Letters to the Editor

US Immigration Policy Functions by Destroying the Humanity of Those It Hurts
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 02/05/2022
A Aguilas del Desierto volunteer says while walking around the desert “Every bone has a story in these hostile and treacherous lands, our migrant brothers die trying to give their families a better future.” Think about it. Wouldn’t you do the same for your family? Read More
AsylumImmigrationRepublican PartyDemocratic Party
New Jersey is Not Immune to Bigoted Book Bans
Laura Morowitz
Published: 01/28/2022
In many cases parents and school administrators are taking it upon themselves to determine what is “appropriate”  reading, despite having no qualifications or experience to judge. Why is it that so often the stories found to be “inappropriate” are those told from the point of view of the marginalized and oppressed: persecuted Jews, impoverished African-Americans and derided LGBTQ people? Read More
Board of EducationDisinformationEducationJoe PennacchioMike Testa
Extreme weather, but the wind brings hope
Diane Simmons
Published: 01/21/2022
The next step is to help us fight an even more extreme 2022 by halting all new fossil fuel projects in the state, thus cutting on back added greenhouse gases that help bring about climate change. Read More
Climate ChangeEnvironmentOffshore WindPhil Murphy
Not Standing Up for Voting Rights Undermines Democracy
Ann Pompelio
Published: 01/16/2022
Voter suppression undermines democracy. Normalizing sedition undermines democracy. Accepting the Big Lie of a “stolen election” undermines democracy. Read More
Democratic PartyElectionsRepublican PartyStop the StealUS CongressVotingVoting Rights
Republicans Want to Blame Biden for the Success of Their COVID Misinformation Campaign
Bill Beren
Published: 01/02/2022
Curiously, he fails to criticize Republican governors and legislatures who continue to fight mask and vaccine mandates, which are proven to be the most effective defenses against a rapidly mutating and transmittable virus. Read More
COVID-19DisinformationJoe BidenPublic HealthVaccination
Essex County Jail Will Never Be Safe Until We Stop Profiting Off Black and Brown Bodies
Jim Price
Published: 12/23/2021
These deficiencies remained when the county depopulated the jail of people that the county was profiting from through the contract with ICE. The recent near fatal beating of Jayshawn Boyd as well as the stabbing death of Dan Gelin were tragically avoidable, but they are also evidence that the ICE contract was not the problem. The problem is that the county views the people in the jail as less than human. Read More
Civilian OversightCriminal Justice ReformEssex County CommissionersEssex County, NJICEJail Reform
Following Supreme Court Disappointment, NJ Legislators Must Pass the Reproductive Freedom Act
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 12/10/2021
If you don’t want to have an abortion, don’t do it, but you cannot decide for me over my health care issues and my well-being. I refuse to become a second class citizen Read More
Craig CoughlinSteve SweeneyJoe VitaleHealthcareWomen's RightsAbortionHerb ConawayReproductive Freedom Act
In the NJ Legislature, Democrats Are Working, Republicans are Super Spreading
Laura Morowitz
Published: 12/04/2021
Republicans only know how to engage in antics shown to worsen the pandemic. Pathetic. Read More
COVID-19Democratic PartyPhil MurphyPublic Health
Tell Your Representatives: Releases Not Transfers
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 11/26/2021
Being in the US without authorization is a civil offense, not a criminal offense. Our neighbors are being detained for the equivalent of a lawsuit over backpay, or a slip and fall. No other civil offenses allow pre-trial confinement. Why should immigration? Even if the person has been removed previously, the criminal charge they face would be a misdemeanor. Do we detain teenagers pre-trial when they’ve been caught trespassing or having a fake ID? Of course we don’t and we shouldn’t detain our neighbors for those offenses either. Read More
US CongressElizabeth, NJCoreCivicUS SenateJoe BidenImmigrationICE
If We Were Really Thankful, We'd Mourn What We Destroyed
Ann Pompelio
Published: 11/19/2021
Within a decade after Pilgrims arrived in 1620, Wampanoags were a minority in their own land. Europeans were converting Indian land to European owned land, and by 1930 they were converting Indians to Christianity. Neither conversion was gentle. By 1879 Native children were forcibly sent to US government run boarding schools where “Indian ways” of culture, religion, language and government were crushed under the motto of “kill the Indian, save the man.” Read More
Indigenous PeoplesThanksgivingNational Day of MourningTisquantumWampanoag
In Trying Times We Must Make Sure That Voters Exercise Their Hard Won Rights
John Willard
Published: 11/14/2021
But most New Jersey citizens decided to vote for apathy. And they do this at a time when voters in at least 18 other states, governed by Republicans, are fighting new laws that restrict the right to vote. Read More
Jack CiattarelliElectionsRepublican PartyPhil MurphyJoe BidenVotingDemocratic Party
Murphy Ran (and Won) As A Proud Progressive, Twice
Jim Price
Published: 11/06/2021
