Nurses. Teachers Endorse Laura Fortgang for NJ State Assembly
LD 26 Democrat Will Host Rally to Celebrate Working Women
VERONA, NJ (October 6, 2019)—Laura Fortgang, the Democratic challenger for New Jersey
State Assembly in the 26 th Legislative District, has earned the endorsement of the American
Federation of Teachers New Jersey, the state chapter of the nation’s second largest teachers’
union, and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees, New Jersey’s largest union
representing registered nurses and health care workers.
AFT New Jersey President Donna M. Chiera praised Fortgang for representing the values
important to voters in the 26 th District.
“Jay Webber and Betty Lou DeCroce are out of touch with Legislative District 26 values and
voters who want change to improve education in our state, protect our environment and create
good jobs,” Chiera said. “That’s why Webber lost in our towns in his thwarted run for U.S.
Congress and why we are supporting Democrats Laura Fortgang and Christine Clarke for
Assembly—to take decisive action and move New Jersey forward,” she said.
“The people who work in education and health care are highly educated, highly trained and
highly skilled professionals who dedicate their talents to serving the public, but often do not
get the recognition and respect they deserve,” Fortgang said. “The AFT and HPAE fight every
day to strengthen and elevate these professions, and in doing so, secure quality education and
health care for all of us. I am incredibly honored to have the support of our teachers and
nurses and the hardworking professionals who staff our schools, colleges and hospitals,”
“The fields of education and health care employ many women, working mothers who support
their families working in these difficult jobs,” Fortgang said. “Organized labor has been
crucial in advancing equality for women in the workplace. I will always fight for and support
collective bargaining and policies that protect employees in their workplace, provide them with
the respect and recognition they deserve, and ensure economic security through retirement,”
The HPAE represents more than 13,000 nurses, therapists, social workers and health care
professionals who work in hospitals, nursing homes, university research facilities, home health
care agencies and blood banks throughout New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. It is the fastest
growing union for health care professionals in New Jersey.
The AFT is a union of professionals that champions fairness, democracy, economic opportunity
and high-quality public education as well as health care and public services for students, families
and communities. AFTNJ represents 30,000 education workers in Pre-K through higher
education across the state. Membership includes faculty, librarians and staff at New Jersey
colleges and institutes of higher learning, teachers and staff in public K-12 districts and retired
To raise awareness about the achievements of organized labor in elevating women in the
workplace, Fortgang will be holding an important press conference featuring key women leaders
on Monday, Oct. 7 at 10:00 AM, 160 Littleton Road, Parsippany.
About Laura Fortgang
Laura Fortgang was raised in New Providence, New Jersey and is a 24-year resident of Verona.
An internationally recognized business consultant and executive coach, Laura has worked with
organizations such as Novartis and NASA to guide them through difficult transitions and re-
establish effective communication. She is a best-selling author and sought-after public speaker.
As the mother of three children, Laura has balanced the demands of running her own business
with being a tireless volunteer with the Verona school district, taking on every volunteer role
from class parent to president of the music boosters. Laura currently serves as the chairwoman of
the Verona Democratic Committee.
About New Jersey’s 26 th Legislative District
The 26 th Legislative District spans Essex, Morris and Passaic Counties and includes the
communities of Butler, Fairfield, Jefferson, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Morris Plains,
North Caldwell, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Rockaway Township, Verona, West Caldwell, West