APN News

APN announcements and press releases are below. Members of the press can reach APN Executive Director at renee@antipovertynetwork.org.
  • 01 Dec 2015 10:35 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    APN was honored to participate in a press call held on November 30 with New Jersey Policy Perspective, Senator Booker and Senator Menendez to discuss the importance of tax credits for working families. 


    Below is a round-up of media coverage: 

    WBGO

    Serena Rice leads the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. She says the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are critical for working families.
    "It's used to pay off heating bills that have piled up over cold winter months. It's used to finally get the car fixed so that it won't suddenly die when the wage owner is going out to work. Families use it to buy clothes and shoes for growing children."


    NJ.com


    "I saw the differences it made for families in Newark who were able to get those funds," said Booker, a former Newark mayor. He warned that New Jersey would be hit particularly hard if these provisions were allowed to expire.

    "The last thing New Jersey needs is for the Congress to not take action to extend the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit that would have an effect of either increasing the poverty level or dumping up to 600,000 or 700,000 New Jerseyans into the poverty level," said Gordon MacInnes, executive director of New Jersey Police Perspective, a left-leaning Trenton think tank.

    NJ Spotlight

    Losing several hundred dollars in annual income would be a big deal for most families in New Jersey, said Serena Rice, executive director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. But for New Jersey’s lowest-income families, losing that much money “can mean a real crisis,” she said. Those families frequently use the income from the tax credits to help pay heating bills, cover car repairs or buy clothes and shoes.

    “It is crucial,” Rice said.


    PolitickerNJ

    “Let’s be clear, a vote against these important family credits is a vote to increase the taxes on millions of working families, plain and simple,” said Menendez. “It has been recognized then and now, by Republicans and Democrats, liberal and conservative economists, as one of the most effective public policy tools against poverty, particularly childhood poverty. That’s why we all need to work together to fight for an EITC and CTC that pulls people out of poverty instead of pushing them back in.”





  • 24 Nov 2015 7:18 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    As the holiday season begins, the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey is launching a new campaign (and accompanying website) called Stories of New Jersey to call attention to New Jerseyans who struggle to meet their basic needs, and highlight the programs that help put food on their tables. The campaign is launched in partnership with the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.



    According to the recently released report by Legal Services of New Jersey, almost one-third of New Jersey residents live in poverty. This campaign will show the stories behind these grim statistics - and what can be done about it.


    Megan is the first person to be featured in Stories of New Jersey. Megan is a single mother and domestic violence survivor who relies on government assistance to support her family. She was recently one of the keynote panelists at the Anti-Poverty Network’s Poverty Summit. She works closely with Soul of Hunger and the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition. Read Megan’s story here.


    In conjunction with the campaign, we are also launching a contest for supporters to create a logo for Stories of New Jersey. The logo will be an important tool to promote this consciousness-raising initiative, get people interested, and counteract stereotypes. So get creative and send us your ideas! The creator of the winning entry will win free registration for next year’s Poverty Summit. Submissions can be sent to elizabeth@antipovertynetwork.org. We look forward to seeing what you create! Please enter your submission by December 23.


    Please share Megan’s story on Twitter:

    "I had enough courage to save my life," Megan: domestic violence survivor, single mom, SNAP recipient, food pantry client  #storiesofnj


    To arrange an interview to share your story, please email APN Communications Manager Elizabeth at elizabeth@antipovertynetwork.org.



  • 11 Nov 2015 5:30 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    This Veterans Day the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, and the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey are joining together to call attention to both the plight of New Jersey veterans facing economic hardship and solutions to lift New Jersey veterans out of poverty.

     

    "It's so important for people to understand that the men and women who have served our country so bravely are also some of the people who rely on federal programs to help feed their families," said Adele LaTourette, Director of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition. "We need to work together to ensure that these programs are there to help them when they return from active duty and work to rebuild their lives."

     

    In honor of Veterans Day, the organizations are launching a social media campaign called #NJHungryHeroes. On November 11, partners are encouraged to tweet messages that recognize the economic struggles veterans face, and the importance of food assistance and other programs that support struggling veterans.