He campaigned publicly with Bernie Sanders who called him the most progressive governor in the country.  He did not run to the middle which is the usual Democratic response when opponents drag out the “far left” label.  And he won!  With a more cooperative legislature (Good-bye Mr. Sweeney), hopefully more good legislation will get passed giving more people a reason to vote. Read More
Phil MurphyMonmouth UniversitySteve SweeneyBernie SandersDemocratic PartyProgressivism
Too much political labeling
Salvatore Schifano
Published: 11/04/2021
There’s been much political labeling during this last tumultuous decade, much of it due to the false narratives and conspiracy theories kept alive on social media and selected news networks. Read More
Democratic PartyDisinformationElectionsRepublican PartyVoting
Brotherhood, not 'Big Brother'
Charlie Nunzio
Published: 11/01/2021
Yes, we get vaccinated to protect ourselves, but also to protect others, especially children and those who may be immune-compromised. I wish health experts would emphasize this more. When you are vaccinated, even if you get a breakthrough infection, you are much less likely to pass it on because your contagious period is two to three days rather than seven to 10 days in an unvaccinated host. The vaccinated are also eight times less likely to become infected in the first place, according to Sanjay Gupta, MD, and other health experts. Read More
Public HealthVaccinationCOVID-19
Why I vote for the re-election of Phil Murphy
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 11/01/2021
Here in the US, unlike other developed countries, we have a high rate of maternal mortality, especially amongst people of color. 26 women every 100,000 died last year for pregnancy related complications here in NJ. A Black woman is seven times more likely to die of complications than a white woman. Did you know that thanks to Tammy, Phil Murphy and the tireless work of health officials Murphy signed into law the Universal Home Nurse Visitation Program for Newborns. Read More
Phil MurphyElectionsMaternal Health
Menendez ditches constituents by blocking drug-price bill
Bill Beren
Published: 10/27/2021
What he did not tell us in that communication is that he is also fighting for “Big Pharma” by opposing President Joe Biden’s proposal to let Medicare negotiate drug prices. If Menendez is truly interested in delivering results for the Garden State families whose votes put him office, he would support this change. Read More
Robert MenendezBig PharmaMedicare
In This Election, Science and Competence Must Win
Laura Morowitz
Published: 10/24/2021
NJ does not need another bully governor. We need calm, compassion and competence. We need Governor Murphy and we need to return him to office on November 2. Read More
ElectionsPhil MurphyCOVID-19Jack CiattarelliStop the StealChris Christie
Climate Change Is Here, New Jersey Can Lead
Diane Simmons
Published: 10/11/2021
Governor Murphy: history will judge us for the actions we did or did not take when the extent of potential climate devastation became clear. I urge you to put your administration on a war footing; let New Jersey lead in this fight. Read More
Climate ChangeEnvironmentPhil Murphy
We Need To Acknowledge the Destruction Columbus' Arrival Wrought
Ann Pompelio
Published: 10/06/2021
The arrival of Columbus’ ships to the Americas five hundred years ago did not bode well for the indigenous people already here. The arrival of European ships four hundred years ago on this continent with enslaved Africans was not an auspicious start for those black people in the New World, nor for the millions of Africans who came after them or who descended from enslaved women and girls. Read More
Indigenous Peoples' Day
November 2nd is Election Day, Now is the TIme to Make Your Voting Plan
Elizabeth Redwine
Published: 10/01/2021
The general election is November 2nd. It’s time for everyone to make a voting plan- are you going to vote in person? By Mail? By dropping a ballot in one of the drop boxes? Read More
ElectionsVotingWest Orange, NJ
History is Full of Immigrants. It Will Judge Us Poorly for Our Policies
Jim Price
Published: 09/24/2021
Every white person in the United States comes from immigrant stock. For those who maintain that their ancestors came in “the right way”, until the end of WWI, there was virtually no limitation on white immigration (criminals and those with infectious diseases were not admitted). There was no right way because there was no wrong way; if you were white, you got in. Read More
Sweeney, Coughlin Holding New Jersey Women Back
Ed Jones
Published: 09/10/2021
New Jersey has a chance to be a national leader to provide an alternative to legislative initiatives in conservative states.  In fact, after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year, many New Jersey legislators and Gov. Murphy supported the Reproductive Freedom Act, which would guarantee the right to abortion and expand access to essential reproductive health care services.  However, Senate President Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Coughlin have essentially blocked it for eleven months by not advancing it to committee or scheduling a vote on it. Read More
Craig CoughlinSteve SweeneyHealthcareWomen's Rights
New Jersey Needs to Support Women and Their Access to Healthcare
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 09/10/2021
