Blog - NJ7 Citizens for Change

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 The NJ mandate replaces the Federal mandate that was repealed by Congress in 2018 (for 2019).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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Leonard the Lionheart Lays Low

  Hate is on the rise in our country. In the past week, we have seen the attempted assassination of 14 critics of the President; the killing of two black Americans by a man who first tried to force his way into an African-American church; and the slaughter by an avowed anti-Semite of 11 Jewish Americans who were praying together in their synagogue. Hate crimes are on the rise.  And the Anti Defamation League reports a 60% increase in anti Semitic incidents.  Is there anyone who does not believe that this rise in intolerance is emboldened by the incendiary comments of our President?  Since the earliest days of his campaign, he has rallied his supporters with divisive color-coded rhetoric, and has told them dissent should not be tolerated. “Knock the crap out of him, would you?  I’ll promise to pay your legal fees.” “I’d like to punch him in the face.” “Maybe he should have been roughed up.” The MAGA bomber went to some of those rallies.  What lesson did he absorb about Trump’s opponents?  When neo-Nazis marched under Nazi flags in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us”, we learned that some of them are “very fine people.” As Trump whips up fear of the raggletaggle band of asylum seekers heading to our borders, he emboldens those who believe Jewish billionaire George Soros is funding the marchers.  This, and the refugee settlement actions of theHebrew Immigrant Aid Society were enough to send a mass murderer to the Tree of Life synagogue.  The President knows what he is doing.  Rule #54 of his acolyte and advisor Roger Stone is that hatred is the most powerful motive incentivizing voters in US elections.  Trump plans to parlay hate into votes, even if the inevitable side effect is violence and an outpouring of anti-Semitism.  In all of this, he is facilitated by Republicans who see fear and hatred as their best hope of retaining their grip on Congress.  It is a dangerous game. They are riding a tiger they dare not dismount.  And the tiger is getting hungry.  And Leonard the Lionheart? Laying low.   #RememberinNovember #NJ07
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Just VOTE 🗳 - Digital Videos

We've created a series of short video ads to encourage unaffiliated voters to head to the polls for issues that matter to them. We want to reach as many as possible as frequently as possible but we need your help. DONATE NOW TO SEND THESE ADS TO UNAFFILIATED VOTERS Every dollar you donate will go directly to getting these ads in front of as many people as possible. Thank you.
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The Truth About Leonard Lance

