Social Justice

Hunger crisis may loom as emergency food assistance ends

BY: - August 20, 2021

As pandemic protections like eviction and foreclosure moratoriums near their end, pundits and policymakers have warned about the expected impact on homelessness. But advocates for New Jersey’s poorest residents warn that federal emergency food assistance provided during the pandemic will go away soon too, and a recent bump in food stamp benefits won’t help enough […]

Essex County no longer in ICE business, but activists hold their cheers

BY: - August 19, 2021

For 13 years, the Essex County jail that held undocumented immigrants was at the center of fiery protests and confrontations, both from activists protesting in the streets of Newark and the detainees staging hunger strikes inside. Essex County Correctional Facility finally ceded to activists this year and cut its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs […]

Governor Phil Murphy speaking

Growing chorus of immigrant advocates urge Murphy to sign bill banning ICE contracts

BY: - August 11, 2021

It’s been six weeks since immigration advocacy groups began urging Gov. Phil Murphy to sign the bill on his desk banning federal immigration detention center contracts. Now, those calls are mounting — even coming from across the Hudson River — as progressive groups press the Democrat to make New Jersey the fifth state to ban […]

N.J. cops can’t share immigration info with feds, appeals court decides

BY: - August 10, 2021

New Jersey’s Immigrant Trust Directive, an order restricting authorities from sharing immigration information with federal officials, has been upheld by a federal appeals court, ending a legal battle between the state and two counties. The three-judge panel rejected the counties’ arguments that federal law pre-empts New Jersey from implementing the directive, which immigrant advocates say has […]

Hate crimes registry plan finds opposition from civil rights advocates

BY: - August 9, 2021

Civil rights advocates are voicing opposition to a proposal to create a registry for New Jersey residents convicted of hate crimes. The plan, announced last week by a trio of lawmakers in the seventh legislative district, would create a public online registry containing the names, addresses, license plate numbers, and various other descriptors for New […]

Court monitor gives N.J. child welfare system positive review

BY: - August 5, 2021

Twenty-two years after advocates filed a sweeping class-action lawsuit to reform New Jersey’s overburdened, mismanaged, and occasionally deadly child welfare system, a court-appointed monitor Wednesday reported that the system has improved so much it’s now regarded as a model nationally. The state Department of Children and Families (DCF) met 44 of its 48 performance targets, […]

Black women with children excluded from federal cash assistance program, report finds

BY: - August 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — A new research paper reviewed how each state implemented a federal program that has provided cash assistance to low income families over the last 25 years—and found that Black women with children repeatedly were excluded. On a call with reporters Wednesday, policy experts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities outlined how […]

From public art to police oversight, N.J. looks to right its racist past

BY: - August 4, 2021

New Jersey may not be the first state that springs to mind when considering the history of slavery and systemic racism. But the ugliness emerges after even a cursory probe into the past. The Garden State was the last of the Northern states to abolish slavery, initially rejecting the Thirteenth Amendment. Perth Amboy was one […]

Hurdles persist for undocumented immigrants seeking N.J. driver’s licenses

BY: - July 30, 2021

It’s been three months since New Jersey implemented a law allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses and members of that community say they face multiple hurdles trying to obtain them. From being denied translators to getting turned away despite possessing valid documents to a booked-solid appointment system, advocacy groups argue too many people keep running […]

Health fair screening for homeless in Newark

Delayed report on count of N.J.’s homeless due soon

BY: - July 28, 2021

Advocates who track and serve New Jersey’s homeless population are expected to release results within the next few weeks of their annual count of unhoused people, a normally imprecise count advocates agree will be even more unreliable this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Advocates have long said the federally mandated count doesn’t paint a true […]