Blog - NJ7 Citizens for Change

PRESS RELEASE: New Jersey Student Activists Demand Town Hall With Congressman Lance

Students invite Congressman Lance to a town hall on April 20th, to discuss the issue of gun violence and give constituents the ability to voice their concerns about legislation he has supported. NEW PROVIDENCE, New Jersey — (April 20th, 2018) — A group of student activists from New Jersey’s 7th congressional district have launched an initiative to host a town hall on the topic of gun safety. However, current district Representative Leonard Lance, who is up for reelection this year, has not confirmed his availability, despite numerous phone calls and email requests. Meanwhile, the students have already confirmed the presence of candidates Tom Malinowski, Goutam U. Jois, and Peter Jacobs who are challenging Rep. Lance for his seat in Congress during the upcoming 2018 midterm election.
Continue reading

Nonsensical Sentencing: The US Prison Overcrowding Crisis

by Tina Tarighian The 1960s were the beginning of a period of mass incarceration for the United States. When citizens felt unsafe in their neighborhoods, they propelled legislators to draft bills that made their system tougher and their streets safer. What they didn’t account for, however, was that clinging to the orthodoxy that more incarceration always means less crime would be the exact reason that the United States now harbors the population of some countries behind bars and leads the world in inmate count. Until we have some real reform, this legacy can never be ameliorated.
Continue reading

Saving Education: The Real Choice We Have to Make

Saving Education:  The Real Choice We Have to Make After March for our Lives, let’s talk about what is supposed to happen in schools: education.
Continue reading

NATIONAL SECURITY: Avoiding a Constitutional Crisis

NATIONAL SECURITY: Avoiding a Constitutional Crisis Leonard Lance, what will you do to prevent President Trump from firing Robert Mueller? This once unthinkable scenario becomes more likely with every passing day.  The President does not tolerate dissent, firing those with whom he disagrees, and surrounding himself with those whose loyalty is to him, not to the Office. He has always viewed the Department of Justice as a tool to wield his authority against his opponents, as seen by the events surrounding the dismissals of James Comey and Andrew McCabe.
Continue reading

Dear Mr. Congressman: A Student's Message to Leonard Lance

  Dear Mr. Congressman, My name is Sid, and I’m a Senior at Somerset VoTech. I’m typing out this letter to you on my phone, in the middle of a packed crowd at the Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, NJ. This is the first rally I’ve ever been to in my life, because I’m a cynic, Mr. Congressman. I’ve never held the hope that a protest could shake this country onto the right path, or that a clever sign could be the mirror that sparks real reflection on Capitol Hill. Mr. Congressman, I write to you today that I will be the last of the cynics. There is no more room in our democracy for the tired deflections of the past. I recognize that there are nuances to the issue of gun violence in America, but there is one divide that will forever and always be black-and-white: Mr. Congressman, we can either commit to act, or sit back and enable these horrific tragedies to continue.
Continue reading

Weak-Stance Lance is Whistling in the Dark- He Hopes You Won't Vote

  What does Conor Lamb’s victory mean for NJ7, our Congressman was asked?  “Secretary Clinton carried my district by 3,800 votes and I was honored to carry it by 38,000 votes . . . . I’m very confident the voters in my district will judge me based upon my record.” Confident? Really? In a race that is now a toss-up?  In NJ, where voters disapprove 63-32% of the job President Trump is doing? With your A- rating from the NRA, in the year of #Neveragain?  With a proud boast of at least 39 votes to repeal, defund or dismantle Obamacare, when healthcare is again top of mind? With your 34% rating from the League of Conservation Voters?  With an 83% approval rating from a Koch brothers group, when we are thinking what we could have done with the $1.5 trillion we gave to the Kochs and their ilk??  You think?  Congressman, we will be delighted to judge you on your record! Congressman Lance has one hope.  You won’t vote.  Or your neighbor won’t vote; or your aunt won’t vote, or your son won’t vote.  And Republicans love to put a thumb on the scales when it comes to voting.  They have perfected the gerrymander, such that 49% of votes for the House translated to 55% of the seats.They love to roll logs in the path of the poor, immigrants, people of color, all in the name of preventing wholly fictitious voter fraud.   But this time, Congressman, we are going to find those 38,000 votes and a few more! We will find them among our large suburban base of motivated women and millennials and minorities.  We will find them in the first time voters we are registering, who expect us to take on the NRA.  And we will find them among the decent people of NJ7 who are disgusted by the fourth-rate reality TV show that is the Trump administration that YOU support. And we WILL vote as though our lives depend upon it.  Because they DO! Remember in November!  
Continue reading

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.
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.
Continue reading

THE ECONOMY: Pennies for You?

THE ECONOMY:  Pennies for You? Hey, did you see the billboard posted in Minnesota? It features a smug looking Trump, and the banner “Millions for Me, Pennies for You!” Well, they’ve got that right…. Reducing corporate tax rates was going to boost incomes and stimulate investment, right? So far, we’ve seen about $6 billion in bonuses versus more than $170 billion in stock buybacks, money that isn’t being invested in plants and equipment, the supposed point of the tax cut. Who are the beneficiaries? The top 1% of course. Including the President’s new friends, the Koch brothers.
Continue reading