BREAKING NEWS:  According to Web Archive June 5th 2014, Leonard Lance’s website boasts the following about his record (see below). During this campaign season, Lance proudly claims he is a defender of healthcare, the environment and a true bi-partisan. He also says that a change to the corporate tax cut would cause a recession but does not acknowledge that it is fueling an out of control deficit which will ultimately result in CUTS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. He suggests a solution to this deficit is to RAISE THE RETIREMENT AGE TO 67.5 YEARS. In 2014, Lance shows us a different candidate and one that earns his recent endorsement from the TEA PARTY EXPRESS. We believe Lance changes his brand in order to SIMPLY WIN AT ALL COSTS. Is he a principled leader who stands by his convictions or does he say ANYTHING to gain re-election? Maybe this is why Paul Ryan’s SUPERPAC is filling the airwaves with negative ads. Have you had enough? The citizens of NJ7 need change. We deserve better than this. VOTE Tom Malinowski November 6th!       MEET LEONARD LANCE (web archive) On Tuesday, June 3, you have an opportunity to vote for Leonard Lance for Congress. Leonard Lance has fought and voted for fiscally responsible measures to reduce spending, lower debt, create jobs, spur economic growth and provide energy independence. AGAINST OBAMACARE: As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, Leonard Lance is on the front-lines in the fight against ObamaCare, voting 64 times to either fully repeal, defund, or dismantle portions of this onerous legislation. Leonard Lance supports sensible measures that include allowing insurance to be sold across state lines, improving health savings accounts (HSAs), establishing Association Health Plans (AHP) insurance pools and enacting real medical malpractice reform. FIGHTING AN IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY: Leonard Lance joined fellow conservative lawmakers in voting to rein in an out-of-control executive branch who has far exceeded its constitutional limits at nearly every turn. Leonard Lance also voted to stop Obama’s Internal Revenue Service from attempting to silence American citizens who merely seek to exercise their constitutionally-protected right to freedom of speech. SUPPORTS AMERICAN-MADE ENERGY: As New Jersey's only Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Leonard Lance is committed to an “all-of-the-above” American-made energy policy to help bring down fuel prices, create more jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign energy. AGAINST AMNESTY: Leonard Lance opposes the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill. Lance opposes amnesty, supports securing our borders first and requiring businesses to use the E-Verify background check system. SUPPORTS KEYSTONE PIPELINE: Four times Leonard Lance voted to approve the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring secure energy to America, support the creation of thousands of jobs, and help bring down prices at the pump. AGAINST OBAMA'S ENERGY TAX: Leonard Lance voted to protect American businesses from overly burdensome environmental regulations, including twice casting his vote against President Obama’s energy tax proposal. FIGHTING FOR A BETTER ECONOMY: Leonard Lance voted for fiscally responsible proposals that will bring growth, prosperity and certainty to our economy. And Lance has voted for proposals that lift bureaucratic hurdles, red tape, and cost burdens that have hurt New Jersey’s small businesses. LOWER TAXES FOR NEW JERSEY: Leonard Lance voted to renew all the expiring tax cuts for 99 percent of New Jersey taxpayers and has been a vocal opponent of the President's plan to raise taxes on New Jersey's families and small businesses. Leonard Lance voted to eliminate the "death tax," voted to cut business taxes by 20 percent and cosponsored legislation to repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). And on tax reform Lance voted for a plan that calls for a simpler, flatter and fairer tax system that will restore economic opportunity and prosperity to our Nation's economy. VOTED FOR RESPONSIBLE BUDGET PLAN: As a strong fiscal conservative Leonard Lance has voted for “The Path to Prosperity" that balances the federal budget in a decade, cuts wasteful spending, reins in our national debt, harnesses domestic energy, restores patient-centered health care, strengthens retirement and safety net programs and reforms our tax code. Leonard Lance also voted for "Cut, Cap and Balance" that brings our budget into balance in five years. SUPPORTS A BALANCED BUDGET: Leonard Lance voted for a federal balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and is the author of the Lance Amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution that prohibits further state borrowing without voter approval. STOP THE SPENDING: Leonard Lance has always fought against wasteful government spending, opposing the $1 trillion stimulus, the 9,000-earmark omnibus spending bill and President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget. And Lance was one of the first Republicans to reject earmarks and authored legislation to repeal the wasteful ethanol subsidy. NO BAILOUTS; REJECT TOO-BIG-TO-FAIL: Leonard Lance voted against the TARP bailout bill. Lance voted to rein in housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and cosponsored legislation to audit the Federal Reserve. And Leonard Lance voted against the disastrous Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that codified "too-big-to-fail" and created a permanent federal bailout authority paid for by the taxpayers. 
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A Former Young Conservative for Tom Malinowski

This election will bring many different types of individuals to the polls. Like many young people, I never considered politics to be something I needed to pay attention to before the 2016 election; my family was loving, stable, and we were fortunate to have a good economic foundation to rely on. I voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 Presidential Election and considered myself a right-leaning independent when I came of voting age. Then Donald Trump announced his bid for the White House, and all my perceptions of what I thought was morally righteous and dignified went right out the window.
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Naked As Nature Intended- Lance Silent on Healthcare

