Thanks for telling this truth, Scott – better than quite a lot of revisionist fabrication I’ve heard and read over the last couple days – promoted by Rosi
Blue Jersey, this is your map. Period, point blank. This week, when rumors started swirling of a new legislative map that would have pitted Senator Barbara Buono and Senator Joe Vitale in one new legislative district, many of us took it as a gut punch. These two Senators have consistently stood up for the interests of New Jerseyans, in and out of their respective districts.
Some suggested that the rumored map was the product of Republican fantasies meant to disrupt the Democratic coalition. Others ascribed other darker motives to a few actors within the Democratic Party. We may never know the truth, but either way, none of that matters now for one simple reason… You organized. You mobilized. You fought. And you won.
Senators Buono and Vitale released a joint statement today that you may or may not have caught, so I’m reposting it here after the jump, along with a few more thoughts of my own.
Now that Professor Rosenthal, the Redistricting Commission’s Supreme Court appointed member, has chosen the Democratic legislative map, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who stood with us through this sometimes difficult process.
We are proud to stand with you to make health care more affordable and accessible for every woman, man and child. We are proud to stand with you in the cause to keep New Jersey a leader in public education. We are proud to stand with you in the fight to make sure corporations and multi-millionaires simply pay their fair share so middle class families and seniors get relief from their tax burden. We are proud to stand with teachers, nurses, cops, firefighters and all those who put public service first. We are proud to stand with everyone who works tirelessly to protect our air, water. open spaces and shore. And, most of all, we are proud to stand with all those who never stop fighting for justice, tolerance and the belief that New Jersey can be better tomorrow than it is today.
You touched our hearts by standing with us. And we want you to know we will always stand with you.
This map is potentially a game changer. Reed Gusciora, the state’s first openly gay legislator and part of the Blue Jersey community, has been pushed out of his current 15th district, but has vowed to keep on fighting. Jeff Gardner, an activist familiar to all of us here, has seen his town of Hawthorne cut out of the 35th district, where his challenge to fellow Hawthorne resident Senator John Girgenti had just gotten off to an incredibly strong start. He’s already announced his candidacy for the open Assembly seat in his new 38th district. The shakeup of the 35th district also opened the door to an Assembly run for Haledon Mayor Domenick Stampone. Even a solidly Republican district like the 16th has folks buzzing about new opportunities for the future.
Seeing the kind of energy that can be generated on behalf of legislators that we all care about reminds me why I got into this in the first place. It’s less about faceless numbers in a caucus than it is principles and the people who stand up for those principles. I’m excited to see what all of you have in store in the elections to come.