Friends, I hope you are enjoying your summer and taking the time to cherish these moments with family and friends. Representing the area in which I grew up, is truly a humbling and rewarding experience. Having the chance to speak on behalf of my neighbors, concerning the issues which impact our community is a responsibility that I cherish every day that I am privileged to serve. As always, I want to keep you, my Bosses, informed as to what is happening “under the dome” in Trenton. And, specifically what I am doing as your representative. So, let’s look back over the first six months of the 2014-2015 Legislative Session and review what has taken place.
Tomorrow we celebrate July 4th, a tribute to our country's fight for independence. For many, watching sports is part of this celebratory weekend, as we immerse ourselves in a steady stream of accomplishments and statistics from baseball to the World Cup. We’ll know everyone’s batting average, earned run average or the distance a soccer player ran in a knockout game for a key goal. We are interested, if not obsessed, with statistics that measure performance, because sports are important to many Americans.
For recent high school students, the joys of June graduations fill the air combined with the anticipation (for many) of attending college in the fall. However, once the rays on these jubilant days dim, these same students will face clouds of economic uncertainly in four years that many recent college students must now confront.
When did the thought of promoting clean energy standards and practices become synonymous with any and every negative connotation folks can think of? There simply is no doubt that fossil fuels, as our nation's sole source for energy, is a dying industry. (If you’ll forgive the pun.) But its death is s-l-o-w, and many politicians can barely think five years ahead, much less 50 years. For the average citizen, like us, these are conversations of a larger philosophical nature that are unquestionably difficult to identify with. Especially, as we are often faced with more immediate concerns in our day-to-day lives. However, we should be mindful of this important issue.
This Sunday is Father's Day. A day we observe to remind us to remember our fathers in some way. A day to give thanks and appreciation, for the love and care we have received and are receiving, from our dads. I wanted to pen this week’s post acknowledging my hero….my dad. Now my dad cares little about a lot of sentimental or emotional praise. He comes from that era where being the stoic “man of the house” was the norm and expected. Therefore, I will limit my words of praise to simply this: I have, in my forty years on Earth, meet and known many fine dads, and as a student of history have read about many great men , yet, I can truthfully say nothing makes me prouder than to be Elijah Singleton Jr.’s son. So here goes my letter:
While driving to work Monday, I heard a National Public Radio news story of how the political parties’ leaders are flying around the country, inserting themselves in the game of supporting their favorite daughter or son for the primary elections held this past Tuesday. The news story dealt with an important senate race in the South.
As an elected official, it should surprise no one that I urge everyone to vote. It might sound like a cliché, that voting is the bedrock of a democratic nation, yet it is precisely that foundation upon which we all rely.
According to a news report, turnout was low for Tuesday’s primary. For those committed to the ideals, direction and platform of a political party, such as mine with the Democratic Party, voting in a primary is an important first step in helping choose the final candidates that will face an opponent, usually a republican, in the general election.
Like other states, New Jersey has written into law provisions that allow individuals or businesses to reduce their tax liability if they meet certain criteria. I have supported many of these initiatives in the interest of growing our state’s economy. One such initiative was the much heralded, Economic Opportunity Act of 2013. This proposal, which I helped author, has already begun to drive job creation in our state and especially in the 7th District with the news of Destination Maternity moving its operations to Florence, as well as the expansion of the Burlington Coat Factory in Florence, the preservation and expansion of Association Headquarters in Mt. Laurel, Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, and the preservation and relocation of Express Scripts Inc. to Florence. While these are all very exciting and tangible fruits of those efforts, New Jersey is among the states that pay the least attention to whether tax breaks for businesses achieve their stated goals.
During a recent trip up the New Jersey Turnpike, I popped into a rest stop and stood in line for a drink and a soldier dressed in camouflage stood behind me. After giving my order, I turned around and said to the cashier, “please give him whatever he would like,” pointing to the solider. He looked up at me and replied, “That’s not necessary, really. But thank you.”
When I was younger and had more time to watch tv, I really enjoyed medical dramas. The nip and tuck nature of life, encompassing the full gamut of human emotion, all wrapped up in sixty minutes. Good television. Those shows remind me of the present state of New Jersey's fiscal well being. As yet another of the major Wall Street rating houses has downgraded New Jersey’s credit rating; we are faced with the question of, “Where do we go from here?"...or to fit the opening narrative, "How do we save this patient?"
Sunday is Mother’s Day, and it is most recently a bittersweet day for me. My mom played an important role in my life, giving me unquestioned love, offering a steady hand for direction and helping instill confidence in me. She passed away two years ago this month, and sometimes I can’t believe she’s really gone. In my quiet moments, I still feel like I’m having conversations with her....(usually one-sided) with an emphasis on finding ways to give back to my community.