NJ7 Citizens for Change


Make a difference!

Get Updates

Stay informed!

Sign up to get the latest updates
  • Latest from the blog

    What does “Stop Blaming White People Month” Really Mean?

    At the beginning of March, a sign with the following statement appeared on the wall of a post office in Flemington, New Jersey: “March is national Stop Blaming White People Month! Accept responsibility for your own bad choices. Hug a white person!” It was reminiscent of a sign that appeared in the window of a Flemington deli three years earlier, also in March, advocating for “White History Month.” As a white person, I of course believe that it is important for well-meaning white people to denounce this sign and whoever posted it. However, we also need to go much further than calling out individual acts of racism and confront the belief system buried in this sign and our own complicity in that narrative. Even if this sign had never been posted, interrogating and dismantling systemic racism and the ways in which white people benefit from unearned advantage are critically important. Confronting this belief system can begin with acknowledging the following:
    Continue reading

    INFRASTRUCTURE & THE ECONOMY: The Tunnel Means Jobs!

    The New York economy has grown, and the New Jersey economy has not. From 2004 to 2014, New York City added 550,000 jobs while New Jersey lost 27,000. That is why many of us live in northern New Jersey, for access to really well-paying jobs in New York City, where the average salary is $94,000 more than it is on our side of the Hudson.  Of all those workers scurrying around the streets of Manhattan, 14% have come from New Jersey-- 8% of all workers in our state, bringing in a total of $33 billion each and every year. That $33 billion contributes massively to the support of the New Jersey economy, with untold jobs and services, funding our housing market, and our schools. New York City sits at the center of the great northeast corridor that contributes 20 percent of the national GDP, houses 17 percent of the population, and almost a hundred Fortune 500 company headquarters. While New York City and the northeast corridor thrive, so will we, and so will our kids.  BUT WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO GET INTO THE CITY! We need a rail and tunnel system across the Hudson that is not 100 years old and on the brink of collapse. It is totally unacceptable for Donald Trump to threaten a veto over Gateway tunnel funding because of his opposition to the federal government underwriting the project. Our Congressman should remind Trump that even before his “tax reform” targeted us, New Jersey sent $2,659 more per person to Washington in taxes than it got back in federal spending, more than any other state.  We get back just 77 cents for every dollar we pay. The Gateway project should return $4 for every $1 invested, a phenomenal investment in our future. And it is not good enough for Congressman Leonard Lance to tell us that Speaker Ryan “does not object” to include a funding appropriation, with the President still threatening a veto! Our jobs, our future are at stake. Congressman Lance, you should be shouting from the rooftops! As Bob Dole said, WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE? We will remember in November.   (PHOTO: John Catral, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
    Continue reading

    Unions are in Trouble, and Women Take Collective Action

    What can be more important for the future of any country than the education of its children? But West Virginia cannot keep the teachers they have. The State ranks 48th in teachers’ pay by State, and the value of their health care coverage has been eroded by increasing premiums and deductibles. What to do? Take collective action. Few things irritate the Republican Right more than collective action, which brought us the eight-hour workday, the five-day work week, vacation days, and all the other labor protections we take for granted. As participation rates in labor unions has declined, real incomes for the middle class have fallen in lockstep. With no effective counterbalance to the demand for “shareholder value,” wages and benefits are fair game. For example, who has a defined benefit pension anymore? Traditional pensions, like unions, are collective and centrally managed. In a 401(K), you are alone and devoid of leverage to negotiate. Your economic voice in how your retirement funds are being invested is atomized and silenced. Teacher strikes are illegal in West Virginia. Teachers have no collective bargaining rights in the state. But after making arrangements to provide packed lunches for kids who rely on free school meals, out they went, and they stayed out until the state agreed to their demand for a 5% pay hike. Oklahoma and Kentucky might be next. The Koch brothers and their ilk have forced a case to the Supreme Court on the “right-to-work” issue, prohibiting mandatory union dues. Catastrophic as that will undoubtedly be for organized labor, the teachers of West Virginia have shown that when “enough is enough,” mass action works. And maybe this is just the start of a larger mass movement to say “no” to the agenda driven by the President and his friends. Among those friends, I count Congressman Leonard Lance. Let’s commit to mass action in NJ7 to vote him out in November!   (PHOTO: Rich McGervey, CC BY-NC 2.0, edited)
    Continue reading

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.