My name is Heather Fenyk and I’m a candidate for State Assembly in District 17 as a member of the Central Jersey Progressive Democrats. I am proud to run with a slate of 85 candidates in Middlesex County and in Franklin Township 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 aren’t beholden to anyone. 

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” and in Franklin Township, Vote Column 7.

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Why I Am Running

I believe that restoring American democracy requires a shift from “business as usual” local politics to direct and active engagement by the Democratic Party’s progressive base. I see the opportunities that have made prior generations of residents proud to call New Jersey home – great public schools, good local jobs and neighborhoods with a sense of place – slipping away from too many people in the 17th District. I am running, as part of an amazing slate of candidates, because I see career politicians working on behalf of land developers and entities that have no sense of the true character of the towns we call home. In the Assembly, I will fight to let residents have a voice in how we build our communities in deep and meaningful ways that include: fair and welcoming immigration status, school funding reform, environmental restoration, business incubation and creative economies. I am encouraged by the enthusiastic grassroots effort we have organized in a very short time, making clear that the Central Jersey Progressive Democrats’ platform speaks to the core values of our communities. We are proving that the best way to win is to talk about our core values, and to talk about restoring democracy to local decision making.

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.

Like my fellow Central Jersey Progressive Democrats (CJPD), I was outraged 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. It was not only a transfer of wealth to most well-off New Jerseyans (literally, less than the one percent -- the .01%), it blew a huge $300 million hole in the state budget that simply cannot be made up without draconian cuts that will harm our most vulnerable residents. 

I oppose the creation of the proposed Transco/Williams Gas Pipeline, which is slated to carry unneeded fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania underneath large sections of Central Jersey, under Raritan Bay, and tap into a proposed compressor station for South Brunswick/Franklin. 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.

Unlike my opponent, I believe in raising the minimum wage to $15/hour.  I also strongly support equal pay for equal work and investing in community facilities that benefit us all.  Our candidates do not accept corporate campaign contributions and support overturning Citizens United.

We encourage people to review our policy positions in more detail on our website.

My Qualifications for Office

I am a non-profit director, working mother, and small business owner and community organizer who has lived in New Brunswick with her family for almost two decades. I have a proven track record of running successful social services and environmental organizing – including as a founding member of both the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance and New Brunswick Green Team, and as founder of New Jersey’s newest watershed association, the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership. I am new to politics and have never run for political office, but I have a strong understanding of policy and of how government can work to help solve our common concerns.  In the Assembly, I will fight to let residents have a voice in how we build our communities in deep and meaningful ways that include: fair and welcoming immigration status, school funding reform, environmental restoration, business incubation and creative economies. I am encouraged by the enthusiastic grassroots effort we have organized in a very short time, making clear that the Central Jersey Progressive Democrats’ platform speaks to the core values of our communities. We are proving that the best way to win is to talk about our core values, and to talk about restoring democracy to local decision making.