New Jersey Citizen Action Celebrates 40th Anniversary

New Jersey Citizen Action Celebrates 40th Anniversary 

Monroe—December 7—New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA), a statewide coalition and grassroots organization that fights for social, racial, and economic justice for all, celebrated its 40th Anniversary Gala today by honoring U.S. Congressman Bill Pascrell, New Jersey Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake and advocates from the Latino Action Network Foundation, Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), and Fair Shair Housing Center. 

For their roles in advancing policies and legislation championing low-and moderate-income people, communities of color, and New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents. Congressman Pascrell and Assemblywoman Timberlake received NJCA’s 2022 Legislator of the Year Award. 

Cuqui RiveraPrograms Manager of the Latino Action Network Foundation, received NJCA’s Evanoff-Shuchter Award for Organizing. Debbie White, President of HPAE, Adam Gordon, Executive Director of Fair Shair Housing, and the Reverend Eric Dobson, Deputy Director of Fair Shair Housing, were also honored with awards.

NJCA Executive Director Dena Mottola Jaborska noted that since its inception in 1982, NJCA has been a convener of alliances, where diverse people of different faiths, races, concerns, and economic circumstances, come together to fight for justice and opportunity for all.  

The organization’s many successes over the past 40 years were only possible because of collaboration with, and the hard work of, both the awardees and many others throughout New Jersey.

“NJCA’s mission is big and broad – to fight for social, racial, and economic justice for all,” said Mottola Jaborksa. “That mission requires a movement of likeminded people who are willing to work collectively and relentlessly, to struggle together, to organize and recruit others to work together to advance a shared vision of justice, peace and prosperity for all.”

Mottola noted that the challenges faced by New Jersey and the country today–deep poverty, systemic racism, anti-democracy forces, anti-immigrant sentiment; unfettered corporate power; anti-unionism and white supremacist hate for anyone who isn’t white, male, Christian and cis gendered—made NJCA’s mission even more crucial than 40 years ago.

But she also pointed to the organization’s many accomplishments thanks to movement and coalition work with partners, allies, and activists throughout the state. These accomplishments include

  • Enrolling tens of thousands in New Jerseyans in health care plans through the tireless efforts of its ACA ambassadors and partners and cutting the rate of underinsured in New Jersey in half. NJCA helped win one health care expansion after the other and are on track to achieving universal healthcare in New Jersey in the next few years.

  • Collaborating with immigrant worker advocacy groups, unions and other stakeholders in the Time to Care Coalition and the small business owners of the NJ Main Street Alliance to blunt big business interests, helping to pass comprehensive paid family leave and paid sick leave laws.

  • Engaging with banks to ensure more than $42 billions in investments in historically redlined low- and moderate-income communities. These investments secured vital funding for favorable mortgages, a critical part of wealth building among these communities, and many other local services and enterprises, including NJCA service work

  • Growing a statewide grassroots resistance with the help of groups throughout New Jersey to defend the Affordable Care Act. This movement held rallies and protests outside GOP congressional offices for 88 weeks, and played a critical role in flipping 3 House seats blue.

Mottola Jaborska thanked gala attendees, themselves board members, allies, funders, partners and activists for their continuing support and collaboration over man years.

“This movement is only possible because of the support, funding, collaboration, hard work, and friendship of so many others,” she said. “We thank you for making 40 years of our movement possible. And we look forward to many more years of continuing to work with you for social, racial, and economic justice.”

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