The Reproductive Freedom Act (S3030/A4848) is stuck in NJ legislature committees. In light of what’s happening in Texas, which will spread to other states, we should encourage NJ legislators to protect and expand access to birth control and pregnancy-care, including abortion in NJ. Call legislators Herb Conaway, Craig Coughlin, Stephen Sweeney, and Joseph Vitale to approve RFA now. Read More
Joe VitaleHerb ConawayCraig CoughlinSteve SweeneyHealthcareWomen's Rights
Senator Joe Pennacchio Is Deadly Wrong on Masks
Laura Morowitz
Published: 09/03/2021
And yet, in contrast to all the above things, wearing a mask can help prevent children from catching a disease that can kill people. Masks are non-invasive, they are cheap and they are easy. Being in the hospital is invasive, incredibly expensive and profoundly difficult. Stop catering to fool and the angry mob and do the right thing for the people of New Jersey. Read More
COVID-19EducationJoe Pennacchio
Serious Illness Is Not Acceptable Risk
Emma Cortese
Published: 09/03/2021
The Board’s reasoning rests on low “susceptibility” which implicitly is a measure of risk or probability of disease development.  But the Delta Covid variant is highly contagious. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, nationally as of August 19,, more than 4.59 million children have tested positive for COVID-19. Since the onset of the pandemic….. child cases have increased exponentially, with a four-fold increase over the past month. Read More
COVID-19Fairfield, NJBoard of Education
Remembering Afghani Women and Girls, Those Most Affected by the US Withdrawal
Ann Pompelio
Published: 08/21/2021
75% of Afghans are younger than 25, too young to remember pre-911 Afghanistan. Will these Afghans accept Taliban rule at gun point? Will they tolerate mothers, sisters, daughters being crushed under brutal sharia law? Read More
AfghanistanForeign PolicyJoe BidenWomen's Rights
Governor, please sign this bill
Jim Price
Published: 08/10/2021
The bill is a first step in getting the counties out of the "profit by incarceration” business. The people being held in immigrant detention are not being charged with any crimes; there is no reason to keep them in jail. Read More
ICEBergen County, NJEssex County, NJHudson County, NJPhil MurphyImmigration
We Can Do Better on Migration, and it Starts With Decriminalizing it
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 08/01/2021
Also, the U.S. has to treat migrants as refugees, understanding that the only way that families stop coming to the US is that there are good conditions in their countries to stay. No one wants to leave everything behind and do one of the most dangerous trips with their children knowing that they can even lose their lives in the attempt. No one. Read More
ImmigrationJoe BidenKamala HarrisForeign Policy
We Need Gov. Murphy to Support the Essex-Hudson Greenway
Ed Jones
Published: 07/30/2021
But to make this greenway happen, the various local players have to work together—and quickly—before Norfolk Southern Corporation sells the property in pieces. As the Star-Ledger editorial argues, Gov. Murphy needs to take the lead to create a plan to buy the land and create “our own High Line” as Sen. Teresa Ruiz put it. Read More
Essex-Hudson GreenwayTeresa RuizPhil MurphyEssex County, NJHudson County, NJEnvironmentGreen Space
Undocumented Workers Are Paying Taxes, The Rest of Us Benefit
Ann Pompelio
Published: 07/17/2021
Can we stop complaining that undocumented workers live off government programs at taxpayers’ expense? Because they don’t. Read More
ImmigrationFederal FundingHealthcareTaxesWorkers' Rights
Tell Your Representatives, Releases Not Transfers When NJ ICE Contracts Are Ended
Elizabeth Redwine
Published: 07/09/2021
Many worked to end Essex County’s contract with ICE, but now the federal government is taking the draconian step of moving those ICE detainees from the Essex County Correctional Facility to detention centers in the Deep South including Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. Read More
Bergen County, NJCory BookerElizabeth, NJEssex County CommissionersEssex County, NJHudson County, NJICEImmigrationJoe BidenPhil MurphyRobert MenendezUniversal RepresentationUS SenateUS Congress
Brandeis University Students Raise Awareness of Problematic Language
John Willard
Published: 07/09/2021
Some have labelled the Brandeis “Oppressive Language List” as the work of the “language police.” That’s, ironically, the very sort of pejorative coinage that the Brandeis students would suggest we examine. Read More
Inclusive LanguageYouth Activism
Pressure Politicians, Don’t Blame Immigrant Justice Advocates
Whitney Strub
Published: 07/09/2021
Instead of disparaging those who are fighting for immigrant justice, Mr. Moran should be screaming from the rafters at those who can influence policy. Read More
Tom MoranBergen County, NJEssex County, NJHudson County, NJICEImmigration
NJ Must Act to Stop ICE's Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants
Jim Price
Published: 06/27/2021
The opportunists who control both parties need to do better and come up with a path to citizenship for all. The current system—or lack of one—is deeply inhumane. Read More
ImmigrationICEPhil MurphyBergen County, NJEssex County, NJHudson County, NJ
Ensuring our Education Standards Match the World of Our Students
