MONROE, NJ - U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, received New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA)’s Legislator of the Year award during a dinner at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Thursday night, according to a press release.
The award honors her achievements in the New Jersey General Assembly and in the U.S. Congress as an advocate for social and economic justice, the release said.
Coleman accepted the award at the 33rd Annual Awards Dinner.
“I consider it my mission to fight on behalf of those who can’t fight for themselves in and give a voice to those whose stories are rarely heard and considered on the floor of the House (of Representatives)," Coleman said."The voices I’ve fought to give power to are the same ones that New Jersey Citizen Action has fought to uplift, and I’m honored to have received their 2015 Legislator of the Year award."
According to the organization's website, New Jersey Citizen Action works to protect and expand the rights of individuals and families and to ensure that government officials respond to the needs of people rather than the interests of those with money and power.
"Our nation faces numerous challenges to economic, social, and civil rights of all kinds, and I will continue to work with partners like NJCA to ensure that there is broad and equal access to the prosperity and promise of the American dream,” Coleman said.
Through organizing campaigns that promote economic, social, racial and political justice, NJCA encourages the active involvement of New Jersey residents in challenging the public and private institutions and agencies that impact, according to the organization.
At the dinner, the organization also honored four other individuals and organizations for their commitment to justice, including: Andrea Bowen, Executive Director of Garden State Equality, Evelyn Mejil, Executive Director of Wynona’s House Child Advocacy Center, Santander Bank, N.A., and Seth Anderson-Oberman, Political Director of the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, AFL-CIO, according to the press release.
The organization also runs an education fund and a political action committee.
The PAC has endorsed candidates since 1990 based on a committment to the issues the organization feels are important, such as, health care, fair insurance and banking, progressive and fair taxes, housing, affordable utility rights, voting and civil rights, political reform, environmental justice, and other progressive issues, according to the organization.
The New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund (NJCAEF) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1983, according to the website.
"Our education focuses on community, senior, consumer, labor and other constituencies that would be affected by pocketbook issues like changes in the tax code, health care reform, environmental hazards, and utility rates," the website stated. "We have comprehensive outreach and training programs to assist families in dealing with insurers, banks, health providers, utilities, and telecommunications service providers."
Coleman, a Democrat, won the seat vacated by Rush Holt and took office in January.
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