New Jersey Currents | Fall 2018

September 28, 2018
New Jersey Currents -- Fall 2018

In this issue:

Electing Pro-Environmental Candidates to Congress in New Jersey

By Eric Benson, Montclair Canvass Director and New Jersey Elections Coordinator

Bob Menendez for U.S. Senate

Senator Menendez (D-NJ) - Courtesy of his officeBob Menendez has been an environmental champion in the Senate for more than a decade, and has worked to hold corporate polluters accountable and protect our air and water. As special interests try to gain even more influence over environmental policy, it is essential that New Jersey is represented by a Senator who will  continue to stand up to the Trump administration’s relentless attacks on our environment.

Menendez’s list of environmental accomplishments is long. He fought to defend the Jersey Shore from offshore drilling by introducing legislation to permanently ban drilling and exploration in the entire Atlantic Ocean.

Menendez introduced the Superfund Polluter Pays Restoration Act to force corporate polluters to pay for their environmental and economic damage. He authored the Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act to cut more than $22 billion in wasteful tax subsidies given to big oil companies.

He is also fighting to eliminate the fracking industry’s exemption from clean water standards. He voted to extend key tax credits to support New Jersey’s thriving clean energy economy. New Jersey has a legacy of sending environmental leaders to Washington, and Bob Menendez will continue that tradition of environmental leadership.

Clean Water Action Mobilizes the Canvass for 2018 GOTV Push

Clean Water Action is running field campaigns in four contested U.S. House races here in New Jersey in an effort to put pro-environment candidates over the top. The organization is utilizing its fulltime canvassing offices to contact over 195,000 households  and identify over 40,000 pro-environment voters across the four targeted districts. As we get closer to election day, November 6th,  we will “get out the vote” (GOTV) for our pro-environment candidates.

“With President Trump’s continued assault on the fundamental safeguards that keep our people safe from pollution, we need federal representatives who will fight back and defend commonsense health, water, and air protections,” said Amy Goldsmith, Clean Water Action’s New Jersey Director. “We’re going to send our teams of grassroots organizers to the districts where we can have the biggest impact.”

Clean Water Action canvassers will be organizing for:

  • Andy Kim (3rd Congressional District)
  • Josh Gottheimer (5th Congressional District)
  • Tom Malinowski (7th Congressional District)
  • Mikie Sherrill (11th Congressional District)

Organizers are particularly focused on identifying and persuading unaffiliated and undecided voters. “We know from experience that one on one, face to face conversations are the best way to persuade voters. Our team of organizers is excited to be the difference-makers in these close races,” said Eric Benson, the Montclair Canvass Director and New Jersey Elections Coordinator.

Keep an eye out for our grassroots organizers in your neighborhood as Election Day approaches! Make sure to be a clean water voter on Election Day, November 6th, and support Clean Water Action’s pro-environment candidates.

If you are interested in joining our Montclair or Long Branch canvass teams or in volunteering to help our GOTV efforts, please contact ebenson@cleanwater.org. For more information visit: www.cleanwater.org/nj/elections

Paid for and authorized by Clean Water Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate committee. For more information, please contact us at www.cleanwater.org or call (202) 895-0420 x 104 

The Fight Continues for Economic, Social and Environmental Justice

By Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer, Clean Water Action

Environmental Justice calls for the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Environmental Equity is the equitable sharing of environmental impacts by a community to ensure that no one group or community bears a larger share of harmful effects from pollution or environmental hazards.

Clean Water Action was honored to participate in the People’s Climate Movement on September 8th — when thousands of people around the world took to the streets to demand real action on climate change from elected officials. Kim Gaddy, Newark resident and Clean Water Action’s Environmental Justice Organizer, spoke at both the September 8th march in Morristown, NJ and at Hip Hop Caucus after the September 14th California march.

“We must remember that urban communities are ground zero  for climate impacts. Residents in these communities experience extreme weather changes, flooding, increased greenhouse gases and poor air quality on a daily basis,” said Gaddy at the march. “These communities are disproportionately polluted upon and the cumulative impacts of the pollution is everywhere.”

Key strategies used by the People’s Climate Movement consist of mass mobilization and movement alignment. Clean Water Action’s top priority is to work in Newark and the State of New Jersey building power through door-to-door canvassing, environmental justice trainings, action days in Trenton and mobilization events, as well as empowering the next generation of environmental advocates so their voices will be heard.