Ed Jones
Published: 06/25/2021
Although I’m not sure this dancer was educated in New Jersey, his apparent lack of concern for basic facts led me to the New Jersey Education website to review the English Language Arts and Science Standards. I wondered if students were expected to become savvy social media readers and become scientifically literate. Read More
COVID-19Social MediaDisinformation
Closing Edna Mahan is Only the First Step
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 06/18/2021
There are plenty of those women held in Edna Mahan that deserve to be freed and not transferred to another facility. Most incarcerated women are there for drug related crimes and non-violent crimes. More than 50% of incarcerated women are single moms and primary caregivers. Read More
Edna Mahan Correctional FacilityPhil MurphyCriminal Justice ReformJail Reform
Violent Language Begets Violent Acts in NJ Prisions
Bill Beren
Published: 06/14/2021
The only logical adjective that fits with extraction is “forcible extraction.” Do prisoners really need to be “forcibly extracted” or “pulled from their cells” in order to perform cell checks and other routine corrections activities? Read More
Department of CorrectionsEdna Mahan Correctional FacilityJail Reform
Stop Being "Shocked" About Abuse at NJ Jails and Prisons
Laura Morowitz
Published: 06/12/2021
Reports of abuse, violence and neglect, not only in correctional facilities but in detention centers throughout New Jersey and the US are widespread. In this most recent case “34 staff members and 10 corrections officers“ were charged in the violent beating of women inmates, clearly not a case of “one bad apple” but a thorough and systematically abusive system which dehumanizes people who are convicted of crimes, no matter how large or small. Read More
Department of CorrectionsMarcus HicksPhil MurphyEdna Mahan Correctional FacilityJail Reform
Threats to Our Local Parks
Bill Beren
Published: 06/08/2021
Four bills are under consideration by the NJ Legislature that would force all Counties and Municipalities in the state to adopt Forest Stewardship Plans (FSP’s) for publicly owned and managed woodlands covering 25 or more acres. FSP’s, as the draft resolution explains, are essentially a plan for mandating logging and controlled burns meant to prevent forest fires. Read More
Britnee TimberlakeEssex County, NJMontclairThomas GiblinGreen AcresEnvironmentNia Gill
Daycare a Key Piece of American Families Plan
Ann Pompelio
Published: 05/28/2021
Daycare offers no student loans, grants or scholarships. Either a family pays for daycare, or a parent stays home. A parent who stays home not only loses income, but receives less in Social Security later, because what you get depends on how much you’ve paid in. The parent who stayed home will likely never make up the lost income. We could help young families by making public school available at age three. Read More
Federal FundingJoe BidenChild Care
NJ – Land of Grifts and Drifts
John Willard
Published: 05/21/2021
Murphy’s commission nominees are committed to preserving the Pinelands, and not crisscrossing it with gas pipelines, as the current legacy Christie commissioners are managing to do. Let’s get the nominees approved so we can protect our natural gift. And let’s abolish the grift of “senatorial courtesy.” I see the harm it does. I don’t see the good. Read More
Phil MurphyPinelands Chris Christie
We Must Not Balance Budgets with Blood Money
Laura Morowitz
Published: 05/18/2021
Rather than releasing these innocent people to await their fair hearings, other facilities and counties in other places are already rubbing their hands with glee, imagining how they too might profit on the backs of these people, eager to earn a little more blood money by receiving these new prisoners. Read More
Essex County, NJICEImmigration
Criminalizing Migrants Is Cruel and Ineffective
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 05/08/2021
Although family separation policy is not in effect anymore we incarcerate parents and force kids to fend for themselves or place them in foster care. We criminalize people who flee their countries. Countries they did not choose to be born in. NJ should stop profiting with the suffering of human beings. Read More
Looking for the root causes of migration
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 04/23/2021
Therefore, the US first has to acknowledge this and apologize to the people of those countries. Then, it has to repair the damage, which is not easy because the democracies of those countries are weak and politicians corrupt. Read More
AsylumImmigrationJoe Biden
Get the police out of traffic enforcement
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 04/21/2021
Traffic stops are overwhelmingly safe for police officers — they are more likely to be struck by lightning than killed during a traffic stop. So why is there so much violence by officers during traffic stops? Systemic, racist disparities make it so Black motorists are stopped more often. Black people are also more likely to be shot and killed by police. The two taken together create a substantial risk for our Black neighbors. Read More
Black Lives MatterCriminal Justice ReformDefund the PolicePolicing
We need jobs. We need energy. We need our planet to survive.