     

    The organizations also hope to raise awareness around new legislation introduced by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), called the Senior and Veterans and EmergencyBenefits Act (SAVE). The senators introduced SAVE last week to boost Social Security and other critical benefits for seniors, veterans and other Americans following the announcement in October that there will be no cost-of-living adjustment in 2016. The proposed legislation would give about 70 million seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and others an emergency payment equal to 3.9 percent of the average annual Social Security benefit -- about $581.

     

    "I applaud legislation that particularly looks at the struggle that our seniors – many of them veterans – are facing," said Diane Riley, Director of Advocacy for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. "In New Jersey that struggle has been exacerbated in recent years by cuts to the SNAP program.  We hear from so many seniors whose benefits have been cut back to the minimum of $16 per month.  With no cost-of-living increase in social security, even more seniors will have nowhere else to go than their local food pantry."

     

    Evidence from emergency feeding programs shows that military families are disproportionately vulnerable to hunger. One in five Community FoodBank of New Jersey client households has a member who has served or is serving in the military. In New Jersey an estimated 19,500 veterans lived in households receiving SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits within the last 12 months, according to an analysis published in 2014 by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  


    "Programs matter because of the people they serve," said APN Executive Director Serena Rice. "It sounds so obvious when you state it like that, but too often the people get lost in policy debates about caseloads and budgets. We need these reminders that real human beings, including thousands of military heroes and their families, will go hungry if we don't invest in the programs that help them meet their basic needs. " 

  • 05 Nov 2015 11:07 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    APN Executive Director Serena Rice has been invited to become an OxFam Sisters on the Planet ambassador. Sisters on the Planet ambassadors are leaders from a variety of fields who work to alleviate poverty and hunger, and combat injustice, with a particular focus on empowering women. This is an exciting opportunity for APN to partner with national and international efforts to create a world free of poverty.



  • 02 Nov 2015 10:00 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    Last month, the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey invited all candidates for the New Jersey assembly to sign the Poverty Solutions Pledge, which recognizes the impact of significant levels of poverty in every district in the state, and calls on candidates to work with anti-poverty partners in promoting solutions.

     

    The Anti-Poverty Network thanks the following assembly members and candidates who have signed the Poverty Solutions Pledge:


    District 2 (Atlantic county)

    Colin Bell, candidate

     

    District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties)

    Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

     

    District 6 (Burlington and Camden counties)

    Majority Leader Assemblyman Louis Greenwald

    Deputy Speaker Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt

     

    District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex counties)

    Assemblyman Daniel Benson

    Steven Welzer, candidate

    Jo Ann Cousin, candidate 

     

    District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer counties)

    Assemblyman Reed Gusciora

    Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio

     

    District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties)

    Maureen Vella, candidate

    Andrew Zwicker, candidate

     

    District 19 (Middlesex county)

    Deputy Speaker Assemblyman John Wisniewski

     

    District 20 (Union county)

    Assemblyman Jamel Holley

    Assemblywoman Annette Quijano

     

    District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren counties)

    Kenneth Collins, candidate

     

    District 25 (Morris and Somerset counties)

    Republican Leader Assemblyman Anthony Bucco

     

    District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic counties)

    Jimmy Brash, candidate

     

    District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean counties)

    James Keady, candidate

     

    District 32 (Bergen and Hudson counties)

    Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez

    Assembly speaker Assemblyman Vincent Prieto

     

    District 34 (Essex and Passaic counties)

    Deputy Majority Leader Assemblyman Thomas Giblin

    Speaker Emeritus Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver

     

    District 36 (Bergen and Passaic counties)

    Deputy Speaker/Budget Chair Assemblyman Gary Schaer

     

    District 38 (Bergen and Passaic counties)

    Assemblyman Tim Eustace

     

    District 39 (Bergen and Passaic counties)

    Mayor John DeRienzo, candidate

    Mayor Jeffrey Goldsmith, candidate

     

    “The rising levels of poverty in our state is heartbreaking and unacceptable," said Assemblyman Schaer. "That’s why I have fought hard, along with my democratic colleagues, to ensure social programs are in place at the county and state levels so that our most vulnerable populations have access to healthcare, food stamps and other nutritional assistance. It is our moral obligation to ensure that our children don’t go to bed hungry and that our residents who rely on various forms of governmental assistance can access it in a timely manner."  