Leonard Lance stands before us, stripped for his medical exam, and it is not a pretty sight. What is his position on healthcare?  The man whose proud boast was once the 60+ times he had voted eviscerate The Affordable Care Act, has gone strangely quiet on the topic. The man has no more idea what to do about this issue than he knew about the number of his constituents who depended on Obamacare.  Little wonder he is quiet.  After Lance and his colleagues failed to get the Affordable Care Act repealed, Republicans have turned to the courts to do their work for them. Jeff Sessions has refused to defend a Texas lawsuit, which if successful will have nationwide implications. It will make the individual mandate unconstitutional AND the provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers.  The Department of Health and Human Services  say about 133 million Americans younger than 65 — about 51 percent of that population — are believed to live with pre-existing conditions. In NJ7, the estimates for the number of non-elderly (under 65) with preexisting conditions is331,800, or 53%.    And, no, all those people are not going to suddenly lose their health insurance. But maybe, if you have a preexisting condition and are covered by your employer, think about what may happen when you change jobs.  Or have some empathy for those who will face higher premiums, or who have no coverage. Or think about the 20,600 of Lance’s constituents who currently depend on Obamacare. Or think about women, who stand to lose the ability to buy a health plan that actually covers the medical care they need. Or those in their 50s and early 60s who have not yet reached 65, the age at which most people become eligible for Medicare.  Medicare - The Great Safe Haven for healthcare. Well, in case you millennials missed it, Leonard Lance just said in the Chamber of Commerce debate that “for people who are young now” the age for Medicare eligibility will have to go up…..  Leonard Lance’s prescription for healthcare is a plague. Tom Malinowski is the cure for what ails us.  #RememberinNovember #NJ07  
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Why We Must Send Menendez Back to the Senate

I feel like I need to address the elephant in the middle of the room for a moment. I know there are some that are having difficulty voting for Senator Menendez. I get it, I really do. However, there is no alternative! His opponent is a rubber stamp for the Trump Administration. There is a small path to victory to win the Senate, but there is no conceivable way we get to even think about flipping the Senate without saving Senator Menendez’s seat. But most importantly his policies directly align with who WE are as a people. We remain a community that is invested in doing what is right for our citizens of New Jersey. And Senator Menendez has always been a champion for us. The following is just some of the ways Senator Menendez is fighting for all of us! Healthcare and The Affordable Care Act Senator Menendez has been a fierce defender of affordable quality healthcare in New Jersey. He co-authored the Affordable Care Act in the Finance Committee during the Obama Administration. He supports a public option, women's health coverage, and affordable health care options. The Environment and Climate Change Senator Menendez has consistently supported the Clean Power Plan, advocated for the US to remain in the Paris Climate Accords, and as the Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee he is very aware of the national security implications of climate change. (ATNJ 2018) Senator Menendez has been a fighter on protecting our coast from offshore drilling, protecting green spaces, and cleaning Superfund sites by making polluters pay. Did you notice how blue and clean our oceans were this summer at our beaches? Senator Menendez is determined to protect our coastline. Seniors We all know Republicans are looking to raid Social Security and Medicare to pay for their tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.  Senator Menendez has always fought back against Republican efforts to privatize Social Security, saddle seniors with higher prescription drug costs, and turn Medicare into a cheap voucher program. He helped defeat the Trump Administration's efforts to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, which would have left the disabled and elderly out in the homeless and without medical treatment. Family Medical Leave Act Senator Menendez has co-sponsored the Healthy Families Act, which requires that employers allow workers to earn paid sick time. He believes that all employees shouldn’t be punished for getting sick by not getting paid. Immigration Senator Menendez has devoted his entire political career fighting to protect immigrants. As the son of Cuban immigrants, he is personally aware of the struggle. A group of Westfield 20/20 members left their families and drove to Washington D.C. to meet with the Senator. He was just as outraged as we were on the separation of children from their families and made an impassioned speech on the floor of the Senate releasing the tape of the cries of the children incarcerated despite the opposition’s insistence that he not play the tape on the floor. He is ferociously fighting to end the crisis at the U.S. border caused by its zero tolerance policy separating immigrant families. Senator Menendez has consistently fought for the DACA policy and against Trump’s mass deportation agenda. Education Senator Menendez has fought for years against increasing student loan interest rates. He and Elizabeth Warren introduced the Student Loan Tax Relief Act, which eliminates the hidden tax on forgiven student loan debt, to protect American students and their families from continued financial hardship, while bolstering long-term U.S. economic growth. He sponsored legislation to create a federal-state partnership to provide two years of tuition-free access to public community or technical college programs that lead to a degree or industry-recognized credential. (ATNJ, October 2018) Gun Safety Senator Menendez has been a gun sense advocate for over 2 decades. Senator Menendez recognized twenty-five years ago the danger of assault weapons and voted for the original Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 as a member of the House of Representatives.He also co-sponsored legislation to restore the assault weapons ban. He has advocated gun safety by sponsoring legislation to expand background checks and close the gun show loophole, outlaw “bump stocks” and other devices that make semiautomatic weapons fully automatic, prevent those on the Terror Watch List from purchasing guns, and improve access to mental health and addiction treatment.(ATNJ, October 2018) Foreign Affairs Senator Menendez is not afraid of standing up to Russia. He has been sanctioned by Russia for standing up to Russian aggression and their attacks on American democracy and He has been a vocal and relentless critic of Trump’s relationship with Putin. We need Senator Menendez to keep fighting for us! We need a strong voice in Washington to advocate and protect the interests of New Jersey. We need you to VOTE for Bob Menendez for Senate. Marci Bandelli Marci Bandelli is the Co-Founder of Westfield 20/20, a New Jersey grassroots activist group with over 2,000 members; the group has been featured on the PBS NewsHour, The Rachel Maddow Show, and in The New York Times.
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A Republican Unethical Sham

