Social Justice

N.J.’s top court orders ex-Black Panther freed after 49 years behind bars

BY: - May 10, 2022

The New Jersey Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to free Sundiata Acoli, rejecting the state Parole Board’s claims that the 85-year-old should stay in prison for the 1973 slaying of a state trooper. The ruling, split 3-2 along party lines, brings to a close a decades-long battle by Acoli’s supporters to release him […]

Abortion is a frequent, favorite driver of legislation in New Jersey

BY: - May 4, 2022

Reproductive rights advocates breathed a sigh of relief this week that abortion access is well-protected in New Jersey, after a leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision signaled the nation’s top court could soon allow states to ban the procedure. But state lawmakers have introduced a long list of abortion bills since January — and […]

N.J.’s top court to weigh recommendations to reduce bias in jury selection

BY: - May 2, 2022

New Jersey courts would ask prospective jurors their race, ethnicity, and gender, allow people with certain criminal convictions to serve on juries, and pay jurors more, if the state Supreme Court adopts recommendations made last week to reduce bias in jury selection. The Committee of the Judicial Conference on Jury Selection made 25 recommendations in […]

N.J. police officers are overwhelmingly white and male, data shows

BY: - April 28, 2022

Citizens can now investigate the demographics of their police departments in a new public database unveiled Thursday by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office. The police diversity dashboard is intended to increase transparency, two years after state lawmakers passed a law requiring agencies to work toward making their staff as diverse as the communities they serve. […]

Reports of antisemitism in N.J. reached record levels in 2021, group says

BY: - April 27, 2022

At Princeton University in May 2021, Jewish students were verbally harassed outside an academic building. Four months later, a Teaneck man smashed the windows of a doctor’s office with a hammer, demanding to know whether patients were Jewish. And during Hanukkah that year, a sticker with a swastika was found outside a Mount Laurel synagogue.  […]

‘It’s cannabis Christmas!’ N.J. celebrates the first day of legal recreational marijuana

BY: and - April 21, 2022

Nearly 48 years ago, Marie Holmes sparked a joint for the first time. Since then, she’s experienced the stigma surrounding cannabis usage, the ways consuming weed has changed, and finally, legalization in her home state. “And now I get to use my senior discount,” she laughed. “It’s been way too long since we needed this […]

Another power plant might still come to Newark, despite residents’ pleas to stop

BY: - April 21, 2022

At 9 years old, Destiny Tate is already worried about the over-pollution of Newark. She has friends in her third-grade classes who have asthma and said the air stinks when she leaves her Ironbound home in the morning.  “A lot of people want to go outside and enjoy being outside and smell the nice air […]

Use federal COVID relief for housing, education, and health care, activists urge

BY: - April 20, 2022

New Jersey is flush with federal pandemic relief funds, sitting on $3 billion still undesignated. Progressive activists see that as an opportunity for state officials to reach out to vulnerable populations and help all residents recover from the pandemic. During a virtual event Tuesday they dubbed a “People’s Hearing,” the activists criticized the state Legislature for […]

As Tax Day nears, undocumented immigrants again call for $1 billion in state aid

BY: - April 15, 2022

Undocumented immigrants are calling again for more financial aid from the state, saying they deserve more for the billions they contribute in state and local taxes.  Timed for the April 18 deadline to file federal taxes, Latino activists and undocumented immigrants rallied in Paterson to demand $1 billion to help people who were excluded from […]

In some N.J. towns, groups attempt to block legal weed sales

BY: and - April 6, 2022

When New Jersey voters approved a 2020 referendum to make recreational marijuana legal, the residents of Princeton emerged as some of legalization’s biggest champions. Seventy-five percent of voters in this progressive college town gave legal weed a thumbs-up, compared to 68% of voters statewide. But nearly two years later, as talk turns to where to […]

State moves to make controversial civil forfeiture more transparent

BY: - April 6, 2022

The state Attorney General’s Office inched toward making the controversial police practice of civil forfeiture more transparent. The state opened an online portal Tuesday for prosecutors to report what law enforcement officers in their counties have seized from citizens, when and why they seized it, what it was worth, and how they spent the money […]

Lawmakers unveil $350M plan to improve child care, eliminate ‘day care deserts’

BY: - April 5, 2022

Several state lawmakers announced a $350 million, nine-bill legislative package Tuesday supporters say would make day care more affordable in a state where more than 35,000 babies and toddlers live with low-income, working families without access to child care. The bills aim to eliminate “day care deserts,” cover child care costs for more low-income families, […]