Our New Jersey
I’ve lived most of my life in New Jersey. I grew up in New Providence and, after a brief time travelling for work and living in Manhattan, I returned to Verona to start a family.
That was 24 years ago. I love our state. But I’ve seen troubling changes in recent years. Due to years of mismanagement in Trenton:
- Our state credit rating dropped more than 10 times.
- Our foreclosure rates became the highest in the country and remain high despite some progress.
- Our transportation funds were stripped, leaving our public trains and buses a national embarrassment.
- Promised and earned pensions for our teachers and first responders were clawed back.
- State funding for health clinics was stripped, resulting in higher preventable disease rates and fewer preventative screenings for our residents.
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. My son has a chronic condition, but our insurance doesn’t cover the only medication effective in treating him. Far too many families in New Jersey are forced to choose between paying enormous bills out of pocket or forgoing doctor-prescribed treatment for themselves or their loved ones. No one in 2019 should be faced with a decision like this. We need to bring patients and providers into the center of these conversations with insurance and pharmaceutical companies and stabilize costs. Our health, our personal finances, and the strength of New Jersey’s schools and communities depend on us getting this right.
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. How can we attract or keep businesses when we fail to move people around efficiently and safely?
We’ve ignored the impact of global warming on our economy as well as on our communities, and pay billions in storm and flood damage cleanup without investing in solutions that will save us money and heartache down the road.
Meanwhile our legislature is distracted with partisanship, factions and gridlock, with many long-time incumbents more interested in patronage positions and private gain than in advancing fresh ideas that will benefit everyone.
We need representatives who will make sure that every tax dollar collected is spent effectively and efficiently to make our lives better. It’s a simple concept that’s hard to achieve when lawmakers are looking to horse-trade our interests in a quid-pro-quo culture of transactional politics.
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.
From my 24-year career working as a coach and consultant with complex organizations and corporations like The World Bank and McDonalds along with countless small businesses around New Jersey and all over the world, I have seen what works when a system is in trouble.
We must double down on our strengths and make sure everyone gets a seat at the table to be heard.
Here in New Jersey our biggest strengths are:
- Our exemplary public schools and universities;
- Our enviable location between New York and Philadelphia;
- Our strong communities of medium cities and small towns that make New Jersey a uniquely wonderful place to live;
- Our innovative companies large and small.
By prioritizing these strengths, we will stabilize the tax burden both by expanding who’s paying in, and being far more efficient with how we spend every dollar.
- We have to stand strong behind our public schools. State funding has increased in our district this year and we have to keep finding efficiencies without sacrificing quality. New Jersey schools are still the biggest draw, bringing new families to our communities.
- Our district’s cutting edge Vo-Tech programs are in such high demand that they only serve a third of the students who want to participate. We can expand education-to-work partnerships by opening the opportunities of our Vo-Tech schools to traditional public schools as well, preparing our kids for high-skilled jobs right away or for two- and four-year colleges. We can keep young people here in New Jersey and attract entrepreneurs from all over who recognize our ready workforce.
- We can expand partnerships with incoming businesses to improve transportation. If we can’t move people around efficiently in 2019 we will lose those growth opportunities to other regions that can. “Build it and (they) will come” is true for transportation in New Jersey. We are behind now and we have to do it.
- New Jersey-based companies and research facilities are developing effective treatments for diseases that touch all of our families, yet too often these medicines are not covered by insurance even though doctors prescribe them. We need to make these treatments affordable either by negotiating with insurance providers or the pharmaceutical companies that set the prices.
- Subsidies should not be a one-size-fits-all solution for attracting and keeping great jobs in New Jersey. Employers want and taxpayers deserve much more. We should work with employers to enhance education, infrastructure and transportation.
- We need to find instant property-tax relief for our most vulnerable residents, like seniors who have lived here all their lives but whose fixed incomes don’t keep up with the pace of skyrocketing taxes. If our communities are to remain strong we need to support these neighbors and loved ones.
Right in the heart of one of the largest commercial markets in the Western Hemisphere, New Jersey provides an exemplary location for businesses and a technically trained and smart work force, all while offering strong communities for families and students.
I bring a unique set of skills that can help break up gridlock and finding smart solutions. With deep roots in New Jersey and decades of involvement in our community, I’m committed to making our home state a better, more affordable place where families and businesses can thrive. I’m ready to move New Jersey forward!