Tag Archive: Valerie Vainieri-Huttle

What’s Happening Today Thu. 09/26/2013

 What’s happening with the women’s vote? Women made up more than half of the 2009 election turnout (53%). In that race Christie won male voters by a wide margin, but women went for Corzine. In the current gubernatorial race the Democrats have not one but two women, Barbara Buono and Milly Silva, who are tireless champions of women’s rights. However, in yesterday’s Quinnippiac poll Christie is winning 61% of the female vote and Buono only 32%. It makes no sense.

Chris Christie is the first anti-choice governor of New Jersey since Roe v. Wade, has consistently vetoed funds for women’s healthcare, has cut $486,000 in grants to Hispanic Women’s Resource Centers, vetoed equal pay for women, and slashed another $450,000 from a postpartum education campaign. Women (especially single mothers) are particularly hurt by Christie’s high unemployment, weak economy, low minimum wage, and reduced EITC. He has demeaned, insulted, patronized and bullied women throughout his tenure. Just ask Loretta Weinberg, Valerie Vainieri-Huttle, Marie Corfield, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Sheila Oliver.

As Sen. Loretta Weinberg has said, “The GOP is fighting a war against women.” In New Jersey women have a voting advantage, a Governor who is antagonistic toward their interests, and two strong supporters in Barbara Buono and Milly Silva. Women need Buono and Buono needs women. The choice for women on November 5 should be clear.

Future of fair, affordable  housing: An important decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court is expected this morning. Its opinion will be based on the question of the validity of the “third-round” rules adopted by the Council on Affordable Housing which establish municipalities’ obligations to provide affordable housing. For the ruling go to the Judiciary site.

Just one reason to like Obamacare: The Record reports,“Many people in New Jersey who buy insurance in the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act will pay less for the coverage than they now do for individual plans.” For information on anticipated New Jersey health coverage costs go to this federal website.

Public Schedules:

Buono/Silva gubernatorial campaign: Barbara Buono: 12:30pm, The New Jersey Black Issues Convention, Hilton East New Brunswick, 3 Tower Center Blvd., East Brunswick; Barbara Buono: 6:30pm, NOW-NJ Meet & Greet, 512 S. Washington Ave., Moorestown; Milly Silva: 8:00pm, Latinos Unidos con El Sheriff Richard Berdnik Gala, Valley Regency, 1129 Valley Rd., Clifton.

Christie/Guadagno gubernatorial campaign: Chris Christie: 3:30pm, ribbon-cutting ceremony for TEAL Center at Essex County Newark Tech; 7:15pm, Spirit of Daytop Annual Gala, Palace at Somerset Park.

U. S. Senate Candidate Cory Booker: 10:30am, outlines his economic proposals at the African American Chamber of Commerce, NJ Annual Business Leadership Conference, Hilton Newark, Penn Station; 6:00pm, Fundraising reception with Boaz Weinstein, NY, NY, for info go here.

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.: 6:00-8:00pm, The Affordable Care Act: What does it mean to you?, 60 So. Fullerton Ave., Montclair.

Blue Jersey Focus – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle – Part 2

Below is the second half of my interview with Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle (recorded yesterday). She talks about the environment, affordable housing, marriage equality, and the political landscape in Trenton.

If you missed part 1 yesterday, you can find it at this link. Vainieri-Huttle discussed her accomplishments with Anti-Bullying legislation, the status of legislation on women’s health, education, and the Port of New York New Jersey Authority.

Blue Jersey Focus – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle – Part 1

I interviewed Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle in Trenton today. The interview is posted in two parts. In today’s installment (below), she talks with Blue Jersey about her accomplishments with Anti-Bullying legislation, the status of legislation on women’s health, education, and the Port of New York New Jersey Authority.

The second half of the interview will be posted tomorrow night. There Assemblywoman Vainieri-Huttle talks about the environment, education, affordable housing, marriage equality, and the political landscape in Trenton.

Draft Rocco Mazza for State Assembly in LD36

Assemblyman Fred Scalera resigned his seat today in order to take a position in the private sector, which in and of itself is refreshing, considering the fact that many of his colleagues in the State Assembly and the State Senate hold other part-time and full-time jobs in addition to their “part-time” legislative positions, regardless of any conflicts of interest that these other jobs might create.

Scalera’s resignation creates a vacancy in the State Assembly that will be filled via a special election whereby all of the County Committeepersons in LD36 will vote.  The only name that has been floated to date as a replacement for Scalera is that of Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan who is from Scalera’s hometown of Nutley.  LD36 State Senator Paul Sarlo State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) is noncommittal regarding the name of Scalera’s replacement, but believes that it should be someone from Nutley.

“That is a Nutley seat,” said Sarlo. “With the current makeup of the district, it’s a longstanding tradition to have an Essex, Passaic and Bergen representative. Essex County will have the ability to pick an interim successor.

What is interesting about Sarlo’s position is that it has been widely reported throughout the blogosphere that in his role as a member of the legislative redistricting commission, he has been working overtime to remove Nutley as well as possibly Passaic to shield himself from a general election challenge from former LD36 Assemblyman and gubernatorial candidate, Paul DiGaetano, and a primary challenge from LD36 Assemblyman Gary Schaer whose hometown of Passaic has more County Committeepersons than any other municipality in the district.

