EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick's Jeff Winston wanted to know what Democratic front-running gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy thought New Jersey would look like in 8 years if Murphy were elected. EB's Margaret Scott was interested in Murphy's ideas about improving transportation to New York City. EBHS student David Portnoy wanted to know how college could be more affordable. Last night at the Estate on the Lake, Ambassador Phil Murphy came to answer those questions and others at his 38th and final town hall meeting before the state primary elections on June 6.
Over 200 people came to the event which was hosted by the East Brunswick Democratic Organization and streamed live on Facebook to hear businessman/ambassador/optomist Murphy tell the people who he is, what he has done, what he thinks, and why they should vote for him in June.
East Brunswick's Mayor Brad Cohen welcomed the candidate to "The Center of New Jersey," noting that a "big, dark cloud has hung over New Jersey for the past 8 years," in a reference to current Governor Chris Christie. Cohen introduced Murphy to the enthusiastic crowd who greeted Murphy with loud applause and good humor.
After thanking his hosts, various dignitaries, and his family, Murphy, who is endorsed in all 21counties by the Democratic Party, told the tale of why he was running in what he considers "the most consequential election in the history of New Jersey." Citing statistics, Murphy said that there are only 16 Democratic governors in America, with only 2 races in contention this year. "I am #1 up to bat against the Trump presidency, " he said. "What do we need to do? We need to start winning elections again."
After giving a synopsis of his career in college, business, philanthropy, and politics, Murphy spoke about the need to "grow the economy" and to make it "fair again." He quoted Democratic icon Daniel Patrick Moynihan who said, "We are all entitled to our own opinions. We are not entitled to our own facts," in a reference to both Governor Christie's and President Trump's recent policies.
Murphy moved on to address the need to build both a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) economy based on innovation and an infrastructure economy that takes advantage ouf New Jersey's location. We should be "environmental stewards who create jobs."
"We need to make it fair again" to live and work in New Jersey, said Murphy, who asserted his belief in equal pay for equal work. "A white woman makes 80 cents on the dollar as compared to a man; African-American women make 60 cents; and Latina women make 50 cents."
"Let's get back to being the state we used to be, " said Murphy, as he reminisced about the prior regard in which New Jersey was held both nationally and internationally. "I've heard what they say behind our backs," said the candidate. "We were civil. We didn't tell people to 'shut up and sit down.'" He also noted his support for funding Planned Parenthood; sensible gun laws; comprehensive criminal justice reform; and dealing with climate change.
Murphy's "Bold Idea" was the creation of a Public Bank in New Jersey.