DAYS UNTIL OUR NEXT
DEFENDING DEMOCRACY PANEL,
ALL ABOUT TOWN COUNCILS: 1
The perpetrators of white supremacy in America have woven a self-serving narrative about Black people for centuries. They have woven that narrative in ways subtle and blatant, one interaction and accusation at a time.
One lynching at a time.
One conviction at a time.
One no-knock entry at a time.
One dubious traffic stop at a time.
One stop-and-frisk arrest at a time.
One racial profiling incident at a time.
One law-enforcement cover-up at a time.
One neighborhood watch confrontation at a time.
One dog-walking 9-1-1-calling Karen in the park at a time.
One ‘blame-the-victim’ acquittal of a ‘bad apple’ police officer at a time.
The witnesses who recorded George Floyd's murder and spoke the truth about it changed the narrative.
The people across the country who protested — and wouldn’t stop protesting — changed the narrative.
Map of protests, from the New York Times
And today, the jury in Derek Chauvin’s trial changed the narrative, declaring the ex-cop guilty on all three charges against him.
Reminder: THIS is what the Minneapolis police department's original official narrative looked like:
Without the witnesses who refused to turn away, without the protesters who asserted the truth and made the stakes clear in this conflict, without the jury standing up for the humanity of George Floyd, this dishonest, whitewashed report would remain the official story of what happened that day. Acknowledging the truth of what Derek Chauvin did — and denying the blue wall of silence — is an important change.
But it’s not enough change.
We are not done. Chauvin will face justice for what he did, but there is no justice for his victim. It is too late for justice for George Floyd; in a just world, he’d still be alive.
But what can we do going forward?
For greater justice in our nation, we must change the narrative BEFORE a Black person is killed. BEFORE a Black person is approached by law enforcement with a presumption that they are guilty and dangerous just by virtue of their skin color, and with a horrifying disregard for their humanity, dignity, safety, and very survival.
We call upon the members of the NJ 11th for Change community and our supporters to TAKE ACTION by supporting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
This federal legislation would implement groundbreaking nationwide changes to the ways our law enforcement system works. Among its stipulations are:
- Ending racial and religious profiling
- Banning choke-holds and no-knock warrants
- Limiting military equipment on American streets
- Requiring body cameras
- Holding police accountable in court
- Investigating police misconduct
- Stopping sexual assault in police custody
- Empowering communities, reenvisioning public safety, changing the culture of law enforcement and training, improving transparency, and collecting data on police misconduct and use of force
For a more detailed (but still very succinct) explanation of these provisions, click here.
Call your Senators. Call your Congressional Representative. No matter where they stand on the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill, they need to know that YOU support it, and that you will support them when THEY support it. Our representatives need to know that we will speak up loudly to get this bill passed — and we expect them to, as well.
Make life easy, put your reps on speed dial:
Sen. Bob Menendez (973-645-3030)
Sen. Cory Booker (973-639-8700)
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (973- 526-5668)
Click HERE for lots of different avenues you can use (additional phone numbers, email and snail-mail addresses, Twitter handles, etc.) to make your feelings known to your federal legislators.
But that’s not all we need to do.
We are fortunate — for now — to live in a state whose government is trying to make positive change when it comes to racial justice.
- Our governor, Phil Murphy, and state attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, have implemented potent new policing standards meant to reduce law enforcement bias, increase departmental transparency, and hold officers accountable for violence against the people they’re sworn to serve and protect.
- New Jersey is in the midst of passing legislation that eliminates mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent drug charges, a holdover of the War on Drugs that has been used disproportionately against Black people as a tool of mass incarceration.
- Our lawmakers are working to reduce the shocking racial disparity in maternal and infant mortality rates in New Jersey, and to support early childhood education initiatives that level the playing field for children regardless of color.
If we want to maintain this progress in our home state, we — as constituents, as activists — must do the work. We need to support the best candidates, we must register voters and make sure they get to the polls (or better yet, use vote-by-mail ballots!), and we must educate ourselves and our communities.
This is an election year, and right-wing candidates are coming on strong. It is crucial that we keep reactionary Trump-supporter Jack Ciattarelli from winning the governorship in November, and make sure that far-right candidates don’t capture seats in our State Senate and General Assembly. We need to urge our counties and our municipalities to recognize and support our values, and hold our elected officials accountable all the way down to the Town Council level.
NJ 11th for Change is committed to this work. We hope you will join us.
HERE ARE 4 THINGS YOU CAN DO THIS WEEK:
Attend our Defending Democracy panel discussion about town councils this Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 pm on Zoom. Town councils have more power than you think! Learn what they do, how you can work with them as a constituent to advance your priorities, and what to do if you are considering running for a town council seat someday. Space is limited; register here to receive the Zoom link!
Register like-minded new voters! NJ 11th for Change’s data team has identified specific demographic groups across our district that aren’t currently registered. We need volunteer researchers to help us firm up those lists and weed out the MAGA-types, so we can send postcards encouraging them to register in time for the June primaries! If you are interested in helping us do the internet research needed to finalize the most effective list possible, please contact Stacey Abenstein ASAP. The sooner this project is complete, the sooner we can start writing postcards, and y’all know how much fun that is!
Join our team to dig up the dirt on the WORST 2021 candidates in our district! The GOP is fielding an atrocious slate of reactionary Trump-lovin’ Big Lie types this year, and we need all the facts we can get about them. Feel like poking around in your legislative district for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about candidates you just love to hate? Contact Mara Novak to join the squad.
Make a donation to NJ 11th for Change to help fund this work. Access to voter databases, text banking, and other initiatives cost real money, real fast. A recurring monthly donation or a one-time gift makes a big difference and helps us all keep doing our work. Plus… SWAG!
Swanky NJ 11th for Change masks will be sent to
donors who contribute $50+ as a one-time gift,
or $5+/month as a recurring gift.
Change is happening.
It’s happening because WE are making it happen
— because YOU are making it happen!
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!
NJ 11th for Change is a 501(c)(4) unaffiliated organization dedicated to advocating for all people of New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. We foster an engaged and informed community with the power to shape our political representation so that it is transparent, responsive and accountable—and so that it reflects the values of fairness, compassion, inclusivity and a decent quality of life.