The national advocacy organization Food & Water Action is endorsing a slate of progressive candidates in Piscataway’s upcoming Democratic primary.

The group is endorsing Bill Irwin for mayor, along with council candidates Kamuela “Nikki” Tillman, Ralph Johnson, and Laura Leibowitz. The endorsement stated:

These progressive candidates are committed to join us in our work to stop all fossil fuel projects, protect access to clean, affordable drinking water, and usher in a rapid and fair transition to 100% renewable energy.

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This group played a key role in the local campaign that helped make Piscataway the first town in New Jersey to pass a referendum enacting community choice aggregation, which will help Piscataway transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Because of their hard work, township residents are already saving money on their electricity bills and cleaning up air pollution by reducing their dependence on dirty fossil fuels.

In addition, all four have served Piscataway as either school board members or neighborhood representatives on the Middlesex County Democratic Committee. They have been fighting for years to improve access to government meetings and make the local government more inclusive of the diverse population of Piscataway.

“We worked closely with these community leaders on the 100 percent renewable energy ordinance, which helped Piscataway make history. This election is an opportunity to continue to advance a bold, progressive agenda for the township, prioritizing our health and environment over unnecessary, dangerous and polluting development projects,” said Food & Water Action state director Matt Smith.

In a letter to local supporters, Smith added: “Instead of letting politics as usual continue to dominate in the Trump era, this team has been organizing their community for positive change, starting a grassroots organization to build support for important issues.  Throughout the pandemic, Bill, Nikki, Ralph, and Laura have been working hard to assist their neighbors in need and using the internet to get their message out, sparking an important dialogue that has been missing here for many years.”