OCTOBER 19, 2021 — NJ 11th for Change Retracts Endorsement of Morris County Commissioner Candidate A.J. Oliver

Dear NJ 11th for Change Members,

We unhappily write to you to retract NJ 11th for Change’s endorsement of Democratic candidate A.J. Oliver for Morris County Commissioner.

This week, it came to light that Oliver, a member of the three-person slate we endorsed for Morris County Commissioner, has been concealing the fact that he is actually a vocal anti-choice activist.

Oliver did not initially disclose to his running mates that he is anti-choice; and later was not forthright that he is intent on advancing those beliefs legislatively, having urged people to call their legislators to lobby against New Jersey’s Reproductive Freedom Act. Nor did he disclose to his running mates that he had been endorsed by the anti-choice group DFLA (Democrats for Life of America).

However, a video emerged this weekend showing Oliver speaking publicly in December at a DFLA event. This prompted us to speak with people who have deeper insight into the situation, and we learned the unfortunate truth.

Members of the NJ 11th for Change endorsement committee based their July/August 2021 votes to endorse or not endorse this slate on their questionnaire responses, which avowed that the slate is “pro-woman” and “feminist.” Given the revelation that Oliver’s position is far removed from what most of us would consider “pro-woman” or “feminist,” we feel strongly that continuing to endorse this candidate would be a betrayal of our members’ values, which are and have always been overwhelmingly pro-choice. Moreover, Oliver’s lack of transparency with his team and running mates, and then with us, is antithetical to our organization’s core values.

We thereby retract NJ 11th for Change’s endorsement of A.J. Oliver.

We do not wish to provide Oliver with a platform for his views or a stepping stone to higher office. Nor can we in good conscience keep silent and encourage our members and the wider community to support a candidate who so drastically misrepresented his positions to us and others, and who so diametrically opposes our values.

We continue to enthusiastically endorse the other two candidates on the slate, T.C. McCourt and Dina Mikulka, and encourage our members to support them. They do not share Oliver’s anti-choice beliefs, and seem to have been blindsided by these revelations.

We understand that this retraction may hurt Oliver’s running mates’ chances in the election; however, we feel strongly that the responsibility for this lays firmly on the heads of Mr. Oliver and those who knowingly selected him to run as a Democrat despite his opposition to a central Democratic principle, the right to choose.

As a grassroots organization and an important “outsider” voice, it is crucial that we hold true to our mission and our values, and preserve NJ 11th for Change’s integrity and independence. Doing so serves a valuable long-term function in our democracy, even if it hurts our chances in a specific election in the short term. Our standards must be higher.

Leslie Bockol and Mara Novak
Co-Executive Directors
NJ 11th for Change

NEWSLETTER: 10/14 — Volunteers Needed for the FINAL PUSH!

How Many Days Until
Election Day 2021
(November 2)?
19 Days


It's less than TWENTY days before Election Day! NINE days until Early Voting starts! And eager voters are already returning their mail-in ballots!

The election is in full swing, and now is the time to go full-bore in tracking down voters aligned with our values and MAKING SURE THEY VOTE! That includes people we know personally (“relational canvassing”) and people we don’t. 


First things first: please let people in your circle of friends and family know that this is an important election. Tell them you're counting on them; promise them cookies. Let them know that the governor and the entire state legislature is up for election — and that state legislatures are crucial to our future. Just look at what’s going on in Texas, Ohio, and all the states with red-controlled state houses! And this year’s NJ election is in no way a 'gimme' Conservative voters are riled up, and we need to stand up against their anti-diversity, anti-woman, anti-public health, anti-equity, anti-progress dogma. 

Conservative voters are showing their ire at Board of Ed meetings.
Think they'll show up to vote on Election Day? Better believe it.

ALSO! Let your friends and family know that there are three ways they can vote this year. 

  1. They can vote by mail (if they have not already requested a mail ballot, it’s not too late!)
  2. They can vote early in-person from October 23 to October 30 
  3. They can vote in-person on Election Day, November 2.

For more details and answers to lots of election questions, tell them to visit the clear, concise NJ 11th for Change Voter Information webpage!

And save the date for MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, when we will have expert representatives discussing voting methods (where, when, and how) for all four counties in our district: Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex. This Defending Democracy event, titled "Everything You Wanted to Know About Voting in New Jersey (But Were Afraid to Ask)," is free and open to all. More info and registrations links coming soon!



