MADISON, NJ, May 17, 2019 – Action Together New Jersey (ATNJ) is proud to announce our endorsements of Christine Clarke and Laura Fortgang for State Assembly in Legislative District (LD) 26.

With more news on the gridlock in Trenton, such as the inaction on the legalization of marijuana and the corruption with the EDA, ATNJ believes that the State Legislature needs new voices from regular, hardworking, middle-class people among its ranks to speak for the working class. A mom of four and a resident of Jefferson Township, Clarke is hardworking and engaged, advocating for underrepresented populations and the middle class. Clarke’s work as an Environmental Advocate makes her uniquely qualified to be an essential voice in the Assembly as New Jersey moves forward to make necessary changes in the current climate crisis.

“I have lived in district for 15 years in a middle class neighborhood, have four children, and we live paycheck-to-paycheck like so many of our neighbors. Bad healthcare bills can knock our family finances out of sync for months just like they can for so many other people; bad tax legislation hurts us in real ways. I know how poor legislation impacts real lives and livelihoods. My opponent’s education clearly did not teach him empathy; my real-world experiences have given me that insight. I do think I would represent our district better than he can. I will bring science-advised policy, empathy, and kindness into the Assembly, and will stand up for the environment, for healthcare, for clean energy jobs, for our families, through the lens of using compassion in policy making.” – Christine Clarke.

A New Jersey native, Laura Fortgang has lived in Verona with her husband and 3 children for 24 years. As Chairwoman of the Verona Democratic County Committee, Fortgang has worked tirelessly to elect leaders who represent the values important to ATNJ. Fortgang is an internationally recognized and acclaimed Executive Coach and a best-selling award-winning author. Her Ted Talk has almost a million views. Her particular set of skills will promote positive communication and encourage consensus to break the current gridlock and move legislation forward in the Assembly.

“New Jersey is now in a crisis of affordability and taxpayers are bearing the burden in order to make up for enormous losses. The cost of healthcare is debilitating for families, including mine. The cost of our public schools is carried by property tax payers in New Jersey. The fastest growing costs in our school budgets are healthcare costs. Neither teachers nor taxpayers should have to shoulder the weight of this volatile market. Our transportation and infrastructure are ancient and crumbling. We need representatives who will make sure that every tax dollar collected is spent effectively and efficiently to make our lives better. I know we can do better. I’m running for Assembly to help strengthen New Jersey, so it will continue to be a healthy place for families in every stage to live and thrive.” – Laura Fortgang.

Careen DeAndrea-Lazarus, ATNJ Passaic County Co-Chair and resident said, “Families in New Jersey are finding life financially, environmentally and medically precarious. Property taxes as well as healthcare costs are making it almost untenable to stay in our great state. Changes need to come and come quickly. Electing the correct people especially in state assembly is as important as it gets. This is why I feel Christine Clarke and Laura Fortgang are the right people for those seats. Both come from middle class surroundings and understand the realities of raising a family here. Passaic County is made up of working class families and we need people that understand our plight as well as the benefits of living in NJ and are willing to work to encourage change in a meaningful manner. I will work towards getting these woman seated as we believe New Jersey is worth fighting for.”

Action Together New Jersey stands behind Christine Clarke and Laura Fortgang. Their outstanding commitment and diverse backgrounds will be a tremendous asset to the 26th Legislative District as well as the entire state of New Jersey.