We'll be posting Letters to the Editor here that have been written by concerned citizens from around the state.
Take Back NJ is a coalition of many progressive, good governance, grassroots, and "small d" democratic groups and their members who are working to ensure that NJ State Government and all of the actors involved in government including elected officials, parties, committees, campaigns, lobbyists, and citizens are acting in the best interest of the people. We do this through activism, advocacy, education, and coordination between our various groups.
A New Jersey that is governed wholly in the interest of all of its people, based on the will of its citizens, so that it may serve as a model of representative democracy.
Our mission is to transform New Jersey from a state whose government is dominated by vested interests, systemic corruption, influence-buying, and self-dealing to a state that puts citizens’ interests first. This will be achieved by systematically identifying the primary sources of anti-democratic activity; educating the public on policies, decisions, and funding that do not put the people first; calling for legislation that restores ethics and democracy to our governance; and mobilizing a more informed electorate.
New Jersey is located in one of the most economically vibrant regions of the world, and yet we have little to show for it. Our public schools are chronically underfunded and our state’s infrastructure is collapsing. Basic necessities--such as housing, child care, and food--are unaffordable for 38.5% of our families. while racial disparities plague our justice, education, and healthcare systems. New Jersey residents pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, yet billions of dollars in tax incentives have gone to corporations without proof that they provided promised job opportunities and economic benefits. It is not surprising that our state is considered one of the most corrupt in the country, or that most New Jersey residents have lost confidence in their government .
Moreover, the rules, regulations, traditions, and policies that support this systemic corruption cause disproportionate harm to already disenfranchised groups by serving as yet another barrier to governmental power. Any practice that further promotes unequal access directly or indirectly based on categories such as race, gender identity, religious affiliation, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status has no place in a democracy and must not be tolerated.
We recognize that political power protects itself. Those few who have benefited from the corrupt, anti-democratic system that prevails in New Jersey will not easily give it up. They will argue that the system is functional and that any attempts to change it will cause chaos and harm. We reject this argument for what it is: the continued and purposeful exclusion of those who don’t actively support the status quo.
The people of New Jersey deserve a better government. We have the right to representation that is free of corruption, free of discrimination, and accountable to the people. Measures must be taken to improve legislative processes and ethics oversight, and to increase public access to ensure that corrupting influences no longer control our state government. Those we elect should not abuse their power in order to minimize ours.