Diane Simmons
Published: 04/21/2021
In a report released last week, the UMW admits that many in the industry have “looked the other way” when it came to facing the inevitable fact that coal — which contributes massively to climate change — is on the way out. Read More
Climate ChangeJoe BidenPhil MurphyOffshore WindCoal
The Desperate Decision to Send Your Child Away — Alone — Hoping for a Better Life
Ann Pompelio
Published: 04/16/2021
All those parents anticipated they would never see their children again, but their children would be alive, something not guaranteed if they’d stayed put. I don’t know that desperation. Read More
ICEImmigrationJoe BidenAsylum
We Must Support Bills Forbidding ICE Contracts
Jim Price
Published: 04/01/2021
Since 2008, Essex has imprisoned immigrants for ICE; this year the contract will be worth approximately $40 million. These people are all being held in civil detention which means that they have not been charged with any crime. Read More
Essex County, NJICEImmigrationRobert MenendezNia Gill
Close Edna Mahan Correctional Facility
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 03/28/2021
In general, incarcerated women were girls who suffered trauma or were institutionalized before being sent to prison. We failed them before. Let's not fail them again. Read More
Criminal Justice ReformJail ReformPhil MurphyGurbir GrewalEdna Mahan Correctional Facility
Horizon restructuring needs slow, transparent analysis
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 12/13/2020
Despite self-reported assets of over $6 billion as of March 2020, Horizon wants to restructure, allowing them to spin off assets into for profit entities under their existing nonprofit corporate umbrella. Horizon argues this is necessary to remain competitive, that the current structure hurts their ability to make money. Over the last 3 years though, they paid $28 million in bonuses to their CEO and other executives. If Horizon isn’t doing well, how can they afford to reward executives at this level? Read More
HealthcareTaxesHorizon BCBS
North Jersey Counties Show A Unique Support For ICE
Anthony Lioi
Published: 11/27/2020
While some might see this merely as a bid to gain more federal funding, the decision goes beyond cost-benefit analysis. It is an expression of a bipartisan consensus that detention and deportation of immigrants promote national security. Read More
Hudson County, NJBudgetBergen County, NJFederal FundingTaxesImmigrationICEEssex County, NJNorth Jersey
Hudson And Essex County Need To Stop Enabling ICE
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 11/24/2020
There is no justification for the implementation of cruel policies like incarcerating children and not only separating them from their parents but also losing the information to make their reunification impossible. That is criminal. Let’s embrace humanity and separate us from cruelty. Read More
Bergen County, NJImmigrationICEHudson County, NJEssex County, NJ
ICE Detention Should Not Be About County Budgets
Laura Morowitz
Published: 11/20/2020
Such questions reveal the motivations of the Freeholders for what they are: a desire to continue receiving blood money, filling the county coffers with millions, while innocent asylum seekers rot away. Read More
Anthony VainieriHudson County, NJBudgetFederal FundingTaxesImmigrationICE
NJ Is Releasing Prisoners Early Due To COVID But They Need Help
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 11/16/2020
NJ Department of Correction is releasing early 2,200 people from its prisons to reduce the overcrowding and minimize the risk of contracting COVID. This is excellent news since NJ has the nation’s worst prison death rate from COVID. Read More
COVID-19Jail Reform
We Must All Work To Counter The Hate Encouraged By Political Leaders
Elizabeth Redwine
Published: 10/31/2020
There are many ways for the work that many of us have done against right wing hate to continue, and this is just one example, but I hope that when the dust settles, we remember that there are people locked up in our own county who need people of conscience to volunteer to help. Read More
NJ 11thMikie SherrillRosemary BecchiUS CongressElectionsRepublican PartyDonald Trump
Senators Sacco and Sweeney Stand in the Way of Racial Justice
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 10/08/2020
Since their inception these bills have been about racial justice. We now have white, connected politicians making it about them. Read More
Criminal Justice ReformNicholas SaccoSteve Sweeney
Dismantle the Racist Electoral College
John Willard
Published: 10/05/2020
This antiquated system ensures that voters in less populous states carry greater “weight” than those in more populous states. For instance, one analysis calculates that voters in Wyoming have three times more clout than the average citizen, while New Jersey is slightly below the average. Read More
Donald TrumpElectionsJoe BidenVoting
Can Essex County's ICE contract really be helping detainees?
