One week left to join the party

Do you want to have a say on major decisions in the Democratic or Republican Party, like who becomes the party chair, or who gets endorsed by the party for mayor or Governor, or what should be the party’s platform priorities?  A great way to do that is to become a county committee member. And now is the time to do it.

Two recent news announcements highlight how important the role of local county committee members ---the neighborhood representatives of the two major political parties--can be. And for New Jersey residents this year’s primary election offers the perfect time to run for a county committee seat if your party’s county seats are up for election.

Middlesex County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph Spicuzzo recently stepped down as party chair, setting the course for a major power shift in the party leadership.  The decision of who takes the reins of the county party will rest on the shoulders of those who hold a county committee seat.  Those who serve on the Middlesex county committee will have a vote in who becomes Chair of one of the most powerful county committees in the State.

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The other big news in party politics was the admission of the independent redistricting commission member that a low priority will be placed on making legislative districts more competitive. New Jersey residents are likely facing another ten years of non-competitive legislative elections--which actually increases the importance of county committee people.   

The status quo, where there are only a handful of districts with competitive general elections, is likely to continue.  As a result the party endorsement vote and primary elections, two places where committeepeople can play a large role, become even more important. In many cases, the committee people determine the outcome in these competitions. 

Given this fact, it will be all the more important for citizens to get off the sidelines and step up to the plate if they want to see quality representation in the legislature. 

The great thing about serving on the county committee is that it does not require a large investment of time, and provides a large measure of control of who represents us in Trenton. In addition to electing the county party chair and awarding the party line for Senate and Assembly seats along with local offices, the county committee members participate in filling vacancies in office when someone resigns in disgrace, retires, or passes away. Shockingly, more than a third of the legislature has entered office by way of a vote of the county committee, not the general public. 

County Committee people who leverage their power well can also influence key appointments to boards and commissions within their town and county and have the ear of the elected officials on issues of importance to them, whether at the town or county level.

So if you’re ready to do something, here are some basic tips for running for county committee. 1) Find out from your municipal clerk which political party committee seats are up for election this year; 2) Complete the Party Declaration Form (Democratic or Republican Party) for the County Committee you wish to run for; 2) Get a petition & required number of signatures from the municipal clerk (in most cases no more than 10 signatures needed); 3) File the petition with your town clerk by April 11th; 4) Show up on June 7th with your family and friends and vote for yourself (most seats are won with just a few dozen votes or less).

Visit www.TheCitizensCampaign.com and take our free, half-hour online class and learn the tips and tools to become a successful neighborhood party leader.  

Alysia Welch-Chester, a volunteer with The Citizens Campaign, took the “Path to Political Party Power” class, and on a whim, ran for a neighborhood party seat and won. Just a few years later Alysia now serves as the Party Chair of her city.

Once elected, you have the power to adopt or amend your party constitution, create your party platform, and seek the chairmanship of your county party. The Citizens Campaign’s Party Democracy Act, adopted in 2009, guarantees you these rights. The bottom line is, if you want to gain these powers, then you need to take this opportunity to step up to the plate.

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New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - February 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing Is going on Winter Break, returning Monday, March 5


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

 NEWARK - The Archdiocese of Newark is somehow making national news, after Cardinal Joseph Tobin sent out a tweet Wednesday that raised one or two eyebrows. Tobin tweeted "Nighty-night, baby. I love you," Hmm, people asked. Now who ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 22, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - If New Jersey raises the sales tax back to 7 percent, will anyone notice? That's the big question from New Jersey Policy Perspective, which questions last year's gimmick that cut the sales tax rate to 6.625 percent. NJ 101.5reports that tax cut equates to $2 a week in "savings" for middle-class families. Meanwhile, this ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 21, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE HIGHWAY - Authorities were frantically looking into a "mystery tar" that appeared suddenly on cars driving along I-295 in South Jersey, causing tires to gel with the road. They quickly realized that a stretch of the highway in Salem County was smeared with liquid asphalt, leaked from a tanker and causing dozens of cars to get ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Jittery parents are sending their jittery kids to jittery schools this morning, as classes resume after a President's Day weekend filled with wall-to-wall news coverage about gun safety. School districts statewide have been reporting threats - all thankfully not credible - as district leaders are on the highest alert. East Brunswick, for ...

The Jaffe Briefing - February 16, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

E STREET - While a tired nation is demanding gun control (yet again), Springsteen guitarist Stevie Van Zandt is having none of it. No stranger to political opinions, the New Jersey icon tweeted "What happened to us? We are averaging 2 school shootings per week AND WE DO NOTHING ABOUT IT!" Many tone-deaf politicians on Capitol Hill ...

The Jaffe Briefing - January 15, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - As state lawmakers are set to announce a bill at 11 a.m. to decriminalize pot - an issue that has consumed the Statehouse -  the Record is reporting on an often-ignored issue: the state's ridiculously antiquated liquor laws. For example, supermarkets in the state can only have up to two liquor licenses, stemming ...

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Project Feeder Watch

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Tue, February 27

Plainsboro

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Green Home & Garden

Trees Have Sex? Rutgers Researchers Have All the Answers

February 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 

 

“They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ...

Rutgers Union Rally Planned Friday for $15 Minimum Wage

New Brunswick, NJ - On Friday, February 23, student groups, a coalition of Rutgers unions, and representatives from campuses across the nation will hold a rally and march on College Avenue to demand a $15 minimum wage.

The action, initiated by the Rutgers chapter of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) and the Rutgers American Association of University Professors - American Federation of ...

RU Students Rejoice: Starbucks Reopens at The Yard@College Avenue

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - In what many consider to be the biggest news of the day on the Rutgers University campus, the Starbucks at The Yard@College Avenue has once again reopened.

Officials with the New Brunswick Development Corp. reported this morning that the popular coffeehouse is open "for good."

The Starbucks at The Yard@College Avenue, located at the corner of College ...

Valeski: Placing Police Officers in Schools was Planned for Two Years

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - In the midst of a media firestorm Tuesday, Dr. Victor Valeski, East Brunswick Superintendent of Schools, fielded questions from local and national journalists regarding the placement of armed police officers inside each of the district's K-12 buildings.  The move seemed to many as a "knee-jerk" reaction to the fear generated by the massacre of ...

Shouts of Racial Slurs Bring Police to Sparta Theatre

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night because of a woman shouting slurs in a screening of Black Panther.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including “look at these ‘n-word’” and “can you believe these ...

OPINION

Letter to the Editor: Low-Income Families Who Need Safe Cribs Have Nowhere to Go

February 15, 2018

One recent email came from a pastor in East Orange, sharing the struggles of a young couple who have no safe place for their baby to sleep.

Then, there was also a phone call from a Newark hospital, making its fourth request in two years, as well as a frantic text from Puerto Rico, for a family who lost everything in the hurricane.

They all pleaded for the same thing: A safe crib for a ...

Somerset Patriots Sign Frontier League All-Star RHP Randy McCurry

February 17, 2018

The Somerset Patriots have announced the signing of right-handed relief pitcher Randy McCurry for the 2018 season.

“I’m excited to play in the Atlantic League this year,” said McCurry. “It’ll be a transition for me but I am ready to face some really good competition and help the team win.”

McCurry enters his first season with the Somerset Patriots and ...