Tag Archive: voting rights

The Elephant in the Room

 In one of several versions of a famous parable, “three blind men encounter an elephant for the first time and try to describe it, each touching a different part. “An elephant is like a snake,” says one, grasping the trunk….
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Our Voting Rights At Risk: Act Now!

 Promoted by Rosi

On Thursday the Assembly State and Local Government Committee is hearing the fast-tracked bill A-3628/S2412, a bill that deprives voters of their existing decision-making role regarding the control of our local water systems. This bill eliminates the existing democratic process that protects communities from the politically or profit motivated privatization of a water system.  This bill threatens not just the democratic process but the affordability and quality of water — a fundamental right for all.

The language of this bill justifies the privatization of water systems on the premise that many of them are in poor condition and could be better managed by private entities. That premise has no basis in reality. Empirical studies do not provide clear support for private entities providing superior water service – either in terms of costs or quality.

The assumption that private companies have the financial resources to improve water management systems negates the reality that profit based companies pass the costs of infrastructure on to users with less oversight, control and input from the public. If the municipalities do not have the money to invest in water systems, is the answer to sell it to the highest bidder, often a foreign owned company, or find the revenue to invest in a critical piece of public infrastructure? It may fill a budget gap one year but at the cost of control of our water. Is that worth it?

 

94 Years Ago Today, Women Got the Right to Vote in America

Hey, I just thought you should know that 94 years ago today, women got the right to vote. That happened when the Tennessee legislature approved the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; the last of 36 states to do it (NJ was the 29th).

It was a fight.

Julia Hurlbut of Morristown NJ leads suffragettes at White House picket 1917

Julia Hurlbut of Morristown, New Jersey, leads 16 members of the National Womans Party picketing in front of the White House. July 14, 1917. They were all arrested, and sent to a Virginia workhouse because they refused to pay fines of $25 each. They were all pardoned 2 days later.

More history, and how New Jersey made women’s voting rights history, below.  

There’s No Such Thing as an Off Year Election

Most Americans focus on the quadrennial Presidential election, and even there, only on the top of the ballot. By doing so, they abdicate their responsibilities as citizens and then bitch and moan about government.

Off-year elections and down-ballot positions are critically important – not just for the term of those being selected to serve, but also for years to come – especially in New Jersey where we elect our governor and legislature in odd-numbered years. Let’s take a look at past and future elections to see how they have an impact well beyond the terms of the winners.

July 2, 1776: Do you know about this day? And New Jersey’s place in women’s right to vote?

Hat/tip to my friend Carl Bunin, who writes the excellent This Week in History.

New Jersey became the first British colony in America to grant partial women’s suffrage. The new constitution (temporary if there were a reconciliation with Great Britain) granted the vote to all those “of full age, who are worth fifty pounds proclamation money,” [about $8,000 adjusted for inflation] in cash or property, including non-whites and widows; married women were not able to own property under common law.

Whaaaat? Does everybody who goes to school here learn this? I didn’t know, but I went to school elsewhere. Of course, only women of means were allowed, but that applied to both whites and non-whites. Not married women; their husbands apparently owned that vote, just like they owned all the property.

Wikipedia picks it up from there:

TONIGHT: CD12 Civil Rights & Liberties Debate – All 5 Candidates, Both Parties

New Jersey’s 12th congressional district is am

ong the best educated in the country (census). And it has been repped for 15 years by one of the most progressive members of Congress in the country (Holt: Highest Progressive Punch score in NJ’s House delegation). Part of Holt’s top designation is a near perfect ‘score’ in Human Rights & Civil Liberties, and other issues of social justice.