Blog - NJ7 Citizens for Change

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.
Continue reading

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  After Lance and his colleagues failed to get the Affordable Care Act repealed, Republicans have turned to the courts to do their work for them.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  
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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
Continue reading

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:
Continue reading

Thank You Dr. Christine Blasey Ford-From the Women of NJ7 Citizens for Change

     Yesterday, Brett Kavanaugh screamed at ALL WOMEN. He showed us who he is and WE BELIEVE HIM. This man does NOT have the JUDICIAL TEMPERAMENT to be SCOTUS. We can do better!  Thank you, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for your courage and your composure under fire.  We are grateful and proud that you sat before that prejudiced cadre of privileged white males, cowards who refused to engage directly with you. Shame on the toady white woman who did their bidding.  We especially thank you for letting us know with complete certainty that this white male cabal will do anything, yes anything to preserve their power. We now know that they are willing to appoint a hard drinking, sex predator frat boy to the highest court in the land.  Because you came forward, we have seen his High School yearbook and heard from others who have encountered him along the way.  We know that he's willing to lie under oath about his exploits and we know that much of his judicial record remains hidden. Thank you for bringing home the fact that this fight we are in is REAL. Thank you for coming forward to bolster our resolve to end this national nightmare.  What will we do? We will march, knock on doors, raise money, write postcards, run for office and even form Super Pacs until every last privileged white male is gone from the halls of power.  We were already mad! You ain't seen nothing yet.  Hear us Roar!!!!!! Lynda Feder and Sara Miller NJ7 Citizens for Change 
Continue reading

Dave Pringle Speaks Candidly About Congressman Lance

Having known and worked with US Rep. Leonard Lance since 1992, it was not easy deciding to run against him last year. Nearly three decades ago both Lance and I were newly promoted to jobs in Trenton, he as a member of the NJ Legislature having worked for the quintessential bi-partisan moderate Gov. Tom Kean, me in my mid-20’s, as a public interest advocate before the same legislature. For most of the next two decades Lance served with honor in the Legislature. He was a champion on the environment and fiscally responsible, even when that wasn’t popular in either party. He successfully took on Governors. Whitman and McGreevey for their poor borrowing habits and bad land use decisions.  In 2000, he was one of only two NJ legislators (the other being Senator Loretta Weinberg) to score a 100% on Clean Water Action’s scorecard. He took on the precursors to the Tea Party wing of his party to champion the 2004 Highlands and 2007 Global Warming Response Acts. These actions often came at considerable risk to his career – he lost a promotion to chair the Appropriations Committee at one point.
Continue reading

A Teacher for Tom Malinowski

Honesty, humility, integrity, the pursuit of knowledge, consideration of others, and hard work. These were the values my parents and teachers instilled in me as I grew up in the 1960s and 70s. They were presented as American values. Sadly, as a teacher, I see each of these values seriously endangered in today’s America—even in my classroom.
Continue reading

The Silence of the Lance

  Lance is silent on the moral train wreck in the White House.  And he is silent on Republican policy.  Why?  Does anyone really doubt that the White House is in the grip of a malignant narcissist, who is incompetent, unprincipled, and unethical? Why is Lance silent?  Because, while the rest of us are riveted by the White House spectacle, Lance and his colleagues are enacting a conservative revolution, but they want no discussion of the implications. So he is silent.  He knows the damage the tax cuts have done.  He knows the benefits went to the top 1%.  He knows that the next step is to go after your entitlements. In a federal budget in which military spending and interest on debt payments are rising, there is nowhere else to cut.  So he is silent.  He knows that healthcare is under serious threat.  He knows up to 52 million Americans with a pre-existing condition couldbecome uninsured.  So he is silent.  He knows that our environmental policies have been shredded to favor fossil fuel companies.  He knows what climate change and declining air quality mean for the health of our kids and grandkids.  But he is silent.  He knows that the Supreme Court has been highjacked.  He knows what Kavanaugh’s appointment will mean for women’s rights; for gun safety; for the powers of the President.  So he is silent.  He knows that an assault on our public school system is coming.  He knows that the Koch brothers and Betsy Davos and their ilk     see “privatization” of education as the next frontier. And he is silent.  He knows there is no money left for infrastructure, that Trump would love to torpedo the Gateway project.  So he is silent.  He knows his political future is tied to the Congressional Leadership Fund SuperPac and their ability to drown the midterm campaign with fearmongering and disinformation.  So he is silent.  And he will be silent on November 7, because we will rise up in a Blue Wave that will send him sprawling onto the retirement beach of his choice!  VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!  #RememberinNovember #NJ07
Continue reading

Lance’s Platform A Disaster: Constituents Need Change

  What on earth is Leonard Lance running on?  Is he proud of legislation that targeted Blue states to limit our tax deductions? Of enabling the likes of Bob Hugin to benefit from extraordinary treatment for the wealthy, while we remain a donor state for Trumpland? Of generating $1 trillion in share buybacks to boost the net worth of the top 1%?  Does he strut and swagger about the fact that real wage growth has been flat or even declined since Trump took office?  Does he highlight the meteoric growth in the National Debt? Is he saying what Republican deficit spending will mean for Social Security and Medicare?  What is his stance on healthcare now?  Does he know yet how many of his constituents are on Obamacare? How, exactly, will he cover pre-existing conditions?  Is he pointing to Scott Pruitt’s bonfire of regulations that protect our kids and grandkids? To President Trump’s abandonment of fuel economy standards, or the coal emissions rollback?  Is he touting his new-found status as a moderate on gun safety? Or does he prefer to run on his 93%, A-, NRA approval rating?  Is he supporting Betsy Davos in her efforts to use Federal funding to arm our schoolteachers? Is that the limit of his educational policy?  Or is infrastructure his signature accomplishment? No funding for the Gateway Project, other than a set of lottery tickets for funds that MIGHT provide SOME of the money that Trump removed in a fit of personal pique.    Is he happy to defend a corrupt administration, led by a President whose defense is to subvert the rule of law and to turn the DoJ into a personal fiefdom to be aimed at his adversaries? Is he advertising the long list of investigations Republicans swept under the rug, and now fear Democrats might instigate?  Or is he going to fall back on time-honored Republican tactics of phony press releases, whisper campaigns, character assassination, voter suppression and scare tactics?  It looks as though Leonard Lance has allowed Paul Ryan’s Congressional Leadership Fund to make that decision for him.  Remember, empty vessels make the most noise. Don’t be fooled.   #RememberinNovember #NJ07 #TimeforChange  
Continue reading