Author Archive: josef

What Christie’s presidential aspirations mean for New Jersey on the national stage

More great diary rescue from the weekend, also by josef. This time, on the impact our bellowing presidential wannabe might have on New Jersey's street cred with the rest of the country. Promoted by Rosi.

A Sunday thought piece appears on NJ.com today titled “What will Christie's 2016 run mean for N.J.?” In it, Matt Friedman wonders aloud how the state will go on after a Tuesday that will see Christie will finally declaring his candidacy for president. He brings up interesting points about how state Republicans have been distancing themselves from an increasingly unpopular governor whose approval rating is currently hovering around 30 percent and how a number of Democrats are lining up to succeed him now that they feel comfortable working against him. But the bigger question of how New Jersey will be represented on the national stage by candidate Christie goes unasked. If the governor keeps to his trademark style, the answer is “not well.”

New Jersey’s population shift continues

Great diary rescue from before the weekend  – by josef

In October of last year, NJ.com published an article detailing the “seismic population shift” underway in New Jersey. With census data populating an interactive map, the article detailed the number of people leaving the New York metropolitan region's suburban and rural counties in favor of the state's more urbanized, established ones located closer to the city. In it, Stephen Stirling writes that “New Jersey’s population has started to contract back toward its urban core for the first time since the end of the second World War, new research shows, in what could mark a death knell for suburban sprawl and foretell significant changes to the fabric of the Garden State.” As a new article published yesterday shows, this trend is only accelerating.

Senate poised to address bike and pedestrian safety on New Jersey’s roadways

More diary rescue fron the weekend – Promoted by Rosi.

Within the next few weeks, a vote is expected to come up on a bill that would give those of us who walk and bike around our communities more visibility in the state government. With bill S2521, the state Senate aims to create a Pedestrian Safety Study Commission whose job it will be to “study, examine, and review the issue of pedestrian safety in New Jersey.” It will create a commission whose members will range from members of the legislature to NJDOT officials to members of the public.

Election reform and NJ Transit fare hikes: why people don’t vote in statewide elections

Starting at Noon today there is a rally on the Statehouse steps to call on Senate President Sweeney & Speaker Prieto to stop fare hikes and service cuts. There are billions for corporate subsidies but nothing to stop fare increases. Does that make sense? – Promoted by Bill Orr 

Earlier this month, the top Democratic members of the Senate and Assembly introduced a bill aimed at increasing voter turnout in state elections. After yet another abysmally low turnout for a primary election, the lawmakers hypothesize that things like automatic voter registration and increasing early voting will increase voter turnout. While these might be good ideas for the democratic process in general, they will not increase voter turnout. The lack of any serious primary challengers has a lot more to do with it, with politicians' stale ideas about how to move New Jersey forward under no serious threat. But if Democrats in particular are looking for a reason why people aren't motiviated to get out the polls, you only have to look at the headlines to see why.

 

Where are the primary challengers in the state Assembly election?

Promoted by Rosi. What do you think, Blue Jersey?

Everyone who’s had an eye on the state’s economic performance the past few years knows that New Jersey hasn’t been doing well recently. As the United States climbs out of the recession, the Garden State is still stuck in neutral. The state’s economy still has only about 60% of the jobs today than it did before the recession, the unemployment rate is still a full percentage point higher than the national average, and the foreclosure crisis is still in full effect in the state.

With such a bleak outlook for the state, many people agree that something has to be done to get the state’s economy back on track. Legislators on the left and right have tried coming up with ways to address budget issues and the state’s anemic job growth. But after several years of plan making and position taking, nothing’s actually worked for state residents. All of the state’s numbers are sliding in the wrong direction.

Suburban Sprawl: Our defining feature and biggest challenge

Sprawl. Burbs. Little municipalities by the hundreds. They define New Jersey. Does they have to, going forward? Promoted by Rosi.

Everyone who’s ever driven through New Jersey has seen it. Town after town, subdivision after subdivision of vinyl-sided, single-family housing. It is one of the hallmark features of the Garden State along with our shore towns and Bruce Springsteen. Having grown up in the 20th century with the popularity of the automobile, it provided shelter for a booming post-World War II population and the millions of children born to it. But the American dream our suburbs helped to fulfill have become something of a nightmare. And as the problems that plague these towns get worse, they threaten to undermine the viability of the entire state.