  While I was canvassing last week, a voter told me he and his wife would not consider voting for a Democrat because “what the Democrats are doing in Washington is a disgrace”.  I bid my doorstep interlocutor a polite good day, and moved on. But I was seething, thinking this is all of a one with Lindsay Graham’s vituperative outburst about the Democrats “unethical sham.”  The “unethical sham” comes from Republicans, and the righteous hysteria on view has become the Republican stock-in-trade in response to any push-back to their right wing agenda. That primordial turtle, Mitch McConnell, blew up any remaining bipartisan consensus on Supreme Court nominations when he flat out refused to hold hearings on the Merrick Garland nomination. That was the first step in conservative plans to reshape the courts for a generation. He doesn’t give a damn about Christine Blasey Ford and her accusation.  He wouldn’t care if Kavanaugh followed Trump’s playbook and stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody, Kavanaugh has got his vote.  Indeed Kavanaugh DID follow Trump’s playbook in his shrieking defense on Thursday.  Here is a Trump quote from Bob Woodward’s book “Fear”: “You’ve got to deny, deny, deny and push back on these women. If you admit to anything and any culpability, then you’re dead.” Sound familiar?  In Kavanaugh’s extraordinary rant, any shred of pretense that we can expect judicial impartiality from him was ripped away.  This is a man who is hand-picked to rubber stamp the Trumpianagenda. And he can start right away through his vote in “Gamble vs. U.S.” in October. That decision could allow Trump to pardon all of his associates who have pleaded guilty in the Mueller investigation, and protect them from separate state-level criminal prosecutions. And Lindsey Graham’s crepuscular colleague on the Judiciary Committee, Orrin Hatch, filed a brief to the court promoting just that outcome.  You know what I think? What Republicans are doing in Washington is a disgrace.  On November 6, we need to get off our doorsteps, get to the polls, and throw them out.  Leonard Lance goes first.   #RememberinNovember #NJ07
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Women of NJ07 Discuss the Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing

We asked women in NJ07 to share their thoughts about the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing. This is what they wrote:
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