     

    The Anti-Poverty Network, a coalition representing more than 45 organizations, throughout New Jersey as well as individual members, is inviting candidates to affirm that their district will best thrive when all residents have access to decent housing, basic nutrition, and economic opportunity.

     

    “One of the most important responsibilities of our state government is to provide a helping hand to people in need,” said Assemblyman Wisniewski. “Our commitment to fight poverty reflects the values of our state and its people and it is one of the prime reasons why I take great pride in calling New Jersey my home.”

     

    Almost 40 percent of households in New Jersey struggle to afford basic household necessities, like housing, food, transportation, child care, and health care, according to the ALICE study published last year by the United Way of Northern New Jersey. APN’s Poverty Solutions Pledge includes calculations of the numbers of people in each county living in true poverty, defined as 200% of the federal poverty level. In real world terms, this encompasses people earning less than $48,500 for a family of four, which still falls far short of the $61,200 “survival budget” for a family of four, according to the United Way’s report.

     

    "Tackling poverty is one of the most important struggles here in NJ,” said Assemblyman Taliaferro. “It is my pleasure to support an organization that works tirelessly to reduce and end poverty by fighting for decent housing, basic nutrition and economic opportunity for our neighbors. The Anti-Poverty Network pledge affirms my commitment to improving the livelihood of our neighbors in the third legislative district."

     

    In the coming weeks, APN is encouraging New Jerseyans to contact their district’s candidates for Assembly to thank those who have already signed the pledge, and to urge those who have not, to please sign the pledge.

     

    "This pledge is about awareness and action,” said Serena Rice, Executive Director of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey. “Awareness requires the recognition that substantial numbers of people in every district are struggling to pay just their basic bills. Action requires the elected leaders who represent these people to commit themselves to working with community partners to advance real solutions."

     

    The Poverty Solutions Pledge reads:

    As a candidate for Assembly in District X which encompasses LIST COUNTIES, I recognize that there are X number of people (X percentage) living in true poverty in these counties. True poverty is defined as those earning up to 200% of the federal poverty level. I believe that my district will best thrive when all residents have access to decent housing, basic nutrition, and economic opportunity. If elected, I pledge to work with the Anti-Poverty Network and its members to prevent, reduce, and end poverty in my district and throughout New Jersey.

     

    Please contact APN Communications Manager Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg at 917-273-7088 or at elizabeth@antipovertynetwork.org for more information.

     

    *          *          *

     

    The Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (APN) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks the prevention, reduction, and end of poverty in New Jersey through community education, empowerment of partners, and advocacy for solutions. Our membership includes diverse partners including people with lived experience of poverty, non-profit and community-based organizations, faith-based communities, elected and government officials, private businesses, and all concerned individuals. We are committed to continue this work until we end poverty in every community of New Jersey.


  • 02 Nov 2015 10:00 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)
    In August APN asked those running for Assembly to take the Poverty Solutions Pledge – signaling their recognition that poverty is a real problem in each district in the state, and their willingness to work with APN and our partners to advance real solutions.

    We are happy to announce that the following assembly members and candidates have signed on-to the Pledge:

    District 2 (Atlantic county)

    Colin Bell, candidate

     

    District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties)

    Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

     

    District 6 (Burlington and Camden counties)

    Majority Leader Assemblyman Louis Greenwald

    Deputy Speaker Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt

     

    District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex counties)

    Assemblyman Daniel Benson

    Steven Welzer, candidate

    Jo Ann Cousin, candidate


    District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer counties)

    Assemblyman Reed Gusciora

    Assemblywoman Elizabeth Muoio

     

    District 16 (Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties)

    Maureen Vella, candidate

    Andrew Zwicker, candidate

     

    District 19 (Middlesex county)

    Deputy Speaker Assemblyman John Wisniewski

     

    District 20 (Union county)

    Assemblyman Jamel Holley

    Assemblywoman Annette Quijano

     

    District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren counties)

    Kenneth Collins, candidate

     

    District 25 (Morris and Somerset counties)

    Republican Leader Assemblyman Anthony Bucco

     

    District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic counties)

    Jimmy Brash, candidate

     

    District 30 (Monmouth and Ocean counties)

    James Keady, candidate

     

    District 32 (Bergen and Hudson counties)

    Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez

    Assembly speaker Assemblyman Vincent Prieto

     

