On Thursday, April 5th 2018, at Millburn High School, there was a fire drill during fourth period. As almost as if it had been rehearsed, every student and teacher filed out of their respective classes immediately and walked out onto the street. With fire alarms blaring, I found myself studying for my next test and walking at the same time, paying no attention at all to the students around me, who were probably just talking or (knowing the cut-throat atmosphere at Millburn) studying as well. The siren’s harsh tones mellowed slowly, and then became silent. Everyone went about their routine as if nothing happened, because nothing had happened. It was just a drill.Read more
50 years after his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. message and vision are still very important for the soul of America. King was a powerful leader who promoted and accomplished great achievements for the black civil rights struggle in the US; he peacefully advocated against racism in all its forms, using, among other things, the technique of nonviolent protests. He was truly determined and completely dedicated to the cause and not afraid of the personal danger in which his activism placed him. He realized that he was the best path to a hope of a better future, foremost for people of color in America, but also for future generations of all Americans, for the progress and soul of the country, and for humanity in general.Read more
Congressman Leonard Lance has declined invitation by student activists in New Jersey’s seventh congressional district to attend a town hall discussing the issue of gun violence and our nation’s need for stricter gun control legislation.Read more
A little over a month ago, my friend, Katherine Morris, and I created a petition to Congressman Leonard Lance requesting that he support future legislation regarding stricter gun regulations (the banning of semi-automatic weapons, bumpstocks and silencers; enforcement of stricter universal background checks; enacting red flag laws, etc.). We received an overwhelming amount of support from the students at our school, Watchung Hills Regional High School. We obtained over 1,500 signatures from students in the span of just 3 days! We had the unique opportunity to hand-deliver the petition to Congressman Lance when he came to visit our school. From this experience, I was able to see the amount of frustration and passion our student body had towards the issue of guns in America.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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:Read more
GUEST BLOG: Why She Marched; One Woman’s Patriotic Journey.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare of, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” There it is: the Preamble. Our nation’s “mission statement.” I know it by heart. Truly with heart and soul. Sometimes I have to sing the song that goes with it, but I have it committed to memory. Because I believe in it. Because it matters.Read more
It’s been five years since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School where twenty precious first graders and six educators were gunned down in cold blood as they were seated in their classrooms. It was a moment that shook me to my core. It was a moment that shook the nation. It was a moment that surely would change our nation’s gun laws, right? It was that moment that changed so many of us. But would it be enough to change the mind of our Congressman Leonard Lance?Read more