SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Municipal Democratic Committee (SMDC) will present “Stand Up / Speak Out: A User’s Guide to Democracy," a forum featuring Joseph Cryan, current Union County Sheriff, former state assemblyman and Democratic candidate for the New Jersey state Senate, along with other former elected officials and community members.

The free event, set for February 15, will be held in the Summit High School Media Center beginning at 7 p.m. "Stand Up / Speak Out" is open to the public.

"Stand Up / Speak Out" aims to increase awareness of how to influence public policy at the local, state and federal levels; and empower individuals to take action to address areas of concern affecting the community and the country, said organizer and SMDC Treasurer Terri Tauber.

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“The protests and marches we’re seeing across the country are a powerful demonstration of how concerned Americans from all walks of life are about the direction our country seems headed,” she said. “But actually getting movement in a different direction - toward protecting our voting and civil rights, preserving the Affordable Care Act, progress on global warming - requires more than signs and slogans.”

In addition to Cryan, scheduled speakers include Summit resident Andrea J. Stein, a longtime community volunteer who co-chaired David Naidu’s successful bid for Common Council in 2015 and is who now helping organize weekly pro-Affordable Care Act demonstrations at U.S. Representative Leonard Lance’s Westfield office; and Summit’s Trevor Cromwell, who works with area youth through several community organizations and had a prominent role in last month’s “Summit Stands Together” unity rally.

Former Summit Mayor Jordan Glatt will moderate the discussion on topics including:

  • Identifying and contacting elected officials at the local, state and federal levels;

  • Planning, fundraising and promoting events and other civic activities;

  • Social media as a tool for civic engagement; and

  • Understanding local issues and motivating others to support a cause.

“Our goal is to provide anyone who wants to get involved, but doesn’t know how or where to start, with a practical introduction to how the system works and offer examples of the kinds of actions that anyone can take - literally from the moment they get home that night, in some cases,” Tauber said.

For more information about "Stand Up / Speak Out" visit summitdemocrats.org. Summit High School is located at 125 Kent Place Boulevard.