You don’t often ask me directly what I’m doing, or even more importantly, what I have done for you. When I began working for you — the residents of the 7th legislative district — my goal was always to do the best job possible, to protect and advance your interests and to establish a framework for anticipated and unanticipated challenges in the future.
My initial reaction was to provide you with a lengthy — and it is rather long — list of initiatives that have captured my attention and efforts I have made on your behalf. I also realize that an overly long blog might be a bit overwhelming; therefore, my compromise is to review a handful of efforts that matter to us all.
After reviewing these select initiatives, please remember that you can review all my legislative efforts at www.SenatorSingleton.com
— Establishing a talent-network program: This would create a partnership arrangement with funding for businesses, educational institutions and other organizations that have committed themselves to workforce development. The program would award grants from state and federal sources to the industry, educational and other relevant nonprofits that are actively engaged in workforce issues. We need to maximize what each New Jersey region has to offer. Our Talent Networks are critical to sustaining the state’s economic ecosystem by creating greater synergy between the industry and the workforce that it needs to grow and develop.
— Veterans and disabled veterans: Expanding civil service preference benefits to worthy warriors: In New Jersey, veterans already receive special tuition and property tax benefits. However, unless you were in a designated combat area you are considered a “veteran” under New Jersey law. This initiative begins to correct this injustice by expanding civil service benefits to veterans and disabled veterans who served but were not in a combat theatre. This is another way to make New Jersey even more veteran friendly. One certainly must be qualified for the job; so while a veteran’s military service enhances their chances for employment, it in no way diminishes the skills or experience that is expected in any civil service job. These are highly motivated men and women, and we will be better off for having them in our civilian workforce.
— Edison Innovation Science and Technology Fund: I often talk and write about the future; The future is now, and in the working world, it will rest on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). This initiative would fund industry-university partnerships that have the potential to create or expand technology-based businesses. Seed funding would allow new businesses to blossom while supporting research and innovation across the state, attracting talent and addressing significant workforce needs.
— Disclosure of online security breaches: Security breaches and stolen information are the curses of the digital age. What’s worse; after it occurs, consumers are often not notified of the breach in a timely fashion, preventing them from erecting protection barriers and taking further action. We have worked to enhance notification requirements, put consumers on alert to monitor for potential identity theft and help them quickly change their online account information and prevent outside access to the account.
— Home ownership and equity: Living the middle-class dream: Home ownership is part of the American Dream, and maintaining a home seems out of reach for many of our worthwhile citizens. Providing assistance to help homeowners build equity and pay off their mortgages more quickly will provide great economic security and flexibility to residents in the long term. This is a policy geared toward giving middle-class families the relief they deserve.
Everyone has some kind of boss. Although it is true that circumstances and arrangements vary, we all answer to someone here on earth and even to someone above. I consider it a privilege to both serve and represent all of my bosses in the 7th legislative district, regardless of whether you agree with every decision I have made.
The hallmark of our representative democracy is in the ability for those of us charged with the honor and responsibility to represent our neighbors in government to be accountable to you, the true owners of our democracy. I sincerely hope that you take the time to visit my website to see the full breadth of initiatives that I have undertaken on your behalf. Please offer your feedback, good or bad, on them as your input is essential to my maturation and ability to better fulfill my role as a public official. That’s my take. What’s yours?