    District 34 (Essex and Passaic counties)

    Deputy Majority Leader Assemblyman Thomas Giblin

    Speaker Emeritus Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver

     

    District 36 (Bergen and Passaic counties)

    Deputy Speaker/Budget Chair Assemblyman Gary Schaer

     

    District 38 (Bergen and Passaic counties)

    Assemblyman Tim Eustace

     

    District 39 (Bergen and Passaic counties)

    Mayor John DeRienzo, candidate

    Mayor Jeffrey Goldsmith, candidate

     

    In addition, we heard from Assemblyman Troy Singleton (District 7), who supports the work of the Anti-Poverty Network, but makes it a policy to not sign candidate pledges.

    If your district’s candidates are on the list above, please contact them to thank them for signing the pledge. If your candidates are not on the list, please contact them to ask that they sign-on.

    Here are some sample messages:

    For those who have not yet signed: I am writing to ask you to please sign-on to the Anti-Poverty Network’s Poverty Solutions Pledge, which can be found here. I believe that our community will best thrive when all residents have access to decent housing, basic nutrition, and economic opportunity. Thank you for your time and consideration of this issue.

    To thank those that have signed: Thank you for signing on-to the Anti-Poverty Network’s Poverty Solutions Pledge. As a partner of the Anti-Poverty Network, I greatly appreciate your leadership on these issues and look forward to working together to prevent, reduce, and end poverty in our state. Thank you.

    To find your district’s candidates and contact information, please click here

    Thank you for taking a moment to contact those running for Assembly!

  • 02 Nov 2015 8:30 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)


    APN Board member Natasha James-Waldon is one of fifteen nonprofit executives of New Jersey organizations to be selected to participate in the third cohort of The Prudential Foundation Nonprofit Executive Fellows Program at the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School. Over a two-year period, from September through June, this group of executives will focus on their personal and professional development through a comprehensive, values-driven approach.

    “I am very excited to have been selected as a fellow with The Prudential Foundation Nonprofit Executive Fellows program," said James-Waldon. "I am looking forward to growing and developing not only as an executive within my organization but also as an individual. I also look forward to taking the skills and knowledge that I gain throughout my fellowship experience and applying it to my work with the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey.”

    James-Waldon is the Director of Compliance and Community Engagement for the Jewish Renaissance Foundation, a nonprofit community action agency that strives to overcome poverty and hopelessness throughout Middlesex County by creating hope and self-sufficiency, and providing individuals, children and families with essential health and human services, community development and youth programs.

     


  • 29 Oct 2015 11:17 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)


    APN is happy to welcome Brandon McKoy to the APN Board of Trustees. Brandon (pictured above) is a Policy Analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective, working as a national fellow under the State Priorities Partnership’s and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ state policy fellowship program. Previously, Brandon worked as a Program Associate at The Fund for New Jersey, where he assisted in grantmaking on public policy issues that particularly affect low-income and minority populations in New Jersey. He also worked as an AmeriCorps Vista at HANDS, Inc., a community development corporation in New Jersey, where he worked to mitigate the negative impact of foreclosures and increase citizen participation in local decision-making. Brandon was also vital to the successful 2011 South Orange mayoral campaign of Alex Torpey, who at the time became the youngest mayor in New Jersey history at the age of 23.


    He received a MA in City & Regional Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and holds a BS degree in Social Psychology from The College of New Jersey. Brandon also serves on the executive board of New Leaders Council – New Jersey.


    As McKoy joins the Board, APN is sad to see Ray Castro step down. Castro, a Senior Policy Analyst at NJPP, is an expert in national and state welfare-to work policies and legislation. As a Board member, Castro has provided leadership, and generously shared his vast expertise and knowledge in our efforts to prevent, reduce, and end poverty in New Jersey. APN has been honored to have Castro on the Board and looks forward to continuing our partnership with him.

  • 14 Oct 2015 9:52 AM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)

    The theme for the 16th Annual Poverty Summit, hosted by the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey, was “Weeding Out Poverty: Uncovering the Roots of Economic and Racial Injustice.” The Summit gathered advocates, students, policy analysts, faith leaders, and persons with lived experiences of economic struggle, to discuss structural factors that perpetuate poverty in the Garden state.

