NEWARK – The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and other democracy advocates testified today in front of the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee, urging members to reject A2131 and S2912, bills that allow police at schools and senior residential centers on Election Day.
If passed, A2131 and S2912 would roll back parts of a pro-democracy law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy on Jan. 18 that prohibited law enforcement from being within 100 feet of polling places but allowing them to respond in emergency situations.
The New Jersey Institute and a group of democracy advocates issued the following statement:
"Law enforcement and voting do not go together. In election after election, people are intimidated by police at the polls, especially Black and Brown voters. This is the last thing we want given the current threats to our democracy. No one should be intimidated out of casting a ballot.
“We must keep our kids and our democracy safe, but this bill is not the way to do either. Schools that are concerned about safety during elections can, if viable, go remote or close for the day, as some already do for certain elections – instead of making already over-policed Black and Brown kids feel less safe from armed officers in their school. We should also be enacting policies like gun safety laws that truly would enhance school safety, not chipping away at our democracy.
“New Jersey should be looking forward and expanding democracy – not rolling back the progress it has already made.”
The following organization sign on to the statement above:
All of Us or None Northern Jersey
All of us or None--South Jersey
Amend the Thirteenth
Atlantic City Independence Committee
Black Lives Matter Paterson
Black Men United Coalition
Fair Share Housing Center
League of Women Voters of New Jersey
Meet 'em at the Gate
Meet her at the Gate
NAACP New Jersey State Conference
New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
New Jersey Policy Perspective
Newark Communities for Accountable Policing
Nu Entry Opportunity Specialists
Our Revolution New Jersey
Returning Citizens Support Group
Salvation and Social Justice
Southern Burlington County NJ NAACP
The Gem Project, Inc.
Transformative Justice Initiative
Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair
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