“Clean Water Action will continue to ensure all communities benefit from sound environmental policy,” said Gaddy. “The future course of our state can prove that economic growth, environmental protection and environmental justice must all go together for climate and social justice. This is why Clean Water Action continues to work in Environmental Justice communities, like Newark, Jersey City, Camden, Elizabeth, Trenton and Irvington to name a few.”  

As the nation and the world is experiencing an increase in natural disasters and climate crises, it is imperative that our communities are ready with an effective plan to evacuate and communicate the process to the residents. Moreover, as the governor transitions NJ towards a 100 percent renewable energy economy  in the transportation sector, energy infrastructure and electric vehicles, everyone should have equal access and opportunities for the good green jobs this new economy will create.

“Clean Water Action will continue to rise for Climate Justice in New Jersey and lift up the voices of the front line communities impacted by climate, economic and racial inequity,” said Gaddy.

ReThink Disposable in the Garden State

By Maura Toomey, ReThink Disposable Coordinator, Clean Water Action

Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program has been busy this summer! ReThink Disposable aims to reduce single-use disposable plastic and foam service ware products to help tackle the plastic pollution crisis and to clean up oceans and beaches, protect marine life, reduce litter in communities, and send less trash to landfills and incinerators.

Plastic Bag Ban

Do you really need a bag?On August 27, Governor Murphy vetoed S2600/A3267, the bill that would have put a 5-cent fee on single-use plastic and paper bags. Despite the way it might sound, Clean Water Action and its allies are celebrating this as a victory! Although this bill was a step in the right direction, it did not do enough and would have prevented New Jersey from achieving a full ban, which is what the state must do to start solving the plastic crisis. Clean Water Action advocated for a “veto and fix” approach to give the legislature an opportunity to pass something stronger. With Governor Murphy’s veto, there is a new opportunity to do so.

Senator Smith has sponsored S2776/A4330, a bill that will ban single-use plastic bags, Styrofoam food containers, and single-use plastic straws. These disposable plastics are damaging to our waterways and marine life, and are hazardous to our health and environment when disposed of by landfill or incineration. While this new bill targets each of these polluting plastics, Clean Water Action is urging Senator Smith to perfect it with good enforcement and no loopholes.

Strawless September in Jersey City

In the U.S., consumers use a lot of straws. One of the easiest things you can do to begin to eliminate waste in your life is to say “no thank you” to single-use straws if you don’t need one. Clean Water Action’s ReThink Disposable program will be partnered with the Jersey City Green Team to host Straw Free November, where several restaurants around Jersey City will provide straws only upon request. Restaurants that switch to this policy can reduce their straw waste by 90 percent.

Greening Events

Big events and festivals create a lot of waste. This fall, ReThink Disposable will partner with events throughout New Jersey to implement zero waste practices like reusable cups and trays and “straws by request” policies. Event-goers can help prevent more plastic waste by bringing their own reusable water bottles and containers. Participating events include:

October 7: Autumn Toast to a Healthy Environment, Jackson

October 18-21: Dodge Poetry Festival, Newark

October 27: Deal Lake Clean Up, Asbury Park

Month of November: #StrawFreeNovember, Jersey City

Autumn Toast: Celebrate Fall at Clean Water Action’s 9th Annual Charity Auction

By Jenny Vickers Chyb, Communications Manager

There’s nothing better than fall in New Jersey: crisp autumn leaves, gorgeous scenery, and delicious harvests! Celebrate with Clean Water Action at its “Autumn Toast to a Healthy Environment” charity auction fundraiser being held Sunday, October 7th, 1–4 pm, at the beautiful Pine Barrens Golf Club in Jackson, NJ.

Now in its 9th year, Autumn Toast is a fun-filled event featuring wine and chocolate tastings, live jazz, savory hors d’oeuvres, and a charity auction with fabulous gifts. The event will benefit Clean Water Action’s local programs to protect drinking water and reduce single-use disposable plastic and foam pollution that harms our oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and communities.

Come on out and sample great wine and chocolate, snack on spectacular food, meet some great people and support Clean Water! Tickets are only $60 per person (if you mention this newsletter) and $75 per person (at the door). Purchase tickets at: www.cleanwater.org/autumntoast

Tickets include:

  • Wine Tastings with Sommelier Louis Fontenelli
  • Live performance by The Sandy Sasso Jazz Quartet
  • Chocolate Tastings with J. Emanuel Chocolatier
  • Savory Hors d’Oeuvres

Guests can also take a chance to win amazing gifts during the 50/50 raffle and charity auction featuring items such as a new bicycle, theater and restaurant gift certificates, gift baskets and more. View the current auction list here.

NJ Autumn Toast

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