Jim Price
Published: 10/04/2020
The Commissioners should stop pretending that immigrant detention is helping the immigrants. It’s not. The county should also stop collaborating with Trump and ICE. Crossing a border in hope for a better life should not be illegal. No one is illegal on stolen land. Read More
Essex County, NJICEImmigrationJoe DiVincenzoTaxes
Existential Threat to Democracy
Emma Cortese
Published: 09/27/2020
Citizens must mobilize to ensure an overwhelming rejection of this autocratic regime in November with an incontrovertible vote: emphatic repudiation of this explicit threat to the bedrock principle of democracy. Read More
Donald TrumpElectionsProtestVoter RegistrationVoting
Police Respond to Calls for Change with Propaganda
Laura Morowitz
Published: 09/19/2020
Instead this kind of blind defense in the face of incontrovertible evidence of the cruelty and misuse of lethal power on the part of some officers, only convinces us that there IS a systematic problem that MUST be covered up at all costs Read More
Black Lives MatterDefund the PoliceCriminal Justice ReformPolicing
Supporting Gov. Murphy's Budget
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 09/09/2020
Economists find, time and time again, that the best way out of an economic downturn are the same policies that are always good governance: investing in communities. Read More
TaxesBudgetGovernment ServicesPhil MurphyChris Christie
In response to “In defense of the police” letter to the editor from August 20, 2020
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 08/26/2020
Also, as Angela Davis says: Prisons don’t disappear social problems they disappear human beings.” We need to stop feeding the system. Police departments and police officers have a huge responsibility, they are the “gatekeepers”. Police departments can be part of the solution on the reduction of prison population. Read More
Criminal Justice ReformEducationCivilian Complaint Review BoardEssex County, NJJail ReformMontclairYouth JusticeJail ReformNewark, NJDefund the PolicePolicing
The Trump Administration is Breaking the Law, the Media Must Say It
Lori Heninger
Published: 08/26/2020
I am writing to call on the press to stop covering Mr. Trump’s hate-filled speech because it gets you advertisers. Call out the lies. Call out the crimes. Read More
Donald TrumpRepublican PartyMike PompeoHatch ActMedia
In the Year of Coronavirus, You Must Be an Active Voter
Laura Morowitz
Published: 08/26/2020
Your part in this election starts TODAY. Protect our democracy. Read More
VotingElectionsVoter RegistrationCOVID-19United States Postal Service
White Privilege Has No Place in the Time of Black Lives Matter
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 08/17/2020
Maybe start with not replying "All Lives Matter." Don't wave your blue lives matter flag. Instead, think about it for a minute. Imagine a world where police don't save you. Instead there’s a non-zero chance they kill you. It's uncomfortable, I see you. But it's not 9 minutes with a knee on your neck Read More
Black Lives MatterGeorge FloydMe Too
We Need Continued Support for Our Working Class and the Unemployed
Jake Ephros
Published: 07/31/2020
Unemployed, underemployed, and overworked New Jerseyans deserve the full support of our government, full stop. How could anyone deny the working class the basic financial support mandated by an unprecedented global health crisis, one which won’t be going away any time soon? Read More
UnemploymentWorking ClassDonald TrumpFederal FundingCOVID-19Amazon
Public Lands Must Be Used for the Public Good
Kristin Shea
Published: 07/27/2020
This is yet another example of disaster capitalism using the financial crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic to privatize public lands. This opens the door for Liberty National Golf Club to nab the land from the park to build three more holes for the course. Read More
Hudson County, NJJersey City, NJBudgetDisaster CapitalismParks
Republicans Puzzle Me
John Willard
Published: 07/25/2020
They characterize protest as inexcusable lawlessness, and forget that the largely peaceful protests, protected by the First Amendment, that have happened recently pale in comparison to the lawlessness of our Founding Fathers, who, when signing the Declaration of Independence, were reminded by Ben Franklin that they all risked being hanged as traitors, because their revolutionary protest was, in fact, breaking the law. Read More
George FloydRepublican PartyDonald TrumpProtestUS Congress
Unmarked Federal Troops Not Welcome in New Jersey
Jim Price
Published: 07/25/2020
We have federal troops in Portland with unmarked uniforms and unmarked cars. Why unmarked? Aren't they proud of their country and the job they’re doing? Read More
Donald TrumpProtest
A Mockery of Celebration
Emma Cortese
Published: 07/17/2020
Instead, in commemoration of Independence Day, he stood at the foot of Mount Rushmore, the smallness of his character reinforced as he used the majestic Black Mountains for a stage to proclaim American heritage won’t be stolen—oblivious to the sad and hypocritical irony of trampled Indigenous American’s sovereignty on that sacred site. Read More
July 4thDonald TrumpCOVID-19Indigenous Peoples
A Victory for Immigrant Rights in Elizabeth
Katie Singer
Published: 07/16/2020
A money trail leading from Elberon to Kean University – as well as other prominent New Jersey institutions – has already been uncovered. We ask that the media stay on this story, and continue to highlight how Essex County residents, as just one example, profit directly from the imprisonment of immigrant bodies. Read More
ElberonICEImmigrationCoreCivicKean UniversityUnion County, NJElizabeth, NJ
Essex County Freeholder Resolution on Prisoners of ICE Just a First Step
Jim Price
Published: 06/12/2020
The resolution will prove meaningless if the freeholders don’t publicly put pressure on both ICE and County Executive Joe DiVincenzo to comply with the resolution. Comply, as in release them to their families and communities, not transfer them to some other jurisdiction that complains less. And when the pandemic ends, leave them free. Read More
COVID-19Donald TrumpEssex County, NJICEImmigrationJoe DiVincenzo
Support for the Black Live Matters Protest Demands In West Orange
Elizabeth Redwine
Published: 06/09/2020
I am writing to commend the young people of West Orange on the clarity of their demands for the police department and the town administration. I hope that the administration follows through and commits to all of the organizers requests. Read More
West Orange, NJBlack Lives MatterWest Orange, NJ
No More Police Reform Experiments, Defund the Police and Invest In Communities.
