“Why are you running for election?” This is a fundamental question that every person running for elective office will be asked on the campaign trail at some point. It is also a question that you better have a darn good answer for, not just for the questioner but for yourself as well. A strong democracy is built upon an engaged citizenry as well as committed and competent, individuals willing to present themselves for service in public office. By stepping up to run for office, the basic tenets of our democracy as designed by our nation’s founders and eloquently presented by President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg are fulfilled: “…government of the people, by the people, for the people.” However, running for office and serving as an elected official will also test your own personal constitution in ways you may not have imagined. So, you want to run for office, huh?Read more
We all know someone like this. In fact, that someone might be ourselves.
It’s the condition where we are trying to move forward a bit economically yet never seem to quite cross that modest threshold we’ve set for ourselves. Worse is the situation where we are working as hard as we ever have, are being cautious with our spending, yet we’re still falling short. It’s like the proverbial hamster wheel. You keep running and you even pick up speed when necessary, but in the end, you never go anywhere.Read more
Rarely does a day pass that we don’t read or hear a news story related to energy and the environment. And no matter how well-meaning or interested we are, the relevance sometimes still seems distant.Read more
The language describing the financial abuse of the elderly is direct and explosive: “Rampant, largely invisible, expensive and lethal” is how Kathleen Quinn, executive director of the National Adult Protective Services described it at a recent Senate Special Committee on Aging. You can watch the debate at http://1.usa.gov/1BV0R4R.Read more
During this past summer, I wanted to try something different that I hadn’t done previously. I decided to publish my Summer Policy Series, which is a quick overview of some of the initiatives I have authored on a variety of policy topics. I pride myself on trying to be transparent and informative when it comes to my legislative service. That is why I created the Summer Policy Series. I wanted everyone to know where I stand on issues of vital importance to our state and why I take those positions.
To familiarize yourself with or to catch up if you missed them, you can access the Summer Policy Series here:Read more
In the wake of our recent Labor Day celebration, generally symbolizing the unofficial end of summer, I am still thinking about the impact labor has on all of us. While reflecting back on the origins of Labor Day is important, it also should serves as a reminder to us about what the future of our workforce looks like. The principles upon which Labor Day were founded are still relevant today and will be essential building blocks for the jobs of tomorrow.Read more
Besides being a state representative, I am also active in the world of construction. As a union carpenter and public official, I am keenly aware as to how the intersection of development and community enrichment can benefit our society as a whole. This leads me to my thought this week on enhancing a proven tool that marries those two concepts: community benefit agreements. On the surface, these agreements are fairly simple. A developer is seeking certain concessions on a project (usually a tax break or some type of public subsidy) and agrees to provide benefits to the community. Those benefits come in various forms depending on the community but most fall along the lines of living wage standards, quality of life improvements and/or local hiring goals.Read more
It seems like the most innocuous act.
You walk up to a table, sometimes present an I.D., possibly wait in line for a minute or two, proceed to a booth, pull the curtain closed, view the choices, then cast your ballot. You voted. One of the truly great privileges of a democratic society, and one that far too many still refrain from engaging in.Read more
How do we create jobs while implementing an overhaul of our infrastructure? If it weren’t such a serious topic, one might expect that this was a test question in a college economics class.
But in New Jersey and throughout the rest of the land, these are real-life problems that are beginning to gnaw at us with growing urgency. Employment rates are still too high against a backdrop of a statewide infrastructure that is tottering.Read more
I’m feeling like a student these days, and it might be because a couple of days ago I moved my oldest son into his freshman dorm at college. It reminded me of when I made that same journey with my Dad (Mom was too emotional to make the trip to Rowan) some almost 25 years ago. Perhaps, though it is because of something more.Read more