Local Leaders Pass 7th Anti-Corruption Resolution 

If you want to unrig our corrupt system, look no further than Central New Jersey for your inspiration. RepresentUs Leaders there have demonstrated the tangible steps it takes to make a real difference in our local communities, our state regulations, and eventually, our federal laws—proof positive of a true theory of grassroots change.

RepresentUs is proud to introduce two of the incredible local leaders responsible for blazing a trail to change politics as usual in their state—and tell you all about how they did it, to hopefully inspire others to join the movement. New Jersey is just one example of how real people can make real change in their local communities.

Meet Susan Colby and David Goodman

Susan and David work together as leaders of the RepresentUs Central NJ chapter in Princeton, New Jersey since 2013. In July 2014, their chapter succeeded in passing the first local resolution in support of the American Anti-Corruption Act. As a result of their efforts, a true grassroots movement was born. They worked with local residents, partners, and elected officials to speak up and make their voices heard. RepresentUs members and leaders continue to work collaboratively across the state, picking up steam towards statewide reform through the years.

As part of a member spotlight project to highlight our incredible grassroots volunteers across the country, David and Susan told us in their own words why they joined RepresentUs, and what motivates them to champion this anti-corruption work.

So What Does this Mean for New Jersey?

Susan, David and their fellow Represent Central NJ chapter members have been on a win streak. The passing of local resolutions have been blazing a trail through Mercer and Middlesex Counties, putting a dent corrupt campaign finance practices, and catching the attention of statewide elected officials with their bipartisan coalition and commitment to local policy reform by the people, and for the people. Just last week, the Hopewell NJ Township just voted on a local anti-corruption resolution brought forward by Represent Central New Jersey—their 7th local resolution to date.

Read the text of the resolutions directly here:
7/14/2014:Princeton, New Jersey-RepresentUs’ first ever resolution victory
2/11/2015: Ewing Township, New Jersey
4/12/2016: South Brunswick, New Jersey
6/21/2016: Lawrence Township, New Jersey
3/13/2017: Princeton, New Jersey*
7/10/2017: West Windsor, NJ
11/27/2017: Cranbury Township, NJ
6/11/2018: Hopewell, New Jersey

“This past Monday night, June 11th, was a big deal for us.  We had our 7th campaign victory since 2014. The Hopewell Township Committee approved our resolution by a unanimous vote, 4-0,” Local chapter leader David Goodman said. “We worked closely with elected officials over many weeks and the outcome was very positive.  There was debate and lively exchanges and good questions in the committee, showing that the principles of democracy and representative government ring true.”

The resolution aims to “pursue and enact legislation to control campaign financing, limit the influence of unregulated donors, promote transparency and fairness through the election process and ensure a government that is responsive to the needs of the people.”  Local correspondent Samantha Brandbergh reports that elected officials expressed their support for the resolution last month, with Blake noting the idea of transparency in government is “valuable to all of us.”

The resolution also calls for copies of the document be forwarded to Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, State Senator Shirley Turner, and State Assembly Members Reed Gusciora and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson. RepresentUs chapter members are currently working across the aisle to reach the Governor’s office.

How to Make Change: A Local Path to Statewide Impact

This important advocacy happens at a time when action appears to be stirring in the Legislature. Local leaders are meeting with elected officials to discuss bills relating to campaign finance and other anti-corruption measures, blazing a trail for potential statewide legislation that seeks to work in a bipartisan way. The goal is to bring enough citizens and towns together to convince Members of the New Jersey Assembly and Senate to vote “yes” on bills that shed light on “dark money” and its corruption of politics and government—A1524 sponsored by Assemblymen Zwicker, Benson, and Kean, and S1500 is sponsored by Senators Greenstein and Singleton. S1500 & A1524 are two identical bills in the Legislature that, among other pieces of reform, require disclosures by independent expenditure committees.

Learn more about the movement to change state laws, and the deep impact this can have on politics as usual to strengthen public accountability of both political parties. By working together across the state and in a bipartisan coalition, the RepresentUs members of New Jersey are blazing a path to statewide campaign finance reform.

Information on A-1524 and related bills.

It’s easy: You can do this process in your own town, city, or state!

Local, volunteer-led chapters are the heartbeat of our movement. From coast to coast, dedicated people like you are organizing across the country, working together to pass meaningful anti-corruption reforms.

If you want to take action, click on our resources tab on our website for a Step by Step to guide to volunteer, start a local chapter, or find resources on passing a local resolution where you live. Are you local to Central NJ? Sign up to join the Central New Jersey Chapter!

If you are anywhere else in the US, sign up to help protect your community from corruption and build power toward our national victory. Take a minute and let us know who you are and what matters to you.

Together, we can support local initiatives that fight corruption across the United States!

About Ellen Moorhouse
As Grassroots Communications Manager for RepresentUs, Ellen works to amplify the voices and stories of local members and chapters that are building dynamic coalitions across the US, combating corruption in their communities, and fighting for a better world for us all.
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