“We the People” and our Governor’s State of the State Addresses

Yesterday we witnessed New Jersey’s People’s State of the State Address. Today we will hear Governor Murphy’s State of the State Address at 2:00 PM. Then at 4:00 PM we can attend the People’s Organization For Progress Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March in Newark at 4:00 PM. (Preview image above: Murphy rehearsing his speech)

The message from the People’s State of the State Address rally was clear: in spite of a progressive governor and a Democratic Legislature too many important bills are languishing in the legislature. The first speaker, Rev. Charles Boyer of Bethel AME Church in Woodbury, said, “While political infighting and chess playing seem amusing to those in power, actual people and families are suffering every day from inaction.” The group’s agenda includes fighting racism, a $15.00 minimum wage, driver’s licenses for NJ’s unauthorized immigrants, a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure, legalizing marijuana, and more. As Michael Aron concludes in his article, “The progressive coalition is not happy about the state of the state today.”  See video of the event. 

The Governor’s State of the State Address typically is a recitation of past accomplishments, an emphasis on important goals to be accomplished and a conclusion that the State of the State is “good’ or “excellent” or some other adjetive. The People’s agenda serves as a strong starting off point. Hopefully Gov. Murphy will urge the legislature to move swiftly. Just as important is that there be better communication between the governor and leadership of the legislature. See also: NJ.com: Here’s what you can expect, and NJ Spotlight: Murphy address comes at pivotal time time for NJ and him.

You can catch the speech live on NJTVLegislative Services, WNYC, and News 12. NJTV will also carry an encore at 8 p.m.

You can also attend the People’s Organization For Progress Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. March in Newark at 4:00 PM. It starts at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Statue next to the Hall Of Records, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The statue is near the corner of Springfield Ave. And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For more information call (973)801-0001. Lawrence Hamm is the long-time leader of the group.

The Preamble of our Constitution begins with “We the People in order to form a more perfect Union, … do ordain …“ Indeed, it’s We the People, not just our elected officials, who have a say in how we are governed. Two other very different rallies at the Statehouse scheduled for January are The 2019 Women’s March on New Jersey on Jan. 19, and Rally for Life on Jan. 22 at 11:00 AM – all peoples’ voices in the free speech ordained by our constitution and practiced with vigor in our state.

Photo credit: Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com

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