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 06/05/2020
There is no more time and there are no more lives to spare. Let us not try another wave of police reform that will not work. Divest from punitiveness and invest in services for the community. We know how to take care of each other. Let us start a new era. Read More
Criminal Justice ReformYouth JusticeDefund the PoliceImmigration
US Withdrawal from the WHO
Lori Heninger
Published: 06/01/2020
Viruses are not bound by national borders; the WHO is the existing global body with the reach and authority to track and monitor the health of people all over the world. Their scientists are working on a vaccine to keep us free of COVID-19. Read More
World Health OrganizationCOVID-19Donald Trump
Freeholders Need To Stop Making Excuses and Collaborating With Trump’s Attacks On Our Immigrant Communities
Whitney Strub
Published: 06/01/2020
So why the reluctance to support a necessary and urgent humanitarian resolution, as COVID-19 continues to endanger the lives of detainees and jail inmates? Here’s one hypothesis: this is what happens to your moral compass when you fund an already-wealthy county through immigrant detention, as Essex, Hudson, and Bergen counties all do. Read More
Brendan GillCOVID-19Essex County, NJICEImmigrationPatricia SeboldRobert MercadoCarlos Pomares
Supporting the Release of Prisoners of ICE
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 05/22/2020
After the pandemic, we must refuse to go back. We must commit to helping communities, supporting and funding them sooner rather than over-incarcerating residents later. We need to build community not tear it apart and incarcerate the pieces. Read More
Brendan GillCOVID-19Criminal Justice ReformEssex County, NJICEImmigrationJail Reform
Release Vulnerable Prisoners, Save Lives
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 05/19/2020
According to ACLU NJ, New Jersey has the highest rate of prison deaths in the country, more than NY, CT, PA and MA combined. 544 prisoners, 600 correctional officers tested positive and 42 prisoners died. Read More
COVID-19Criminal Justice ReformICEImmigrationJail ReformPhil MurphyBergen County, NJ
We knew it would happen.
Laura Morowitz
Published: 05/03/2020
Last Monday Freeholder President Gill publicly stated that he will introduce a non-binding resolution to release all non-violent detainees. We are watching to see if this happens, and if it passes, or whether the Freeholders continue to abdicate their responsibilities, allowing innocent human beings to die while collecting millions from ICE to hold them against their will. Read More
Brendan GillCOVID-19Essex County, NJImmigrationICEJoe DiVincenzo
Mitch’s Agenda Costs NJ
John Willard
Published: 05/01/2020
Mitch doesn’t care about New Jersey. He has said, "All 100 senators may have one vote, but they’re not all equal. Kentucky benefits from having one of its own setting the agenda for the country." And New Jersey pays. Read More
COVID-19Donald TrumpFederal FundingMitch McConnellUS Senate
Can the "Best Jail" Label Stand Up to Basic Scrutiny?
Jim Price
Published: 05/01/2020
We understand that Joe D cannot release anyone on his own say-so, only ICE has the authority. But there is nothing stopping him or his freeholders from publicly calling on ICE to release the detainees. Read More
COVID-19Essex County, NJICEImmigrationJoe DiVincenzoPhil Murphy
We Need To Push The Freeholders To Improve Conditions at Essex County Jail
Elizabeth Redwine
Published: 04/24/2020
It is our responsibility as residents of Essex County and New Jersey to ensure that the freeholders hear us and improve conditions at the Essex County jail for detainees. Read More
Essex County, NJImmigrationCOVID-19
We Need Negative Testing Numbers From County Jails
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 04/10/2020
It's now too late to prevent widespread infection and death in our county jails. But these are our prisoners, your prisoners, my prisoners. We must hold our officials accountable. Read More
Essex County, NJICEImmigrationJail ReformCOVID-19North JerseyCriminal Justice Reform
Will County Exec Joe DiVincenzo's COVID-19 Infection Help Him Hear The Calls To Decarcerate?
