Editor's Note: NJ 11th for Change wouldn't be what it is without the hard work done by our fantastic volunteers. We've started saluting Changemakers on our Facebook page, highlighting specific efforts that fuel our particular engine of democracy.
This week's Changemaker ... The Newsletter Writers!
Don’t you love how every Tuesday, among all the junk and Gap coupons and family dramas, something really worth reading arrives in your inbox? That's right: the NJ 11th for Change newsletter!
These bits of eloquent prose are chock-full of information: what’s up in the organization; what’s up in the news that we’re focusing on; how to take action to make change happen; where to find those super useful Talking Points, and -- of course -- the thorough list of Town Team events happening each week that form the engine of our beautiful community. These communiqués make us learn, make us act, make us laugh, and sometimes even make us cry. They elicit positive feedback on a regular basis from people who are tickled by the smart, entertaining, informative writing that keeps them in the know.
It’s not easy putting these together week after week – choosing the topic, writing/reviewing/editing, gathering all the Town Team events. But our newsletter heroes pull it off again and again with good cheer and good grammar.
So here's to you, Leslie Bockol, Peg Rosen and Lynn Perlmutter!
And if you’re one of the 3,000 people who are on our Facebook group but don’t receive the newsletter, change that now! You’re seriously missing out. Go to nj11.org and click "Join Our Mailing List."
Fridays for Families Vigil in Morristown to Call for End to Cruelty at U.S. Border
Congressional Candidate Mikie Sherrill To Speak at 3 p.m.
MONTCLAIR, NJ — On Friday, June 22, NJ 11th for Change and seven other organizations will be holding Fridays For Families — a vigil in front of Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s Morristown office in opposition to the Trump administration’s draconian policies leading to the separation and indefinite detention of families, including young children, apprehended at the U.S. border. The groups will call on Rep. Frelinghuysen — who spoke out against the atrocious policy of separating children from parents — to take a leading role in Congress to ensure humane treatment of migrants at our nation’s borders, including those seeking asylum from dire conditions in their home countries. This would include the immediate reunification of families that have already been separated.
NJ 11th for Change Endorses MIKIE SHERRILL for Congress
Sherrill Meets Group’s Endorsement Criteria and Will Best Represent District’s Values
MONTCLAIR, NJ – NJ 11th for Change announced today that it has endorsed Mikie Sherrill for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in the 11th Congressional District of New Jersey.
It's Primary Day here in NJ -- VOTE! Not sure where your polling place is? CLICK HERE.
As we noted the other day, there can be strength and inspiration even in the toughest of times. The picture above is a powerful example -- a selection of the ballots featuring literally dozens of NJ 11th for Change friends who are running for office, many for the first time.
They reflect a core aspect of NJ11th for Change -- participation. Since coming into existence a year-and-a-half ago, this group has been a gathering point for an ever-growing number of friends and neighbors who want to look up from the phone, get out of the house, and do right for our democracy by offering something of ourselves to keep it healthy.
Because the person we all need right now is … us.
Congratulations to everyone who stepped up to be changemakers on their local ballots! Here’s hoping for more of the same come November. And don't forget to step up today and VOTE.
Here's a video reminder that there are as many reasons to vote as there are voters.
And vote tomorrow, June 5, in New Jersey's primaries.
Video: Meredith and Liz Lynch. Be A Voter Graphic: Ray Caramanna. Shout-out to members Elaine Cooper, Ken Dolsky and Tom Wyka for a great list of reasons.
Heading toward Tuesday's finish line, here's some things reporters and commentators have had to say about the primaries.
The NJ11 Congressional Race
Primary Season Trends And Topics
Elsewhere, While We’ve Been Primarying …
Today was an important deadline for applying by mail for a Mail-In Ballot by Mail for the Primary Election. Which makes it a good day to share additional Mail-In Ballot information!
First: If you want to receive your mail-in ballot in the mail, the application must be at your county clerk's office 7 days prior to the primary election, which is, basically, now. But read on.
Second: If you didn't make the apply-by-mail deadline, don't despair. You still have time to apply in person for your vote-by-mail ballot at your county clerk's office.
According to the NJ Department of State:
To receive your ballot by mail, the application must be received by the County Clerk 7 days prior to the election.
A voter may also apply in person to the County Clerk until 3:00 p.m., the day before the election.
The County Clerk cannot accept faxed or emailed copies of a Application for Vote by Mail Ballot, unless you are a Military or Overseas Voter, since an original signature is required.
You can vote by mail in New Jersey for any reason you wish -- you do not have to be officially out of town on Election Day. So if this is an option that makes sense to you, go for it. You still can.
For a complete list of vote-by-mail applications by county, go here.
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.)
By Laurie Beacham
School shootings. Children ripped away from families. Assaults on our democracy. The list goes on. It’s hard not to wake up each day with a heavy heart. So why does my heart feel so full?
I’ve spent the last year and a half as part of a new community of activists. Smart, strategic, kind human beings who I would not know were it not for the political shi*t storm we are living through. Working mothers whose lives were already bursting at the seams, who now find time to knock on doors. People with aging parents who take time out to write postcards. Teenagers who (gulp) take time away from hanging with friends to protest gun violence.
Bonded by a shared distress over events around us and a desire to do something about it, we’ve discovered our respective talents and pooled them wisely. We’ve identified the writers and the history buffs, the number crunchers and the political junkies, the artists and the knitters. We know who does what well and we support each other in doing it.
Spending hours upon hours together, we’ve also gotten to know each other. Our struggles and joys, our families and jobs, and even our dogs and cats! We make each other laugh and we let each other cry. In this thriving community of hearts and minds, many of us have become friends.
It’s a strange duality, knowing each day that something is very wrong – and something is very right. Watching the growth of a beautiful garden from our political hole in the ground. Feeling my heart both hurting -- and exquisitely full.
And it strikes me that this wonderful community is not just a side benefit of these challenging times, but the solution itself. If this were the way the whole world was, wouldn’t everything be okay?
Laurie Beacham is the Media Director of NJ 11th for Change and lives in Livingston.
Welcome to We Write Letters, an occasional series in which we draw your attention to the ink (or bandwidth) our members are getting in Letters to the Editor sections as they share their opinions with their superior letter-writing skills!
This week Laura Morowitz from our Verona Town Team hit it big with an appearance in the Washington Post with a spirited take on what exactly might constitute an echo-chamber/bubble:
So those of us who live and work in diverse urban communities, reading international sources and engaging in work that affects people around the world, are inside a bubble, but others who have never left the towns where they were born or had a conversation with someone who wasn’t born in the United States are not?
Read the whole thing here.
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.
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.