I am Jill Zatta, one half of the “Positively Berkeley Heights” team along with my good friend and running mate, Stephen Yellin. We are proud to be running on an issues-driven campaign, stressing important themes like leadership, collaboration, and transparency. We are the only team with broad bipartisan support from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents across Berkeley Heights.

Since announcing our bid for Township Council, Stephen and I have made every effort to demonstrate why we are the best candidates to serve Berkeley Heights. We have talked about our business backgrounds and our proven track-record in public service, articulating time and time again that we can bring a unique and dynamic energy to Town Hall. Our experience and ability to bring change is strengthened by one other thing:  we need more women in government, and I’m the candidate that can do that.

Hillary Clinton’s nomination for President is a highly public representation of the advancements in gender equality many are experiencing at work, at home, and in daily life. All around us, industries, organizations, and individuals are striving to build a world at parity that benefits everyone. According to a recent report by McKinsey & Company, gender parity can add up to $4.3 trillion to the U.S. economy by 2025, and $12 trillion globally by the same time. Corporations in the top percentage for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry averages.  

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As a businesswoman, I’ve been the beneficiary of these changes, which have opened doors to entrepreneurs like me that would have been closed only a few decades ago. As a principal at a technology startup, LISNR, I helped build our company from the ground up into a multimillion dollar firm, from 1 employee to almost 40. I’ve also seen the importance of having strong, female role models for girls today. I want to show Berkeley Heights school kids that they can grow up to be successful leaders in any field they choose.

In pure business terms, female participation makes sense. It is not surprising equality is similarly impactful in government, with women acting noticeably “different” in office when compared to their male counterparts. A number of studies have presented correlations between women legislators and forward-thinking policy on issues like macroeconomic management, the environment, support for families and individuals, violence prevention, and promoting a healthier environment for discussion and debate. Overall, women introduce more bills than men in areas of education, health, labor, and civil rights. Many of these quality-of-life issues are ones we face here in Berkeley Heights and my perspective means I can help make meaningful change on the Township Council.

Being a woman is not just a footnote or a fact in this race - it is an asset, a strength distinct from all of the other candidates in the field. It is another reason why Stephen and I are the best team to vote for. Stephen and I have a real plan to bring Positive Change to Berkeley Heights and it will take all of our experience, facilities, and skills – your and ours – to accomplish. When I see that New Jersey is ranked 32nd out of our 50 states for gender parity in government, behind neighbors New York and Connecticut, I am reminded of the statement I made when I first announced my candidacy: local government can be a force for real good in our lives. We can elect a Council that truly represents this community - and gender parity is part of that picture. We would all be better served by it.

Let’s elect a Township Council that is the truest representation of Berkeley Heights. Please vote for the Positively Berkeley Heights team, Stephen Yellin & Jill Zatta on November 8th, Column A, Rows 6 and 7.