The coronavirus crisis has brought into focus the continuing challenges that women, minorities, and low-income communities face in New Jersey, especially during times of economic upheaval.
While much of government is consumed with gridlock and division, I will always reach across the aisle and work with Democrats like Senate President Steve Sweeney to support an effort to address the issue of economic injustice.
That’s why I was excited to play a role in the New Jersey Legislature’s reconstitution of the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity.
This committee is charged with developing solutions that can be enacted by the Legislature to address the economic and social disparities that serve as barriers to success.
Senator Ron Rice (D) and Senator Chris Brown (R) led the way on this effort, demonstrating an important bipartisan commitment to providing the fair opportunity to succeed that everyone deserves.
An ardent advocate for educational opportunity and economic justice, I have spent time in many communities. I listened to stories from parents and grandparents who did not feel like their children and grandchildren were going to have a level playing field to achieve, to learn, or to have a stable home life.
As the Senate Republican Leader, I was honored to nominate Senator Brown to represent our caucus on this important committee.
As the senator representing Atlantic City and surrounding areas in the Legislature, Senator Brown has worked very closely with a diverse community of workers and families to address the severe impacts of COVID-19 on Jersey Shore tourism, the casino industry, and the New Jersey economy in general.
I have no doubt that Senator Brown will bring great insight and energy to this role. I am also convinced that the legislators appointed by Senate President Sweeney, Speaker Coughlin, and Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick will bring equal determination to this vital endeavor.
As we move forward, Senate Republicans remain committed to our efforts to ensure that every New Jerseyan has the opportunity they deserve.
We are especially proud of the long-standing dialogue and partnership we have maintained with important stakeholders, including the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) and the New Jersey State NAACP.
We have worked together on our shared goals to ensure that women and minorities are empowered and have a role in critical decision-making opportunities through the government appointment process, the State bidding and procurement system, and State programs that encourage women and minorities to receive the education, skills, and support they need to pursue their dreams.
We look forward to continuing and expanding upon our work together.
I also am grateful for the continued and passionate leadership of my valued friend, Dr. David Jefferson Sr. Esq., who has long been a trusted voice in the fight for economic justice. I support his vision of expanding the diversity of the State Investment Council to match the diverse group of workers who are invested in New Jersey’s public employee pension funds, and to ensure that policies are written to include diverse managers who are allowed to manage these funds.
Ending social and economic inequity should not be a partisan issue. It’s a matter of human decency that transcends politics. It’s an effort we must pursue together.