Social Justice

Groups push for N.J. lawmakers to create reparations task force

BY: - December 1, 2021

As lawmakers prepare to vote on a slew of bills during the first voting sessions since Election Day, several advocacy groups are pushing them to support a bill that would create a task force to explore reparations over slavery. The bill, A711/S322, hasn’t received a vote since it was introduced in January 2020. Activists say reparations […]

Feds order state to restore funding cuts to poorest school districts

BY: - December 1, 2021

The federal Department of Education has ordered New Jersey to restore millions of dollars in funding cuts the state made to 80 of its poorest school districts after lawmakers in 2018 changed how the state provides aid to local schools. The cuts violate a provision in the American Rescue Plan’s relief fund for elementary and secondary […]

‘Another door that doesn’t open:’ Hurdles for applicants to N.J. excluded workers fund

BY: - November 29, 2021

When applications finally launched for the Excluded New Jerseyans Fund in late October, residents and immigrant activists rejoiced and began filing applications immediately. The fund was intended to help undocumented immigrants and other workers who were ineligible for other types of pandemic-related financial aid. But nearly a month after the program started, immigrants say they’re […]

Lawmakers seek to enhance protections for domestic violence survivors

BY: and - November 15, 2021

Amid reports of domestic violence abuse surging during the pandemic, state lawmakers will consider new measures to strengthen protections for New Jersey’s domestic violence survivors. Three bills on the docket Monday would require domestic violence training for prosecutors, certain judges and judicial personnel, and law enforcement officers. Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) is a primary […]

More than 3,000 people apply for N.J.’s excluded workers fund

BY: - November 12, 2021

Just two weeks after it launched, the state’s excluded workers fund has received nearly 3,600 applications, according to the Department of Human Services. The $40 million fund was long anticipated by the state’s undocumented residents and others who were excluded from pandemic relief like stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. Announced by Gov. Phil Murphy in […]

In Jersey City, frustration flares up over a controversial affordable housing program

BY: - October 29, 2021

Luisa Reyes Mantilla was a young single mother in 1994 when she spotted an advertisement for low-income, first-time homebuyers in Jersey City. To qualify, you had to have good credit, a few thousand dollars in the bank, and a willingness to rent the other half of your duplex to someone similarly in need. She called […]

Social and racial justice activists form new coalition to push for police reform statewide

BY: - October 29, 2021

Keilan Scott knows all too well about police violence. In 2018, relatives called for help when Scott’s brother-in-law died at the family’s Fort Lee home. “But they didn’t come as if they were assisting,” Scott said. “They came as if a crime was in progress. They approached as if they were raiding the house.” After […]

Applications open for fund to help N.J. workers excluded from state, federal benefits

BY: - October 28, 2021

After 19 months of undocumented immigrants and other residents falling into debt while being excluded from pandemic-era relief funds, New Jersey’s long-awaited Excluded Workers Fund began accepting applications Wednesday. The long-awaited program, to be administrated by the state Department of Human Services, will be first come, first served, and will accept applications until its $40 […]

Reformers call for end to discriminatory pricing in N.J. car insurance

BY: - October 27, 2021

Most drivers might assume their car insurance rates are based on their driving history and safety record. Instead, many insurers use education, occupation, and consumer credit scores to determine rates, charging higher premiums for those least likely to afford them: poor and minority drivers. But a bill now before the Legislature could provide relief. The […]

Activists troubled that N.J. cities sought DEA surveillance of 2020 protests

BY: - October 22, 2021

Activists are concerned about reports showing three New Jersey law enforcement agencies requested the federal government provide surveillance operations during Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The Asbury Park Police Department, Newark Police Department and Essex County Sheriff’s Office all reached out to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in hopes of collecting intelligence on “radical […]

Port Authority’s deal with Amazon violated board’s public meeting rules, report says

BY: - October 21, 2021

A new report claims the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approved a massive deal for an Amazon cargo hub at the Newark airport through backroom deals with little transparency, and alleges Amazon’s unfair labor practices violate the agency’s code of ethics. Published by Hedge Clippers, a national labor advocacy organization, the report […]

Community investment would protect public more than over-policing, report says

BY: - October 14, 2021

New Jersey communities spend far more on policing than on health and human services, an imbalance that has increased rates of police use of force and incarceration while widening racial disparities in the criminal justice system, according to a new report by New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a progressive think tank. Community-based crisis-response and prevention strategies […]