     

    “The roots of poverty go deep into our social and economic structures, which systematically disadvantage a significant portion of our population,” said APN Executive Director Serena Rice. “We need to address the deep problems in our educational system, our health system, our justice system, and in the ways we develop housing and economic opportunity. By joining together as a broad coalition to address these root problems, we can actually change these conditions and start growing opportunity, instead of poverty in the Garden State."

     

    The Keynote session of the event featured New Jerseyans who have had personal experiences of hunger and/or homelessness.

     

    Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto was in attendance to listen to these stories and offer his response.

     

    “The combination of a high cost of living and slow economic growth in New Jersey means that many in our state – both those in the process of looking for jobs and those who work but are underemployed –  struggle to afford food, housing, transportation and other basic needs,” said Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “I am proud to partner with the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey as the legislature continues working to attract more businesses, foster entrepreneurship and fortify the state’s social safety net in an effort to reduce poverty.”

     

    Among the panelists was James Abroa member of the Anti-Poverty Network and a participant in the Garden State Leaders programs, which offers current and formerly homeless individuals training in advocacy in order to turn their experiences into a resource for social change. Abro became a homeless rights activist after experiencing homelessness in 2009 -- as a direct result of caring for a terminally ill parent. He is a published author (including his memoir An Odyssey in the Great American Safety Net), and national advocate for Homeless Rights and Housing First.

     

    The four panelists who joined Abro included other members of Garden State Leaders, as well as participants in Soul of Hunger, a joint program of the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. They shared stories of job loss and employment barriers, high housing costs, experiences of domestic violence, and the challenges of caring for children with disabilities. Bios for the panelists can be found here.

     

    Barbara George Johnson, Executive Director of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy at Thomas Edison State College, moderated the panel and offered brief remarks about the systemic factors that hold people in poverty.

     

    Other highlights of the day included the screening of three Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about hunger, housing, and the minimum wage. The PSAs were developed by Perth Amboy high school students who participated in the Jewish Renaissance Foundation’s Youth Poverty Summit. The students were in attendance at the Summit, as part of an intentional outreach by the network to engage and equip young people for advocacy.


    Click here for a REPORT on the Success of the Summit, acknowledging our generous sponsors.


  • 30 Sep 2015 9:30 PM | Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (Administrator)
    At the APN General Meeting on September 30, 2015 members approved four new Board members:

    Felicia Alston-Singleton is a tenant advocate for the residents of the city of Newark and surrounding areas. She works with the Greater Newark HUD Tenants Coalition and STEPS (Solutions To End Poverty Soon).


    Susan Parker works as a peer advocate with Catholic Charities helping others rebuild their lives. She is also active with Garden State Leaders, a program designed to build advocacy and leadership skills among those who have direct experience with homelessness.

    Aaron Rogers comes to New Jersey by way of St. Louis, MO. Aaron received his Bachelor's of Science from Bradley University in 2009 and his Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in 2012. As an ordained Methodist minister Aaron has served congregations in Southern Illinois and inner city St. Louis. He has a long history of civic service, coordinating and organizing such initiatives as the "Toy-gun Buy Back" (an initiative designed to decrease gun violence in inner St. Louis) and "Souls to the Polls" (an initiative to increase voter registration). As a faith based organizer, Aaron has helped mobilize religious congregations across the state of Missouri in efforts to raise the minimum wage and increase healthcare benefits. While in New Jersey, Aaron has worked with the National Urban League of Essex County working with job readiness programs and the Newark Mentoring Movement and Rutgers University to help prepare Newark teens for college. This past summer Aaron interned at the New Jersey Coalition to End Homelessness and currently, Aaron is a graduate student at Rutgers University hoping to receive his Master of Public Administration and Policy in 2016.

    Darius Tullis is the owner and principal of Tullis Consulting & Financial Services (TCFS) and Advanced Nonprofit Solutions LLC. As principal of TCFS he services small business clients across the country by providing cloud based bookkeeping and payroll services. He is Xero Certified Advisor, Xero Silver Partner and Quickbooks Online Pro Advisor. As principal of Advanced Nonprofit Solutions he provides nonprofit organizations with fundraising, strategic planning and organizational consulting services. Darius also serves in Christian ministry, volunteers through the Superior Court as a member of his local Juvenile Conference Committee, and sits on the Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board of the County of Union.



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