Volunteers Needed

Represent NJ Chapter Meeting Oct. 19

Join us for our October Chapter Meeting.
Saturday, October 19 at 11 AM
Fahs Theater at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton 
50 Cherry Hill Rd., Princeton
 
Who/what is Wolf-PAC?  Mike Monetta, national director of our coalition partner, Wolf-PAC NJ,  will lead a Q&A via live stream.
We will also have an Update on the End Dark Money Bill and a discussion of our  Ranked Choice Voting Campaign.

“DARK MONEY” Documentary Feb. 10

DARK MONEY, a PBS documentary and political thriller, uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold.
Send us a message if you are planning to come. Seating is limited.

Sunday, February 10, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton
Sophie Fahs Theater
50 Cherry Hill Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

Election Reform & Voting Rights

Jan. 27          1 pm – 3 pm

JOIN STAND CENTRAL NJ

January 27, 2018
1 pm – 3 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church at Washington Crossing
268 Washington Crossing-Pennington Rd, Titusville NJ

Join STAND CNJ and New Jersey leaders as we learn how we can remove obstacles
that lead to voter suppression, address partisan redistricting, and ensure access to voting for disenfranchised communities.

Join our informed panelists:
Adriana Abizadeh, executive director, LALDEF (Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund )
Jesse Burns, executive director, New Jersey League of Women Voters
David Goodman, Represent.Us/Central New Jersey
Julia Sass Rubin, Good Government Coalition New Jersey
Amol Sinha, executive director, ACLU-NJ

Cranbury Anti-Corruption Resolution Passes

The Cranbury Township Committee passed an Anti-Corruption resolution on Monday, November 27, sending a strong message to state and federal lawmakers to pass anti-corruption reform.

The township resolution supports the strengthening  of campaign finance and transparency regulations with the purpose of  limiting the influence of special interest money in elections and lawmaking.

RepresentUs Central NJ,  the local chapter of the national organization, Represent.Us, a grassroots, bipartisan anti-corruption group, worked with Cranbury residents to advocate for the measure. The Chapter has successfully advocated for the passage of Anti-Corruption Resolutions in five other Central NJ municipalities, Ewing, Lawrence, Princeton, South Brunswick and West Windsor.

The group is currently gathering support for reintroduction of a bi-partisan package of  campaign finance reform bills  in the 2018 NJ Legislature.   These bills , A3903, A3639, A3902, S2431,  S2430 improve NJ’s state campaign finance laws by requiring disclosure by independent groups, reforming the state’s pay-to-play law and bolstering political parties. 

“Public disclosure rules for these committees are woefully outdated,”  said Jeff Brindle, Executive Director of ELEC. “Some of these groups deserve credit because they voluntarily disclose their contributions and expenditures. But New Jersey’s current law is so inadequate that most independent spending can be done without voters ever knowing who provided the funds. We continue to urge both parties to consider passing ELEC-recommended legislation that would correct this massive loophole.” (http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/17/11/29/the-79-million-gubernatorial-election-second-most-costly-in-state-history/?utm_source=NJ+Spotlight++Master+List&utm_campaign=f8a7d77306-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_11_30&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1d26f473a7-f8a7d77306-398604165)

The RepresentUs Central NJ Chapter will continue to ask residents of local municipalities to work with them to persuade their towns to join this grassroots effort to  limit the influence of big money on the political system.  It welcomes anyone to contact them at repuscnj@gmail.com to join this effort,

Represent Central New Jersey Chapter Committment

 
1. We will provide reliable information. In the words of NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen, “For a free press as a check of power this is the darkest time in American history since World War I, when there was massive censorship and suppression of dissent (http://pressthink.org).” The explosion of fake news promotes propaganda and sows doubt where citizens need to act wisely in their own best interest. This affects us all, across the political spectrum from left to right. We are not a news organization and our focus is mainly state and local, but we will provide reliable, unbiased links to investigative reports, like Jane Mayer; non-profit organizations, like ProPublica (https://www.propublica.org); and other pro-liberty groups, like Take Back Our Republic (http://takeback.org), on the threats of dark money and unrestrained special interests to our democracy.
 