Traditional grassroots activism means spreading the word far and wide in our communities! There are no end of opportunities to canvass door-to-door for our endorsed candidates (see the “Events & Volunteer Opportunities” section at the end of this newsletter; don't miss LD39's Ice Cream Truck Rally!!). But NJ 11th is also reaching voters in other ways: BLANKETING THE DISTRICT WITH POSTCARDS & TEXTS, AND TABLING AT PUBLIC EVENTS! Here's how you can help:

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NEWSLETTER: 10-7-21 — One Month Left! Help Get Out the Vote!

How Many Days Until
Election Day 2021
(November 2)?
26 Days


What an uplifting experience we had, marching for reproductive rights this past Saturday! Nationwide, there were over 600 rallies, sending a clear message that this issue matters to people from coast to coast. NJ 11th for Change co-hosted the Women’s March in Montclair — estimates say that there were about 1000 people there! — and our members also gathered for important rallies in Morristown and Sussex. 

A small segment of the Montclair crowd!

The entire day was a potent reminder of what a powerful experience it is to come together with a common mission.

Click here to hear the compelling (and short!) speeches from Rep. Mikie Sherrill, Governor Phil Murphy, and First Lady Tammy Murphy at the Montclair march.


Great turnout in Morristown, too!

"Facts Matter Jack" Gavin celebrating his actual birthday by distributing ACLU copies of the Constitution. That’s commitment for you!


The Women's March was so heartening — just what we needed to rev us up as we enter the last month before Election Day! Now is the time to put in the work. We all know what needs to be done:





This is an off-year election — crucial because the governor’s seat and every legislative seat in the state is up for grabs, but historically a very low turn-out race. That means every voter we reach — every voter we inspire to cast a ballot — has even more impact than usual. Our work has the power to turn the tide!

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NEWSLETTER 9/29: Inviting You to MARCH WITH MIKIE on Saturday 10/2 at the Women's March in Montclair!

How Many Days Until
Election Day 2021
(November 2)?
34 Days



NJ 11th for Change has been invited specifically to march with Mikie.
All allies welcome — friends, family, partners, neighbors,
kids, high schoolers, college students and more!


Red states across the country — no, it's not just Texas — are pressing their anti-choice agendas. SCOTUS is just looking for an excuse to scuttle Roe v. Wade. Even here in NJ, lawmakers are stalling the passage of Governor Murphy's landmark Reproductive Freedom Act.

We must speak up!

Where? When? How?

This Saturday, October 2, a network of Women's Marches in support of reproductive rights are scheduled across the United States. In North Jersey, the official march site is in Montclair, at the municipal building (corner of Forest Street and Claremont Avenue). NJ 11th for Change is one of the sponsors of the march, and we'd love to see you there!

Tammy Murphy, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, and more.


NJ 11th for Change will be marching as a group, as invited guests of Mikie Sherrill. We will gather with Mikie prior to meeting up with the rest of the crowd at the Montclair Women's March. The more people we have, the stronger our impact! Please bring friends and family, and any allies you can find. Kids and teens welcome: the damage that state legislatures and the Supreme Court do to reproductive rights NOW is going to affect them, their friends, and their futures! Their voices matter. They deserve the chance to be heard.

We'll be sharing a specific meet-up location soon ... sign up here so we can email it to you, along with parking suggestions and any other crucial last-minute announcements. Otherwise, you can just look for the NJ 11th for Change signs and the Mikie banner when you get there!

Make a creative sign, or carry one of ours (limited supplies); wear comfy shoes, and be ready to use your OUTSIDE voice! Bring a tambourine, you ask? Sure, why not! This is sure to be a motivating, empowering morning for all of us. TOGETHER, WE RISE!

Speaking of motivating, empowering mornings ...

Last Saturday, September 25, was a Phil Murphy DAY OF ACTION. All over the state, volunteers canvassed for both the governor and for local Dem candidates. NJ 11th for Change co-hosted a canvassing launch in West Orange, and our members showed up in force! Lots of elected leaders, as well: Mikie Sherrill, NJDCC Chairman LeRoy Jones, State Senator Richard Codey, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey and Assemblyman John McKeon ... there was some serious activist energy going on in the Redwine family's backyard — positively inspiring!

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