I had never truly considered running for office until I was asked several years ago in the midst of the Study Commission sessions*. Do I need the attention, prestige, or glamor in my life? No. Public service is an important duty, but the toll that comes with it dissuades many. During my recent door knocking, some of the public have said “It will never get better”. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being pessimistic of the future with two young children. We’ve faced difficult challenges before, we can do so again – together.
The public understands that I am passionate about education. Education taxes are both the largest percentage of our tax dollars and one of the most important investments we make in our future. We should, as good citizens, expect to see results for this investment.
Many incumbent politicians will tout strong Educational standards for our schools and colleges. However, this is dismissive of the damaging effects these rigorous standards have had on vulnerable children throughout our state. It is with bitter irony that in a vain attempt to reach an ideal, the children that the Common Core Standards* were designed to help have in fact been hurt the most by them. I am running to give these children, and in turn their parents, a voice – a least for one election cycle. This is a voice missing in Trenton.
There is a familiar mantra between each of the issues we face as a state: many of our incumbents have shown numerous times that they are out of touch with the plight of the common person. Whether this is ignoring tax reform, pretending our unemployment number is real and true, or pushing issues into the future. Even the topic of under employment is dismissed, a reality for millions of New Jerseyans. At the same time, many are asking “Where is the value for my tax dollars?”
I believe that differences in opinion are of value. Having any one party dominate our legislature can never be good for our future. Make no mistake, both parties in office are guilty of our present state of affairs. Perhaps what I offer is a counterbalance between the two, someone who bleeds with you in your day to day pains. And should you decide to draft me into service on election day, I will serve you well.
*Held statewide in 2015, the Study Commission sessions were held by the NJ Department of Education. Touted as an attempt to solicit input from the public on the standards and PARCC, they were merely a guise to shore up politicians talking points
**Common Core is a defined set of education standards for teaching and testing English and Mathematics in grades K-12.
Robert A. Quinn is a candidate for New Jersey State Assembly in Legislative District 17 (Franklin Twp, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, Piscataway, Milltown)