2. We will build on past successes and work with others to do more in the future. Our successes have happened by drawing local citizens and towns together to support anti-corruption resolutions. These send powerful messages to state and federal legislators representing New Jersey on the commitment of their constituents opposing corruption. The towns of Princeton, Ewing, South Brunswick, and Lawrence have shown the way. In 2017, we hope — and will work hard — to add more towns to this group. And, there’s more. We have embraced and will be advocating passage of a bipartisan New Jersey Assembly legislative package for campaign finance reform, summarized here: (http://observer.com/2016/06/bipartisan-move-to-simplify-pay-to-play-law-and-increase-disclosure-by-indie-groups).
 
Beginning in 2017, we will also work with other groups and legal centers on “fair districts” reform and against hyper-partisan gerrymandering, as we look to the 2020 census and redistricting. We will need volunteers to raise their voices and stand with us in these efforts.
 
3. We will continue to fight the effects of Money on politics but take none ourselves. Our commitment is to small donor-funded elections (primaries and general). This encourages the greatest number of citizens to participate in the political process. Running for office will always cost money, but Big Money distorts the process in favor of special interests — the oligarch and plutocrats — and against broad-based democratic government. All the work locally that Susan and I do is voluntary and at our own expense — and with help from others in our chapter and elsewhere. We neither seek nor receive financial support. Represent.Us, as a national organization, accepts donations to its main operating unit (501c4) and to its tax-deductible education fund (501c3). We, in turn, receive technical support from national but again no funding. Donating to national helps but is not required to join our chapter. As a grassroots group, the strength of our chapter (and the others across the country) is our volunteers.
 
4. We will listen. This is probably the most important thing we do — listening and responding to you. Listening for us is proactive, not passive hearing. It means acting on your requests whenever we can but also asking you to help, whenever you can, to recruit new volunteers. This is part of the American experiment, putting hope and optimism into action for a better future.

Join Us “GRANNY D GOES TO WASHINGTON (2ND LOOK)”

Event to be held at the following time, date, and location:

Sunday, October 16, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT)

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton
50 Cherry Hill Road
Fahs Auditorium
Princeton, NJ 08540

Please RSVP

Take a break from Presidential politics.  Spend a Sunday afternoon and get inspired!

GRANNY D GOES TO WASHINGTON chronicles the extraordinary march across the U.S. by political activist, Doris Haddock. Passionate about democracy, she walked 3,200 miles from California to Washington, D.C. to dramatize the need to restore representative government in America and reduce the role of special interest money in politics. The film records her travels and conveys the infectious enthusiasm Granny D. inspired in the people she met.

Following this film, a short feature produced by Represent.Us will be shown.  Leaders from Represent.Us/Central NJ will describe campaign finance reform efforts in New Jersey and other states in the USA, heading toward Election Day 2016.  You, as a citizen, will learn what you can do to make a difference and get elected officials to stand up and take action.

We thank our co-host of this event — the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.

Share this event on Facebook and Twitter

We hope you can make it!

Support Represent.Us Ballot Initiative in South Dakota: Here’s How…

http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/editorial-states-have-power-to-curtail-dark-money-in-politic

This editorial describes the  effort in South Dakota to put a measure on the November ballot there that would require people and groups who throw big money into elections to put their names on their donations for all to see — no more secret or “dark” money as well as other campaign finance reforms including public financing of campaigns.

If South Dakota can succeed despite an enormously expensive campaign against the measure (including Koch Brothers money) by the very same people who should be pulled out of the shadows, we can move on to other states like New Jersey.

How You Can Help

Sign up and help South Dakota pass their Anti-corruption initiative:
We’re finally ready to start our on-call phone banking! The first on-call volunteer shift will be next Thursday, August 25th. Sign up now for your shift.
http://volunteer.represent.us/callshift

WHAT: Phone banking volunteer shift (more details below)

WHEN: Thursday, August 25th 6-8 pm ET

Sign up now to phone bank on Thursday, Aug 25th
http://volunteer.represent.us/callshift

At the start of the shift, you’ll be given a quick overview of how to use the dialer and will review the call script with our organizers. Once that’s done, you’ll be calling voters to inform them about Anti-Corruption initiatives in their area.

After you sign up for a phone-banking shift, you’ll receive an email with additional details about how to join the pre-call overview session and how to login to the dialer.

Support Anti-Corruption Resolution in Lawrence

Join us on June 21st.  Let’s have a strong public showing to persuade the town council members  to pass a Lawrence Township Anti-Corruption Resolution.

We will meet in the parking lot of the Town Hall, 2207 Lawrenceville Road, at 6:00 PM; then, following brief greetings and Q&A, we will all go into the Council chambers together for the meeting beginning at 6:30 PM.

