Guest Post: Confessions of a First-Time Canvasser

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Editor’s Note: Over the last several weeks, the town teams of NJ 11th for Change have been walking their neighborhoods door-to-door, spreading the word that there's congressional election primary coming up soon, and talking to neighbors about the importance of voting. Guest author and NJ 11th for Change Field Director Judy Kelly writes about what going out to canvass means to her.

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I’ll admit it.  I did not go out and canvass for Hillary Clinton.  I didn’t go out for Phil Murphy. I made excuses: Too busy. Too tired. Too many things to do.  I felt bad about these decisions, but never bad enough to push beyond my own limitations. Nothing got me to do it.

Then the calendar turned to 2018.  As I sat here in January, I took a hard look at what I’d done to date.  Sure, I could console myself that I was contributing. I mean, I helped with events, I called my representatives, I posted on Facebook and complained to my like-minded friends.  In the end though, I knew it wasn’t enough. I knew I wasn’t keeping the promises I made following Election 2016.

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REMINDER: Register to Vote in Primaries

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If you are not currently registered to vote in New Jersey, and you want to participate in primary elections on June 5, you must register to vote by:

***Tuesday, May 15***

Other important dates for the 2018 midterm election cycle:

  • May 29 – Primary – Vote by Mail deadline
  • June 5 – PRIMARY ELECTION
  • October 16 – General Election Voter Registration deadline
  • October 30 – General Election Vote by Mail deadline
  • November 6 – ELECTION DAY

 

Not sure whether you are registered to vote? Check at this site.

Need a voter registration form? Click here to download a form. (Make sure to choose the form for the county where you live.)


Primary Primer 4: Democrats on the Issues

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Democrats on the June 5 primary ballot.

Top row: Tamara Harris, Mikie Sherrill and Mitchell Cobert. Bottom row: Alison Heslin and Mark Washburne.

Note: Fourth and final post in a series providing background about contenders in the NJ 11 congressional race.

(Previously: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.)

Less than a month to go to the primaries! Still looking to become a more informed voter? Here are highlights about what the Democrats in the 11th District congressional race think about key issues. For additional information and perspectives, be sure to follow the links in the text.

Background for these profiles came from the articles and websites linked, in addition to the writer’s notes from a candidate forum in April 2018.

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Primary Primer 3: Republicans on the Issues

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Republicans on the June 5 primary ballot. Top row: Jay Webber, Peter de Neufville, Antony Ghee. Bottom row: Patrick Allocco, Martin Hewitt.

Thirty-five days to the primaries - but who’s counting? Still looking to become a more informed voter? In Part 3 of Primary Primer, here are some highlights about what Republican candidates in the 11th District congressional race think about key issues. For additional information and perspectives, be sure to follow the links in the text. (For biographical details on the candidates, see Part 1 and Part 2.)

Background for these profiles came from the articles and websites linked, in addition to the writer’s notes from candidate forums in November 2017 and April 2018.

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Guest Column: A Member's View of Republicans' Debate

Editor's note: Recently, all five Republican candidates for the District 11 congressional race shared the spotlight in a candidate debate at the Randolph Diner, sponsored by the Morris County Young Republicans. InsiderNJ had a report (see link). Also in the audience was NJ 11th for Change member Siva Jonnada — and here is what he had to say about the event. It’s an interesting read for those of us who couldn’t be there.

This column solely reflects our guest columnist’s views, and does not represent any official positions of NJ 11th for Change.

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Primary Primer 2: Who's Who--Republicans

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Republicans on the June 5 primary ballot. Top row: Jay Webber, Peter de Neufville, Antony Ghee. Bottom row: Patrick Allocco, Martin Hewitt.

It’s six weeks till Primary Tuesday. Do you know who’s on the ballot for the 11th District congressional race? Or what they’ve been saying about the issues? We’re here to help with Primary Primer, a series of posts providing a quick, informative look at the 11th District race.

Our first two installments cover the basic background on the candidates, Democratic and Republican. The next posts will outline what they’ve said about key issues. (Here is Part 1.)

Part 2: The Republican candidates vying for the seat being vacated by the retirement of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.

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Primary Primer 1: Who's Who--Democrats

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Democrats on the June 5 primary ballot. Top row: Tamara Harris, Mikie Sherrill and Mitchell Cobert. Bottom row: Alison Heslin and Mark Washburne.

It’s six weeks till Primary Tuesday. Do you know who’s on the ballot for the 11th District congressional race? Or what they’ve been saying about the issues? We’re here to help with Primary Primer, a series of posts providing a quick, informative look at the 11th District race.

Our first two installments cover the basic background on the candidates, Democratic and Republican. Future posts will outline what they’ve said about key issues.

Part 1: The Democratic candidates vying for the seat being vacated by the retirement of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.  

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Election 2018: Important Dates

 

May 15

Primary: Voter registration deadline

May 29

Primary: Vote by mail deadline

June 5: PRIMARY ELECTION


October 16

General election: Voter registration deadline

October 30

General election: Vote by mail deadline

November 6: ELECTION DAY 


 

Not sure whether you're registered to vote?

Click this link to check. 

 

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Town Hall For Our Lives: Morristown Edition

 

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The student organizers of March for Our Lives Morristown kept up the energy (and the tough questions on gun laws) at a Town Hall on Saturday, April 7, with candidates in the NJ 11 House of Representatives race. Planned and led by high-school students, the forum was co-sponsored by NJ 11th for Change.

The audience at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Morristown heard a thoughtful, spirited give-and-take on topics like banning assault rifles, the NRA's influence on legislation, and the particular threats posed by gun violence to people of color and targets of domestic abuse. 

Moderated by Caitlyn Dempsey of Randolph High School, the student panel included:

  • Brianna Arends (Randolph HS)
  • Bella Bhimani (West Morris Mendham HS)
  • Isabella Bosrock (West Morris Mendham HS)
  • Natalie Gemici (Kent Place HS)
  • Meghana Maddali (Morris Knolls HS)
  • Evie Mason (Chatham HS)
  • Carina Pacheco (Academy of Saint Elizabeth)

 

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Power of the People- Frelinghuysen Retires

Rodney Frelinghuysen’s retirement is the culmination of a year-long accountability campaign carried out by the constituents of NJ’s 11th District. It is a testament to the power of people, united in a goal, who refuse to give up.  For over a year, we asked nothing more than an opportunity to meet with our Congressman. Instead, Frelinghuysen hid from us, refused all invitations, and actively avoided interactions with those in the 11th District — the very people he was supposed to represent in Washington. With vote after vote, we were betrayed. And yet, his constituents continued to call and rally at his offices, writing letters and asking to be heard. 

Frelinghuysen’s retirement is an example of what can happen when engaged citizens challenge the status quo, raise their voices, and take action. This is exactly what democracy looks like.