NEWSLETTER — February 23, 2021 — Defending Democracy Event, Feb 25! "Everything You Wanted to Know About County Committees (but were afraid to ask)" — PLUS volunteer & leadership opportunities!

Check the newsletter
below for more details.

County Committees and their municipal branches are the foundation
of the NJ political party machine. Come learn how they work —
and how you can make them work for YOU and YOUR values!


Greetings, everyone!

It’s finally starting to feel real, isn’t it? "The previous guy" is starting to fade into the background! At last, we can focus on making good things happen. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are getting down to business, and so are we! 


“America is back,” said Biden during his speech
at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.


What kind of business, you ask? 

On a national level, Congress is pressing forward with its flagship piece of legislation — the For the People Act (H.R. 1 in the House, and S. 1 in the Senate). It's an omnibus bill that protects the heart of our democracy: voting rights, election security, redistricting reform, campaign financing, and ethics. Last Thursday, we learned all about it at our virtual letter-writing party—with special guest Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill

No puppy this time.
But lots of substantial conversation!

About a hundred attendees got a succinct run-down of the bill’s complex provisions, and Rep. Sherrill answered a range of politically savvy, nuanced questions from our participants. Thanks to the Congresswoman for making so much time for us during her February “home week”!

But this gathering wasn’t just an educational schmooze-fest! It also launched a major letter-writing and postcarding campaign to support the For the People Act. NJ 11th for Change letter-to-the-editor ringleader Jim Price and experienced letter-writer Devika Gupta shared their insights on how every single one of us can use local media to inform our community. We were also joined by Michael Izzo, editor of the West Essex Tribune, who shared pointers for how YOU can write letters that will catch an editor’s eye and make it into print or onto the web.  

Please join us in this important effort! Click here for a tutorial on the bill and guidelines to make writing to your reps and local media easy. Click here to watch a recording of our event on Facebook!! 

Speaking of events ...
It's time for a new Defending Democracy forum!

We hope you are ready for our next Defending Democracy forum,Everything You Wanted to Know About COUNTY COMMITTEES (but were afraid to ask)”! Please join us this Thursday, February 25 at 7:00 pm on Zoom for a discussion about this quirky aspect of New Jersey democracy — an aspect that we believe could use a little more transparency.

You CAN handle the truth!
Click here to register. Space is limited!

County committees and their municipal components are at the core of the famous “New Jersey political machine.” They wield lots of power, often invisibly. And yet, these committees can be relatively easy to join (except when they aren’t). Learn all about what they do, how they operate and how you can participate in ways that advance your own political values. 

Some of NJ’s Democratic Party County Committee Chairs are among the most powerful pols in the state. Meet the County Committee Chairs within CD 11 (clockwise from top left): LeRoy Jones, Jr. (Essex; incoming NJ Dem State Committee chair); Chip Robinson (Morris); John Currie (Passaic; outgoing NJ Dem State Committee chair); Dawne Rowe (Sussex).


Yael Niv, Ph.D, of the Good Government Coalition of New Jersey, knows all the ins and outs of these under-the-radar committees, and we can’t wait to hear her presentation! Space is limited; click here to register.

Yael Niv will lead our discussion and field questions from participants.


Team-Building Time!

Down in D.C., Joe Biden is setting up his team, filling seats in his administration at a good clip. Here in NJ 11th for Change, we’re doing the same thing! 

It takes a solid group of leaders and volunteers to coordinate events like our Zoom chat with Mikie Sherrill and our Defending Democracy series, not to mention all the postcarding and textbanking and (we hope, someday) canvassing we’ll need to do for the 2021 election season. We need people with all sorts of skills and talents, and any amount of time you have to volunteer or take on a leadership role would just make us turn cartwheels. 

(Um … maybe cartwheels aren’t such a good idea. Any volunteer orthopedists in the group?) 

But seriously. If you care about making change and are ready to step up from the occasional stack of postcards to something a little (or a lot!) more exciting, please fill out our Call for Leaders & Volunteers Survey! We’d love to work with you! The bigger and more diverse a team we build, the more we can accomplish! 

Fill out the survey here!


Meanwhile, we’d like to shout out to a handful of members who have already stepped up!

  • Welcome to Stacey Abenstein! Stacey has joined our leadership team as our new Field Director! She’s got energy and focus galore, and can go toe to toe with Mara Novak in getting geeky over voter-roll spreadsheets. She’s a total force of nature! If you plan on volunteering in any voter-outreach capacity this year, you’ll be getting to know Stacey!

  • Welcome to Claire Gutterman Keyles! Claire brings an incisive mind, laser focus, and impressive activism experience to our team. In the months ahead, look for her to be coordinating a team focused on educating our community about crucial upcoming legislation — and pushing us to take action when action is required!

  • Welcome to Maralyn Kinch! Maralyn has long served as the valiant leader of our West Orange Town Team, and we are in constant awe at her capacity for new projects! She will be coordinating volunteers to reach out to new residents in NJ 11 towns (especially in our bluer areas), making sure they know when and how to register and vote at their new addresses. These are voters that tend strongly to swing our way, and we can’t wait to welcome them!

  • Welcome to Leslie Meyer and Patrick Curreri! Leslie and Patrick both have hard-won intel about the long-neglected, MAGA-loving, Oath-Keeping section of CD-11 known as SUSSEX COUNTY! We’re so glad they are willing to jump into the fray as Sussex Team Leaders. It’s up to all of us to support Leslie and Patrick with volunteer hours — and to support all the Sussex County blue voters fighting the good fight in hostile territory. We’re so glad to have Leslie and Patrick (and their insider knowledge) to make sure we do it right.

  • Welcome to Deborah MacEvoy! We are so excited that she has joined our Facebook moderating team! Deb has wisdom, insight, and equanimity to spare, and we’ve been eager to get her to join our “Mod Squad” for months now. She just started this week, and — we’ve gotta say — she’s already a pro. We’re in awe of the thoughtful approach she takes towards political debate, and the integrity and fairness she shows in speaking her mind!

We are so excited to have such wonderful people joining our team. There are great things ahead for all of us! Come be a part of it by volunteering!


Please support our work.
Consider giving to NJ 11th for Change!

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Your contributions make our work possible! In 2020, donations allowed us to make almost 160,000 voter contacts in New Jersey's 11th congressional district; our efforts were a big part of making 11 towns flip from Trump in 2016 to Biden in 2020, including some historically deep-red municipalities. Even Morris County turned blue!

Your generous donation goes towards our data analysis and voter-file access, text banking expenses, support for our events, printing, and much more. It allows us to continue our work building a government that is transparent, responsive and accountable. Please visit our "DONATE" link and pledge any amount. Every contribution helps as we charge ahead into 2021 and beyond!