A reporter from the Princeton Packet newspaper is expected to cover the meeting.

Current status (as of 5/15/16) of NJ Senators and District 12 Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman on Proposed Legislation relating to Campaign Finance Reform and Voting Rights

Check out how our NJ Senators and our District 12 Congresswoman are responding to legislation to reform our campaign finance  system and to extend voting rights.  If you live elsewhere you can go to https://www.govtrack.us to check on where your Representatives stand on the following bills.  Tell them to act now on those bills on which they’ve shown no support.

DISCLOSE Act: S 229   HR 430

Establishes a system of disclosure of campaign spending and the sources of those funds for all entities that make independent expenditures (at any time) and electioneering communications (in calendar year of an election for Congress; 120 days before the primary for presidential elections).

Sen. Booker, CoSponsor:  Yes

Sen. Menendez, CoSponsor:  Yes

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

 

Democracy for All Amendment     (HJ Res 22)

Provides Congress and the states with the authority to determine reasonable regulations on campaign financing and distinguish between natural persons and other artificial entities under campaign finance laws.  

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

 

Fair Elections Now Act (S 1538)

Allow Senate candidates to run competitive campaigns by relying on small donations from people back home—not big-money donors.  Creates tax credit, matching grants and donation caps for participating candidates.

Sen. Booker, CoSponsor:  No

Sen. Menendez, CoSponsor:  Yes

 

H.R. 20: Government By the People Act of 2015

To reform the financing of Congressional elections by broadening participation by small dollar donors, and for other purposes.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: Yes

We The People Act: (HJ Res 48)

Clarifies that only human beings, not legal entities like corporations, are entitled to the protections of the Constitution, and stating that political campaign spending is not protected by the first amendment.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

People’s Rights Amendment (HJ Res 23)

Makes it clear that corporations do not have constitutional rights, as if they were people.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

 

Sunlight for Unaccountable Nonprofits Act (SUN Act): (S. 367/HR 2695)

Mandates that nonprofit organizations that declares making campaign expenditures to disclose all donors of $5,000 or more.

Sen. Booker, CoSponsor:  No

Sen. Menendez, CoSponsor:  No

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

 

Clarify campaign coordination: (HR 425)

Expands the definition of “coordination” to include joint fundraising and/or shared vendors and staff between a candidate and outside group or super PAC. Key sponsors: Sen. Tester/Rep. Price.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

Shareholder Protection Act: (S. 214/HR 446)

Requires corporations to disclose to shareholders and the public spending of funds for independent expenditures and electioneering communications, even if such spending is indirectly done through a third party. Key sponsors: Sen. Menendez/Rep. Capuano.

Sen. Booker, CoSponsor:  No

Sen. Menendez, CoSponsor:  Yes

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: No

The Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12)

To modernize voter registration, promote access to voting for individuals with disabilities, protect the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for Federal office, and for other purposes.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: Yes

 

The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2867)

To amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to revise the criteria for determining which States and political subdivisions are subject to section 4 of the Act, and for other purposes.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: Yes

 

Automatic Voter Registration (H. 2694)

To amend the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to require each State to ensure that each individual who provides identifying information to the State motor vehicle authority is automatically registered to vote in elections for Federal office held in the State unless the individual does not meet the eligibility requirements for registering to vote in such elections or declines to be registered to vote in such elections, and for other purposes.

Cong. Bonnie Watson Coleman, CoSponsor: Yes

Representation Day at Communiversity Volunteers Needed

On Sunday, April 17, 1 PM to 6 PM in Downtown Princeton (on Witherspoon St just around the corner from Hamilton Jewelers on Nassau) we will have an Information Table to let people know (possibly 40,000 people attend this event) about our grassroots campaign to end the corrupting influence of special interest and dark money in our elections and policy making.  This is our Representation Day which is being celebrated by Chapters all across the country (most on April 15).
We need volunteers at the table to distribute information and obtain Citizen Co-Sponsor signatures for the AACA  (we are nearing 600,000 nationwide).  We will also be urging Central NJ residents to act by supporting municipal Anti-Corruption Resolutions locally.  We currently have two more in process – in South Brunswick and Lawrenceville.
 Let us know what time between 1 PM and 6 PM you can volunteer for an hour or two.   This is always a fun, as well as informative, action.  Look forward to seeing you there.