If Nutley were removed from LD36 through redistricting, different sources have theorized that it could find itself attached to LD28, LD29, LD34, or possibly even LD40. If the vacant seat goes to someone backed by Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, it is very likely it would mean the end of the line for one of the incumbent Assemblypersons from Essex County.  If I had to guess, that person would most likely be Cleopatra Tucker as LD28 shifts further out of Newark and further into the adjoining suburbs.  The other possible target could be LD28 State Senator Ron Rice Sr., who has been on Steve Adubato’s hit list for some time now.

Sarlo appears to be the only South Bergen politician who believes in the Bergen/Essex/Passaic distribution of LD36 legislative, particularly as Sarlo works towards creating an all-Bergen LD36.  There is no shortage of ambitious politicians in South Bergen who may want to vy for one of the two Assembly seats that Sarlo’s manuevering could open up as well as Sarlo’s State Senate, which might explain why Sarlo would be resistent to elevating one of these would-be contenders to an Assembly seat that would enhance their ability to raise money for an Assembly re-election campaign or a primary challenge against Sarlo.

Being someone who believes in the Democratic process and does not think that this vacancy should be used to give one person an advantage over the many qualified contenders that an all-Bergen LD36 primary election would attract, I would like to advocate for the candidacy of someone who has personally expressed to me no interest whatsoever in running for this or any other LD36 office now or in the future, making him the perfect caretaker candidate, enabling the rest of the field of candidates to compete with each other next year on a level playing field.

New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights

             “You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,

               Before you are six or seven or eight,

               To hate all the people your relatives hate,

               You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

As Rodgers and Hammerstein expressed in their 1949 musical South Pacific, bullying and discrimination are linked together, start at an early age, and can be a “learned” activity influenced by family members. Altering our NJ school environment is an essential step.

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) and Senator Barbara Buono (D-18) will introduce on Monday the eagerly anticipated harrassment, intimidation and bullying (HIB) awareness and prevention legislation. It is expected that it will have bipartisan support, including Assemblywoman Pat Angelini (R-11), and Senators Diane Allen (R-7) and Thomas Goodwin (R-14).

Their bill is squarely aimed at the school environment where discrimination and bullying often begin. It will provide that training on HIB be a part of the training required for public school teaching staff members in suicide prevention. It will create a fund for state grants to school districts. It will include sections on enforcement and response to HIB and on accountability of schools, districts and the state. It will also require the addition of an anti-bullying policy and enforcement mechanism to the student code of conduct of every public college and university. A link to the full bill will be posted in this diary as soon as it is introduced in the legislature.  

On Friday President Obama released his video It Gets Better. In it he says “When I was a young adult, I faced the jokes and taunting that too many of our youth face today, and I considered suicide as a way out. One of my co-workers recognized that I was hurting. She cared enough to push me to seek help.” This NJ bill will be a critical step in preventing and providing support for so many people who, like President Obama, know the pain and trauma bullying can cause. Kudos to Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Barbara Buono and all who helped shape the bill. We wish it a successful and speedy trip on the way to enactment.


Joint Legislation Combats Climate Change

Senators Lautenberg and Menendez were two of eleven co-sponsors of new federal legislation to combat climate change by significantly reducing polluting emissions.

The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act, first introduced last July by now-retired Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT), would reduce U.S. emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 (a 15% reduction from today’s levels) and to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.  To achieve these emission reductions, the bill calls for a greater reliance on clean, renewable energy and improved energy efficiency.

The Senate bill is mirrored by the New Jersey Global Warming Response Act (A3301/S2114), sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-22) and Senator Barbara Buono (D-18), requiring statewide emissions reductions are below 1990 levels by 2020 (about a 20% reduction from New Jersey’s emissions levels today).

Environment New Jersey is urging all members of the state legislature to co-sponsor this legislation and is also calling on Governor Corzine to issue an Executive Order to reduce statewide emissions by 80% by 2050 and develop a plan to start cutting emissions right away.

Of several sponsors, one is Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle, who is fulfilling her job on the Weinberg Team by advocating progressive, good citizen policies.

An Important Day for the Roots


You know, the machine can launch primary challenges, too. We believe in democracy, and we don’t deny their right to do so. We don’t whine that they’re purging the party. We don’t change our positions to appeal to some new constituency.

No. We stand our ground. And we beat them.

Today is an important day for the roots. Today, we — progressive organizations and unions — will rally for Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri-Huttle to kick off their successful re-election campaign.

Today, we’re going to show the other side that we will out-work, out-message, and out-campaign them in the 37th legislative district. And we’ll show the rest of the state that we’re ready to do it in their districts.

It’s because we care more. And that’s why we’ll re-elect Weinberg, Johnson, and Vainieri-Huttle. It’s why we’ll draft Dana Wefer and send her to the Assembly. It’s why we’ll build an online movement of the best-informed political outsiders of any state.

So join us and other Blue Jerseyans today at the IBEW Union Hall Auditorium in Paramus. Come at 4 if you’re interested in a pre-rally meeting for activists, and 5 for the rally itself.