Anthony Lioi
Published: 04/03/2020
"For everyone held captive by ICE, the threat of an outbreak of COVID-19 has been terrifying." Read More
Criminal Justice ReformEssex County, NJICEImmigrationJail ReformJoe DiVincenzoCOVID-19
Free The Civil Detainees
Jim Price
Published: 03/15/2020
The county could take one further step towards public safety by temporarily freeing the 800 immigrants that it currently holds in civil detention in the Newark jail. This is civilian, not criminal detention; they are not currently being held under any criminal charges. Read More
ImmigrationICEEssex County, NJ
Re: The Turtle Back Zoo Wants To Get Bigger. These Teens Are Fighting It (Mar 3, 2020), NJ.com
Lori Heninger
Published: 03/12/2020
The Reservation is a respite in one of the most densely crowded areas in the United States. Its trails, picnic grounds, ponds and fields provide a much-needed space for residents to experience and connect with a natural setting. Read More
Hoboken’s threatened layoffs demonstrate the need for Medicare for All
Nate Hutchinson
Published: 03/12/2020
The city of Hoboken is threatening to lay off 79 municipal employees to fix their budget deficit, citing (among other factors) the rising cost of providing these employees with health insurance, which is currently administered by a private (for-profit) third party. At Read More
HealthcareHoboken, NJMedicare For All
Essex Freeholders Must Release Civil ICE Detainees
Whitney Strub
Published: 03/11/2020
With Coronavirus threatening to devastate vulnerable populations in prisons and jails (where ICE detainees are held in Newark, despite being under technically civil detention), it is a moral imperative that Joe D and the freeholders overcome their lucrative complicity in immigrant detention and publicly demand that ICE release its detainees before catastrophe strikes. Read More
Criminal Justice ReformEssex County, NJICEHealthcareImmigrationJail ReformJoe DiVincenzo
Hobbled Pandemic Preparedness
Emma Cortese
Published: 03/02/2020
There is no question that pandemic preparedness requires government-wide responses. However, in 2018, the Trump administration eliminated the government’s entire established pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management systems. Read More
PreparednessDonald TrumpHealthcare
Drop The Line From The Ballot
Matt Dragon @matt_dragon
Published: 02/29/2020
Ever notice the “Vote Line A” signs for the Primary Election? Have you ever thought about what those signs really mean? Primaries are already divided by party with no competing sides vying for your vote. When you vote in the Primary on June 2nd, who would benefit from voters “voting the line” in the Primary? Read More
The LineVoting
Freeholders Support Both Animals And People In Cages
Devika Gupta
Published: 02/29/2020
A supposedly progressive Board of Freeholders repeatedly follows the agenda of local politicians who are not accountable to the people who voted for them. Many residents and students have recently protested the zoo expansion, while calls to end the local ICE contracts have been ongoing for many years. Read More
Essex County, NJICEImmigrationJoe DiVincenzoSouth Mountain ReservationTurtle Back Zoo
In Favor Of Restorative Practices At Schools
Maria Eva Dorigo
Published: 02/27/2020
Restorative practice is an excellent alternative to punitive methods, which we need to eradicate from school settings, and when it is well used, is a fantastic tool to solve conflicts and prevent them from ever happening. Read More
EducationRestorative PracticeMontclair
Trump's Tax Cuts Lowered Our Home Values Even As Our Tax Dollars Flow to Red States
Laura Morowitz
Published: 02/17/2020
Thanks to Trump’s tax cuts for the richest Americans, all of us have seen the value of our homes lowered while our taxes go to carrying red states. Read More
Donald TrumpTaxesFederal Funding
When Does the Moral Cost of the ICE Dollars Exceed the Value Of Our Improved Zoo And Parks?
Kristin Shea
Published: 02/10/2020
As I enjoy these spaces, which are undoubtedly assets to our community I can’t help but think of the immigrant from Honduras who was arrested by, ICE for outstanding traffic warrants, awaiting deportation in the grimmest industrial site in Essex County. Read More
Essex County, NJICEImmigrationTurtle Back ZooSouth Mountain ReservationJoe DiVincenzo
Turtle Back Zoo Should Be Shrinking Out Of Respect to Animals, Instead Joe D Is Trying To Make it Larger
Jim Price
Published: 02/06/2020
The zoo’s footprint has doubled in the past ten years to 40 acres including McLoone’s Restaurant and a mini-golf course. Read More
Essex County, NJJoe DiVincenzoSouth Mountain ReservationTurtle Back Zoo
When Will The Turtle Back Zoo Stop Encroaching On The South Mountain Reservation?
Elizabeth Redwine
Published: 01/31/2020
In our current climate crisis and with many students voicing their informed opinion that parading animals in front of a 500 person amphitheater is not the way to educate young people about conservation, residents deserve an answer: when does this stop Read More
Essex County, NJJoe DiVincenzoSouth Mountain ReservationTurtle Back ZooClimate Change