I was raised in an union household. My father is a retired Teamster and instilled in me early on, the value of honest work. My childhood was spent learning the value and benefits of organized labor from my dad. His involvement in the union provided our family with a solid middle-class upbringing that valued an honest day's pay for an honest day's effort. Those values shape my life as an elected official, carpenter and as a citizen.
I have always wanted to be an elected official. I think it may go back to my man, Michael J. Fox. See, Michael J. Fox played a character, "Alex P. Keaton", from the show Family Ties....Man, I loved that show! Anyway, his political aspirations and admiration of Republican political leaders caught my attention. I either smartened up or missed the boat (you can decide) since "Alex" was a pretty staunch Republican and I walk a more progressive path.
As the face of poverty has continued to evolve and morph into the faces of our families, friends, and neighbors a sober imperative, with respect to this dilemma, confronts our state and our nation. Is my neighbor's prosperity or ability to get ahead linked to my own? I believe that answer is yes.
As I recently read President Obama's remarks on addressing the issue of fatherlessness in our country, I was emboldened by the attention he brought to this critical issue. Fatherlessness is a growing crisis in our country and our state. It is an issue that can form the foundation of many of the challenges that families in every population segment of our state may face. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to start a statewide dialogue on this issue, and address its root causes....and to mitigate its negative impact upon our society.
I firmly believe that a consistent educational standard is necessary for our students to compete on a global scale. A scale which unfortunately, has begun tipping in the other direction.
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an education push that seeks to make sure students across our country are being taught to such a standard. The Common Core is a dramatic difference from America's current educational standards system for one primary reason. Until recently, we didn’t HAVE a uniform standard across our nation.
I hope you had a happy and healthy holiday season, as well as a safe and prosperous start to 2014. I want to take a moment to ask that you join my team as I continue my efforts to bring greater economic opportunity, enhanced educational value to our children, and to grow our middle class by investing in our common future. Please consider a donation today of $25, $50 or $100 by clicking on this link.
We still have a lot of work to do in the home stretch and I need your help before the State filing deadline closes at midnight tonight!
Make your voice count in this election and help me spread the word about Team Can't Stop Won't Stop by clicking here and making a donation of $25, $50 or $100 today.
Oftentimes when people solicit you for campaign donations they never clearly tell you
where the money goes or for what purpose. This is important information for you to have as a donor.
And, as a member of Team Can't Stop Won't Stop, here is what your contribution means:
The campaign season is underway and I need your help to continue my fight for middle class families in Trenton.
With your support and input, we have accomplished some pretty significant things in my first term. Such as:
1. Expanded tax incentives and jobs for small businesses to make South Jersey an industry leader in clean energy research and development;
2. Helped ease the transition of our soldiers returning to civilian life by authoring the “Helmets to Hardhats” program which is expanding job and educational opportunities for returning service men and women;
3. Stood up for New Jersey's women, leading the fight to preserve funding for women’s health care services including funding for mammograms, cancer screenings and pre-natal care.
4. Worked to keep our neighborhoods safe while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens by mandating that felons serving prison sentences for gun crimes don’t get released early, and requiring the automatic forfeiture of any cars used in the illegal trafficking of weapons.
5. Fought to make sure our tax dollars reach classrooms by eliminating perks for school administrators and bureaucrats and has voted to provide much-needed funding for upgrading our public schools
Each of these issues represents my philosophy of putting people before politics and recognizing that no political party has a monopoly on good ideas. While we have accomplished a great deal, we can and must do more.
I hope that you will consider becoming a member of Team Can't Stop Won't Stop! You won't be disappointed that you did. Thank you.