Over the past 6 weeks, our office has received hundreds of phone calls, emails, and social media messages related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, the calls were specific to the illness itself – What if I have symptoms? How do I get tested? Then, they progressed into questions about the Governor’s Stay at Home order: Is my business essential? Am I supposed to go to work? However, since then, the vast majority (as in 99%) of the questions we are receiving are from our bosses in the 7th Legislative District and beyond, who need help with their unemployment claims.
The headlines say it all. Case counts. Death tolls. Unemployment numbers skyrocketing. Economic turmoil. With headlines like these, it is easy to become burdened and saddened by the news. Yet, in the midst of all this bad news, there are stories of positivity to lighten the weight of these heavier realities.
In Case You Missed It: This week, the Legislature met to pass a wide array of initiatives to address the COVID-19 public health emergency. These proposals range from protections for homeowners and renters to relief for businesses. I was proud to sponsor a number of these initiatives (those that I sponsored are in bold below). For more information on these proposals please visit www.njleg.state.nj.us.
It is no secret that we’re in the midst of a public health emergency. However, an unintended consequence of this is the economic emergency it has caused in every corner of our state, as well. There isn’t an industry, business, or worker who has not been impacted in some way by COVID-19.
It is no secret that the current public health emergency has taken a toll on our economy and our business community. This is especially true for our small business community. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s New Jersey profile, New Jersey is home to 861,000 small businesses which employ over 1.8 million people, or nearly half of our total workforce.
Sometimes critical moments in life come down to a simple decision: Are you in or are you out? That moment of decision is occurring this year.
I’m referring to the U.S. Census, a once-a-decade event, enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, whose aim it is to count every person in America. Yes, it is a legal requirement that mandates the counting of everyone in the United States regardless of race, color, creed or status.
We can all agree that New Jersey is the greatest state in the nation; but we can all also agree that we must work to make our state more affordable. More affordable for homeowners, working families, businesses, and more affordable for patients who rely on life-saving prescription drugs.
Every month, like clockwork, traditional and social media prompts us, often in earnest, about a special event, occasion, remembrance or just a reminder that something special will occur. Some are serious and have great significance in our lives. For example, February is Black History Month, and we will, fittingly, learn about exceptional women and men who led the struggle for equality. We will also discover celebrations that seem, to us, whimsical and downright funny, such as National Embroidery Month and National Grapefruit Month. All of these special months and occasions are entombed in Chase’s Calendar of Events.
Hey Boss! Do you have a minute? As the New Jersey Senate passes the mid-way point of the current legislative term, I wanted to take a minute to provide you with an update of the work I have done on your behalf. While much of the attention and headlines get devoted to the public policy part of my job (the 112 legislative proposals I have helped enact), the best part of my job is the public service –when my office helps people navigate issues facing them or their loved ones.
When we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, on Monday, January 20th, well-deserved accolades will follow this giant of the civil rights movement and champion of social justice. It is a fitting gesture and one that should inspire all of us to emulate him in our own way, however modest.
I would suggest that if we really want to honor Dr. King’s legacy, there is even a more potent and fulfilling way beyond thankful words: Let’s start by engaging our community with a servant’s mindset towards giving back to our communities.