My name is Atif Nazir and I’m a candidate for the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders as a member of the Central Jersey Progressive Democrats. I am proud to run with a slate of 85 candidates in Middlesex County that are challenging the status quo in the June 6 Primary. Inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 run for President; we are a slate of veterans, nurses, teachers, members in law enforcement, business leaders, environmentalists and citizens from all walks of life who are taking up the fight to change politics in New Jersey working from the bottom up. We aren’t professional politicians and we are aren’t beholden to large donors or special interests.  We believe it is time to take back the Democratic Party and our government from millionaires and billionaires, and we believe we have to be the change we want to see in the world.

My running mates and I have are honored to be endorsed by leading progressive organizations such as Our Revolution (formed after Sen. Sanders’ historic 2016 Presidential run), Working Families Party, Democracy For America, and Our Revolution New Jersey. We are bringing the political revolution to Central Jersey and we seek your support. On June 6, in Middlesex County, vote Column “C” for “Change.”

Why I Am Running

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Unlike my opponents, I support the political, social and economic justice platform promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders during his Presidential run in 2016.  Like Sen. Sanders and unlike my opponents, I do not believe corporations should have a say in our democratic process.  That’s why none of our candidates accepts campaign contributions from corporations of any kind.  I believe our elected officials should be doing everything we can to fight the Trump Administration.  It’s one of the reasons why my colleagues and I on the Piscataway Board of Education adopted a resolution to protect the rights of immigrant students.  Unfortunately, the current Freeholders have not adopted the strongest possible policies to make our county fair and welcoming to all.  Instead, they are allowing our Sheriff, a Democrat, to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to implement Trump’s immoral and illegal attack on immigrants.  As a real Democrat, I strenuously oppose these actions.  I believe we should be using the county’s resources to promote the health and safety of our residents.  The current Freeholders have been tepid in their opposition to the Williams Transco pipeline, which my running mates and I oppose.  I believe we should get New Jersey off fossil fuels, but our Democratic Freeholders are not doing enough to make that happen. 

On the Issues

I believe our leaders must resist the Trump Agenda, including opposing his immoral and illegal executive orders.  I am a proponent of creating fair and welcoming communities at the state, county and local levels, and am proud that our school system was the first in New Jersey to protect our students on this issue.  As a Freeholder, I will work to stop our County’s cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials.

Like my fellow Central Jersey Progressive Democrats (CJPD), I was disappointed last fall year when our Democratic legislature teamed up with Governor Christie to shift the tax burden of paying for roads and bridges from the top 3,500 wealthiest New Jersey families and onto to the middle and working class by raising the gas tax on the rest of us.  This situation is made worse by the proposed Trump budget, which will harm Middlesex County residents and reduce the availability of resources for important programs like Meals on Wheels.  I will work to ensure tax fairness for our residents so we have the services our residents need.

I oppose the creation of the proposed Transco Gas Pipeline which is slated to bring unneeded fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania underneath large sections of Central Jersey, under Raritan Bay, and utilize a compressor station built on the South Brunswick/Franklin border. This pipeline serves no public interest and will needlessly put people in danger while undermining efforts to reverse global warming and wean our country from fossil fuels. We believe that New Jersey should be aggressively pursuing a clean and renewable energy future, not capitulating to the fossil fuel.

I encourage people to review our position statements on the issue sections of our website

My Qualifications for Office

As a father of two children in public school, I care deeply about education and am proud to have been elected twice since 2013, on the Piscataway Board of Education, where I have served on the Curriculum, Finance, Community Relations, and Policy and Legislative Committees. I am a member of the Society Hill Board for 11 years, with service as Vice President, Treasurer, and Trustee. I have been on the Piscataway Health Advisory Commission since 2008. A member of the Piscataway Township Civil Rights Advisory Commission, I have engaged in interfaith cooperation among religious institutions locally and nationally. I am a proud member of the labor movement, with membership in AFSCME Local 2299 for 10 years, and have been a member of IUOE Local 68 since 2010.

I am currently Health Officer/Health Director of the Plainfield Health Department and have worked in the field of public health over the past 15 years at various public health departments of State of New Jersey. As CEO of the Health Department I plan, manage, and oversee various public health programs for the City including communicable disease surveillance and investigation, public health nursing, health education, environmental health, rabies control, maternal child health, WIC vital statistics, childhood lead prevention, among other public health related issues.

I will bring my knowledge of our communities and public policy, to solve problems and bring to the residents of Middlesex County a responsive government that represents working families, not career politicians.