In the News

The New Jersey Institute For Social Justice Leads Coalition Of Youth Advocates, Fair Housing, Civil Rights And Religious Organizations, In March For Social Justice

They braved the chill, wind and rain of a nor’easter as they marched through Newark’s south ward. The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice led the way for the broad coalition of fair housing, civil rights and religious organizations.

African-Americans Rally For Social Policy Agenda After Overwhelming Murphy Support

Tap Into Newark reports:

NEWARK, NJ - A largely African-American crowd in a packed church basement in Newark voiced impatience and exasperation with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, calling on him to commit to a proposed social policy agenda after they overwhelmingly committed themselves to his election. 

Institute For Social Justice And Others Holding Rally To Make NJ Governor Accountable

New York Amsterdam News reports:

Saturday, the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and other groups, including the NAACP, are holding the Rally for the #94Percent in front of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in Newark calling on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to be accountable to the 94 percent of Black voters that elected him into office.

Black Voters Of New Jersey To Murphy: Remember The #94Percent

Newark Patch reports:

NEWARK, NJ — They're calling themselves the #94Percent… "the number of black voters who cast their ballots for Gov. Phil Murphy in 2017."

Governor, Dems Cautioned It's Time To Repay African-American Support

NJ Spotlight reports:

Weeks before the critical midterm elections, community leaders tell Democrats — especially Gov. Phil Murphy — that they want action on important issues.

Ron Pierce Featured in The Daily Targum

The Daily Targum reports:

Pierce said he hopes to tear down barriers set against [formerly incarcerated people] that make it difficult for them to re-enter society, obtain housing and employment.

Despite this, he believes the greatest concern for newly released inmates is the restoration of their voting rights — the last time Pierce voted was 1985. 

New Jersey is among other states considering legislation that would allow people who are incarcerated, on parole and under probation supervision the right to vote, according to The Wall Street Journal. If passed, the Garden State would be the third in the country to pass such a bill behind Vermont and Maine. 

While most states restore voter rights upon completion of an inmates sentence, some do not immediately renew these rights. 

Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia do not automatically restore voting rights once an inmate has graduated from their sentence. Florida’s laws, especially, have been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge — and even earned a spot on satirical late-night show "Last Week Tonight" — for being "nonsensical" and a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, according to National Public Radio (NPR).

Scott Novakowski Speaks Out Against the Citizenship Question #2020Census

NorthJersey.com reports:

Scott Novakowski of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice talked about the ongoing debate and possible litigation over the Trump administration’s plan to add a question about citizenship status to the census questionnaire.

Novakowski said the question would discourage non-documented immigrants from participating in the census. “It is not favorable for the country,” he said. “An accurate count is necessary for increased funding for school, roads and more.”

Star Ledger: Promises to the 94% Must Be Kept

Ryan Haygood writes in the Star Ledger:

Without the support of the Black community, it's unlikely that he would be New Jersey's governor, given that 53 percent of white voters supported his opponent.

So what does this Black support mean to the governor going forward? Murphy stated that he is conducting a racial disparity study.

That's the right place to start. Racial disparities in wealth, in access to the ballot box, and in criminal justice illuminate the systemic racism facing New Jersey's Black community.

For example, the median net worth for New Jersey's white families is $271,402 -- the highest in the nation. But the median net worth for New Jersey's Latino and Black families is just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively.

Additionally, New Jersey denies the vote to nearly 100,000 people who are in people who are in prison, on parole or probation. Half of those denied the right to vote are Black, though black people comprise just 15 percent of the state's population.

But nine months into his administration, the governor has not focused on these or the starkest racial disparities affecting New Jersey: its shameful youth incarceration system.

Times of Trenton: Gov. Murphy invests $10M to create a skilled N.J. workforce

The Times of Trenton Editorial Board wrote:

A non-profit organization working to improve the state's urban communities says it's found a key to economic prosperity in a tried-and-true labor arrangement that's been with us for generations.

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice sees apprenticeships as a way to build a skilled workforce while putting women and minorities on an even playing field with other job applicants.

The approach has much to recommend it, especially for unemployed workers who continue to struggle in the long shadow of the 2008 recession.

In a stroke of cosmic good timing, the institute issued a report extolling the virtues of apprentice programs at the same time Gov. Phil Murphy has launched such an initiative through the state's Department of Labor.

 

101.5: A call for more apprenticeships to boost New Jersey economy

101.5 reports:

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice's report calls on Garden State lawmakers to introduce a range of incentives to promote apprenticeship programs.

Demelza Baer, the Institute's senior counsel and director of the Economic Mobility Initiative, said many people are working but they’re “unable to afford all of life’s necessities, like rent, food and healthcare. This inequality is worse for people of color and women and it’s reached a really alarming level.”