Jeff is a candidate for the legislature. Depending on redistricting he may run in what is currently his home district, the 35th. – promoted by Rosi
Last night, New Jersey’s Legislative Reapportionment Committee held a public hearing in Newark, one of just 5 opportunities scheduled for the public to weigh in on what could determine who controls state government for the next 10 years. More than a little interested in the process, I decided to attend.
The room was PACKED! For a while it was uncertain whether I would even get into the standing-room-only hearing room, let alone be allowed to testify. But, I did get in. And, I submitted my request to give testimony, like so many others had done. (Lesson learned: no advance reservation is needed – if you’ve got something to say, you should be able to say it.)
My testimony focused on the importance of expeditiously completing the final map to enable as many potential candidates as possible to mount vigorous competitive campaigns in the newly-drawn districts – a matter of utmost concern to so many of the evening’s speakers who were concerned about their communities being underrepresented in Trenton. Including, of course, me.
To that end, I made 2 simple requests: First, that the Committee allow the 11th member to be appointed, without delay, to ensure the final map will be completed as expeditiously as possible, and with that too-powerful 11th member having had the benefit of actually hearing from the public on the process. And, second, that the Committee stop wasting time arguing about whether the map should be based on voter turnout instead of census population numbers. There’s a reason this process happens only every ten years – it’s because that’s when the census happens. The map should be based on population. Period. Arguments to the contrary are a distraction that only serves to unnecessarily delay the process.
We’ll see soon enough if the Committee takes my arguments, or those of the others who testifed last night, to heart. But, in the meantime, I would encourage anyone interested in who controls our state government for the next decade to attend a public hearing.
The next meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, February 13th at 1p at Hudson Community College in Jersey City. And, while I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t prefer that you come to Cherry Hill for a House Party instead, if you’re not coming to Cherry Hill, you ought to at least show up in Jersey City, and testify!