on the Ballot

    19.9%. That was the youth turnout rate for 18 to 29 year olds in the 2014 midterms: less than one in five qualified young voters voted.In 2018, we have to change that. Much like 2014, we are entering a midterm election, which receives lower publicity and turnout. However, these elections are incredibly important because they shape what our Congress, our state legislatures, and our governor’s mansion will look like in a few months. This year, 36 governors, 1⁄3 of our senators, all 435 House members, and thousands of local candidates from mayors to Board of Education members are running to represent you. These are the people who will craft policies that will affect our lives, maybe even for decades to come. They will appoint members of the Supreme Court who will be sitting on the bench for decades. They will decide who gets to vote in the future (and whether we repeal voter suppression laws, including Voter ID laws in North Dakota, exact-match laws in Georgia, and felony disenfranchisement in Florida). They will decide whether we’ll still have access to Social Security benefits when we retire. In short, they will decide our futures. That’s why if you’re 18 or above and are eligible to vote, you should vote! You contribute to our democracy and make it stronger. You choose the future that all of us will live in. You give politicians an incentive to listen to our voices, and tailor policies in our interest. If you’re under 18 or ineligible to vote, don’t despair! Sign up to find a proxy and ask them to vote on your behalf. As a young person, your voice still matters, and you still have a stake in our democracy. You can sign up here to increase turnout and make an impact: ​theproxyproject.net​. This election is not just another election. Political candidates are running, but they aren’t the only thing on the ballot. Family separation is on the ballot. Gun control is on the ballot. Gerrymandering and voter suppression are on the ballot. The Supreme Court is on the ballot. Social Security is on the ballot. Criminal justice is on the ballot. Reproductive rights are on the ballot.Our future is on the ballot.When Tuesday comes around, don’t forget the pain of families who were ripped apart at the border. Don’t forget the wildfires in California and the natural disasters spurred on by climate change. Don’t forget the assault on LGBTQ+ rights in America. Don’t forget the Muslim ban, the fear-mongering, the school shootings, the Paris Climate Accords, the “fine people” who chanted “Jews will not replace us,” the murder of Khashoggi, the Conference in Helsinki, the Parkland shooting, the black families who have lost their sons and daughters to police brutality that has been ignored and disregarded, and the millions more who are suffering today because of the policies of this administration. Channel your frustration, your pain, and your anger into action, and please, vote on November 6.   Find polling locations near you:https://www.rockthevote.org/voting-information/find-your-polling-place/ Check if you’re registered: ​https://www.vote.org/am-i-registered-to-vote/ Uber, Lyft, and public transportation agencies are offering free rides to the polls:https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/11/05/election-day-freebies-2018-free- rides-polls-and-other-deals/1884354002/   Bio: Ranen is a high school senior at Millburn High School who is passionate about politics, philanthropy, and public policy.
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