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Grassroots Groups Laud Governor Murphy’s Ethics Reform Proposal

Altman

Grassroots Groups Laud Governor Murphy’s Ethics Reform Proposal

A wide-ranging coalition of progressive grassroots groups from across New Jersey lauded Governor Murphy for proposing a new package of ethics reforms today. Following are quotes from grassroots leaders reacting to the announcement:

Sue Altman, New Jersey Working Families
“We need a fundamental change in our political system to ensure that our elected representatives work for the people and not the special interests. Time and again our work for progressive policy change in New Jersey has been stymied by secretive backroom deals brokered by powerful corporations. The legislative package unveiled by Governor Murphy today represents a good first step in shining the light of transparency on our political process and helps put the people, rather than business interests, in charge of Trenton. We truly hope the Legislature will take these reforms seriously and vote for them with the same sense of urgency they voted last year’s budget, which was voted on in committee before a final draft was posted.
“The Legislature needs to immediately bring these ethics bills up for consideration and consider additional measures, such as abolishing the Line, that will curb the power of corporate interests and strengthen our democracy, by making our elections more fair. Grassroots power in New Jersey is not going away, and we are determined to take power away from those who have held it too long.”

Meredith Meisenheimer, South Jersey for Progressive Change
“This reform package is a great step towards ensuring that all government officials are playing by the same rules and held to the same ethical standards. Grassroots activists have been fighting for many of these steps for years, and it is encouraging that these calls for increased transparency and better governance are being heard. New Jerseyans deserve a government that works for the people, rather than only for powerful special interests- these reforms will be a positive step towards making that vision a reality and helping New Jersey shed its reputation for political corruption and insider deal-making.”
Jonathan Gibson, New Jersey Progressive Democrats Union County
“We are encouraged by the leadership of Gov. Murphey with his proposed ethics reforms. We in Union County are all too familiar with the anti-democratic behavior of party bosses and while Murphy’s proposals are a step toward desperately needed reform, they are only a small step in a larger battle to address the political corruption that plagues Union County and New Jersey. We stand with our partners in the Take Back New Jersey coalition in calling for any ethics reform package to address the current ballot design as its continued use is antithetical to our democracy. We must remember that without ethics, there can be no trust; without trust, there can be no confidence in our democratic institutions.”

Ryan Paetzold, Cooper River Indivisible
“For too long in New Jersey, partisan corruption and special interests have muted concern for everyday New Jersey residents- especially the most vulnerable residents. Ethics reforms are the first step towards a more fair and just playing field that New Jersey residents deserve.”

Rebecca Scheer, SOMA Action
“SOMA Action is thrilled to see that the Governor is taking ethics reform seriously.  Transparency and accountability are key hallmarks of good government.  As we have seen time and again, both statewide and here in Essex County, such reforms are imperative if we are to achieve true representation, along with smart policies that benefit all New Jersey residents.”

Alexander Dietsch, Rutgers-Camden Democrats
“The ethics reform package unveiled by Governor Murphy is a positive step on the way to ensuring the government is actually responsible to the people it represents. As students in Camden, we have seen first-hand how a few unelected officials can exert great influence behind closed doors without any kind of accountability from citizens. If the Legislature is serious about ensuring that Camden rises along with the rest of the state, then we urge them to support these ethics reform measures and put to rest the pay-to-play politics which plagues our state. ”

Justin Goldsman, Our Revolution Essex County
“Regardless of your political affiliation, every person living in NJ should have the right to read and to opine on legislative bills pending in their statehouse. Whether it is education, healthcare, housing, etc., you should be able to have your opinion heard and considered. Unfortunately, when legislation is not made public in a timely fashion, it suppresses the peoples’ ability to participate in their democracy and to read legislation before it is voted on. When legislative hearings start hours later than scheduled, it suppresses working peoples’ ability to participate in their democracy. We can no longer pretend that giving someone only an hour’s notice of a bill being scheduled for a vote provides the public sufficient time to request off of work, to find childcare, to travel, or to read the full context of a bill. Advanced public posting of bills will also be a step to restoring faith that our government is doing its due diligence in analyzing policy rather than the optics of rushing bills through the statehouse.  Advanced posting of legislative bills will not only bolster good governance but enable the voices of more people to be heard, a much-needed step to revitalizing our democracy.”

Lillian Duggan, Westfield 20/20
“We must protect our democracy from corruption at every level of government. Allowing legislators to keep their income sources from the voters who put them in office is a recipe for unscrupulous behavior. Transparency and accountability must be restored to the NJ State House.”

Emmy Tidderington, NJ-08 For Progress and Hudson County Progressive Alliance
“NJ-08 For Progress and Hudson County Progressive Alliance were formed in direct response to the rampant corruption in New Jersey politics that reinforces machine control and further distances people from power. Our democracy is stronger with more people engaged in our political process, which is why we applaud Governor Murphy’s proposals, particularly those that strengthen transparency so that our movement stretches from the grassroots to the highest levels of state government.”

Mara Novak, NJ 11th for Change
“Each of the reforms in this package should be law.  The standards have long applied to school boards and Town Councils and it is past time for them to apply to lobbyists and the legislature.  We are especially encouraged by the proposed expansion of OPRA and the 72-hour bill posting rule and look forward to working with the Governor and legislators to pass these critical ethics reforms into law.  We hope these important first steps in creating a fairer NJ for all our citizens will extend to reforming the party line to create a level playing field for all candidates running for office as well.”

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