News

The Guardian Highlights Demelza Baer's Report in Newark Rebellion Coverage

The Guardian reports:

Newark remains one of America’s poorest cities, with one-third of residents below the poverty line. Residents hold only 18% of jobs in the city – far less than in “similarly situated” cities such as Baltimore and New Orleans – and only 10% of jobs that pay more than $40,000 per year, according to a new report by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. A 2014 study of six of the city’s anchor firms and universities found only 3% of procurement went to local suppliers. The data shows a city where a real downtown boom has brought, so far, little benefit to the broader population.

Observer: NJISJ says Kobach Commission is an effort to “disenfranchise voters.”

The Observer reports:

Before New Jersey’s decision was announced, advocacy groups including the ACLU urged Guadagno to deny the request. The ACLU called the inquiry a “sham exercise” and the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice said the purpose of the commission was to “disenfranchise voters.”

Rutgers-Newark Highlights Institute's Report, Bridging the Two Americas

Rutgers-Newark reports:

Among the most ambitious elements is an effort that the cross-sector partners are calling “Newark 2020,” the aim of which is to connect 2,020 unemployed Newarkers to work by 2020. According to a recent report from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Newark’s 33% poverty rate among minority populations is nearly double the national average and only 18% of jobs in Newark are held by city residents, half the proportion of that in comparable cities. For their part in increasing access to jobs for Newarkers, Chancellor Cantor and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) Chancellor Brian Strom announced that their institutions combined aim to make 220 local hires.

WHYY Interviews Scott Novakowski on Kobach Commission

WHYY reports:

On Wednesday, the New Jersey ACLU and the Institute of Social Justice wrote letters urging the state to reject the request.

Institute attorney Scott Novakowski said the state can't release that private data, and it shouldn't trust the commission.


"It was created by the president, really, with the goal of perpetuating this myth of pervasive voter fraud," he said.

Arts and Advocacy: New Jersey Justice Through Arts

New Jersey Justice Through Arts, an initiative of Youth Justice New Jersey, seeks to build a community of artists from all different mediums to join together to say: We must #CloseJamesburg and #CloseHayes because #150yearsisenough.

"In my experience playing jazz music, I have seen and experienced its ability to uplift and empower a community of people," said Alexander Laurenzi, a musician with Jazz House Kids, Alumni All Star Band, pictured below at the Institute's June 28th rally, outside the New Jersey Training School for Boys. "With this campaign, artists have the unique opportunity to not only inspire necessary change in the juvenile justice system, but to use their talents to bring communities together."

New Jersey Must Reject the Request for Private Voter Information from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice has sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the state’s chief election official, and Bob Giles, Director of the New Jersey Division of Elections, to urge them to deny the request of Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, to provide the Commission with the personal information of New Jersey’s 5.6 million registered voters, including sensitive information that is not, and should not be, made public. The Institute's letter can be found below. 

"The Commission was created by President Trump to perpetuate the repeatedly debunked myth of pervasive voter fraud," said Ryan P. Haygood, Institute President and CEO. "This request has the same shameful purpose as poll taxes, literacy tests, and voter identification laws: to deny people of color the right to vote."

Kobach recently requested information on all of New Jersey’s registered voters, including full first and last names, addresses, dates of birth, political affiliations, last four digits of each voter’s Social Security Number, voter history, active/inactive/cancelled status, and information related to felony convictions, registration in another state, military service, and overseas citizen status. Already 25 states have refused to comply with Kobach's request.

Kobach’s letter includes no explanation of how the Commission plans to use this data or how it intends to safeguard New Jersey voters’ personal information. Kobach seems to affirmatively disregard privacy concerns, writing that any documents provided to the Commission will also be made available to the public.

"New Jersey is under no obligation to comply with Kobach’s request,” said Institute Associate Counsel Scott Novakowski. "In fact, complying with this request may run afoul of privacy laws that protect against disclosure of certain personal information, and may dissuade New Jersey residents from registering to vote in the future.”

As Secretary of State of Kansas, Kobach advanced unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud to support voter suppressive policies. He has already lost multiple rounds of litigation challenging the anti-democratic policies he put in place in Kansas. Just last week, a federal judge sanctioned Kobach for his “patently misleading representations” and “deceptive conduct and lack of candor” in defending those policies.

“To be clear, the purpose of compiling this information is not to protect the 'integrity' of elections," said Haygood. "Its purpose is to disfranchise voters and to support amending the National Voter Registration Act to make it harder to register to vote and easier to remove eligible voters from the rolls. As we explain in our letter, New Jersey simply cannot countenance such an anti-democratic result.”

 

Media Round-Up: #150yearsisenough Campaign Launch

Please check out the media coverage of the June 28, 2017 campaign launch, as well as the editorials in support of the campaign:

Photo Gallery: June 28, 2017 #150yearsisenough

On June 28, 2017, more than 300 people gathered outside the gates of the New Jersey Training School for Boys to say: 150 years of youth incarceration is enough! Please check out our photo gallery on Facebook which captures the beauty and inspiration of this historic day.

300+ Attend Rally to Say #150yearsisenough

 

On June 28, 2017, more than 300 people gathered outside the gates of the New Jersey Training School for Boys ("Jamesburg") to say: 150 years is enough. Close Jamesburg. Close Hayes (Female Secure Care and Intake Facility.)

 

“On June 28, 1867, Jamesburg opened its doors,” said Ryan P. Haygood, Institute President and CEO. “And on June 28, 2017, we will launch a campaign outside of Jamesburg’s prison doors to declare that 150 years of youth incarceration is enough. We are lifting our collective voices to transform New Jersey's youth incarceration system into a community-based system of care. We must make sure that our youth receive the rehabilitation they need, so that they can mature and grow into responsible adults. That is not happening in the current system.” 

 

New Jersey's juvenile justice system is plagued by extreme racial disparities. Out of the 222 youth who are incarcerated in the state's three youth prisons, as of January 1, 2017, just 13 are white, despite research that shows Black and white youth have similar rates of offending. 

 

“We must move to a system where every child is treated like a child, regardless of race,” said Institute Associate Counsel Andrea McChristian, primary author of a report on New Jersey’s juvenile justice system, Bring Our Children Home: Ain’t I A Child. 

 

Recognizing New Jersey’s youth prison system as a moral stain on our state, several faith leaders will stand outside Jamesburg on Wednesday to declare that 150 years is enough.