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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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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.