Tag Archive: Nellie Pou

Bread and Roses – and Some Local Worry – for International Women’s Day

Judy Collins – Bread and Roses .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine

This song, Bread and Roses (that’s Judy Collins singing), takes its words from the poet James Oppenheim, whose writing was inspired by the women union organizers of his day. Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The global recognition of women’s struggle for voting, economic & civil rights had its birth in the socialist movement, and has always been observant of women’s and children’s economic vulnerability.

Today, 3 women on the Assembly Budget Committee – all Dems – took note of the setbacks women in NJ are dealing with under the Christie administration. A “monumental step backwards,” as Nellie Pou calls it. Bonnie Watson Coleman talked about the real meaning of Chris Christie’s “new normal”; it means “adjusting to a lower standard of living unless you are part of the wealthiest one percent in this state.” Joan Quigley pointed out this marks the 2nd year the Christie administration “decided that access to cancer screenings, birth control and preventative care are unimportant for the working poor women of this state,” adding “NJ has long been known as a progressive and compassionate state, but under the Christie administration we have taken a major step in the wrong direction.”

Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;

Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!


         – full lyrics of this lovely poem/song posted after the jump

Race To Nowhere Update

 PolitickerNJ reported last night:

Acting Commissioner of Education Rochelle Hendricks, Deputy Commissioner Andrew Smarick and Newark Public Schools Executive Assistant for Innovation and Change Dan Gohl will all appear before the Assembly Appropriations Committee Tuesday to discuss the error that led to the denial of the state’s grant application. But the administration has denied the committee’s request to have Gov. Chris Christie’s Chief of Staff Rich Bagger, Communications Director Michael Drewniak and staffers Maria Comella and Gregg Edwards appear before the committee. Consultant Wireless Generation, which was paid a six-figure fee to aid in the application process has retained an attorney, O’Dowd said, and will not be appearing.

However there remains uncertainty about some attendees and the ability to get documents in a timely way. The Star Ledger reported this morning, “In a statement, Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-Passaic) said: “The frustration we’re experiencing with the administration is that we have not been able to confirm a number of these attendees or secure the documentation we’ve requested in a timely manner.” The Christie administration has not responded to several requests for documents, including one that proves Schundler made the error.”

The Record reported today, “A week after he was fired, New Jersey’s former education commissioner said he isn’t considering taking legal action over his termination.  But in an e-mail Friday to The Associated Press, Bret Schundler said he would like an apology from Gov. Chris Christie.”

Denouncing Racial Profiling

Promoted by Jason Springer

UPDATE: you can view the text of the resolution here

Like many elected officials throughout the country, I was shocked and appalled by the recent immigration legislation passed in  Arizona legalizing racial profiling and eroding civil rights.  Immigration is a federal issue that needs to be tackled by Congress – not by local governments and the states.  We need a uniformed policy tackling an array of issues arising out of the problem on the Mexican-American border, not piecemeal attempts by the states to regulate a federal issue.  

In Haledon we have a strong Latino population that has been making strong contributions to our community.  Councilman Reynaldo Martinez – the first Dominican American elected to the Haledon Council – is one example.  In his 4 years on the Council he has been a strong voice in balancing our budget, improving our quality of life, and bringing more people into the democratic process.  We need to encourage more participation by the Latino American community – not dissuade it like the Arizona law will surely do.  

That is why I am proud to announce the resolution passed last night by the Haledon Council denouncing Arizona’s actions.  I see first hand everyday the impact the Latino population has in Haledon: a commitment to family values, a hard work ethic, and an investment in making our borough a better place to live. As Dr. Martin Luther King stated in his Letter from Birmingham Jail: “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”  We need to make our voices heard against this injustice.    

By empowering local law enforcement officials to demand a citizen produce documentation of citizenship, we are fueling an already explosive issue. It is obvious we officials will be targeting in Arizona, and I agree with Assemblywoman Nellie Pou in her assessment of this law: it is Un-American.  It chips at our civil rights and instills a fear into immigrants legally in our country of being harassed and detained by law enforcement.  

So please, sign our petition against this Arizona legislation.  We need to let local and state officials all over the nation know that we will not stand idly by and let the civil rights of any ethic group be eroded.

Quote of the Day: “Just because the Governor says…”

The rhetoric heated up at the Assembly budget hearing yesterday and no doubt it will continue ot get hotter as we head to the June 30 deadline for the state to pass its budget. Assemblywoman Nellie Pou wants people to look past the words of the Governor:

“Gov. Christie wants to tax hospitals, working poor families, businesses and senior citizens while eliminating property tax relief for the middle-class and seniors and slashing school aid, all while digging in his heels to protect the wealthy,” said Assemblywoman Nellie Pou. “Just because the governor says this budget is built on shared sacrifices doesn’t make it so.”

But Christie and people who support him will continue to say that raising taxes is not an option. And for some reason, they’re able to get away with it, not matter how many headlines come out talking about tax increases as a consequence of the actions.

Denver Update: SIX New Co-Sponsors for Marriage Equality in NJ

Let’s hear it for Elease Evans, Nellie Pou, Joan Quigley, Pamela Lampitt, Gordon Johnson, and Sandra Cunningham. As reported earlier by both Scott Weingart, who’s doing a fantastic job liveblogging the convention for us here at Blue Jersey, and Matt Friedman at PolitickerNJ.com, five members of our legislature stood up to be counted as strong supporters of marriage equality this morning during a presentation by Garden State Equality to our delegation in Denver. We’ve just added Elease Evans to the list, based on reports from the delegation.

Though there are still doubters, all indications are now that New Jersey will be the third state after Massachusetts and California to guarantee the right to marry for same-sex couples. This kind of momentum, indicated by this morning’s surprising development, is incredibly hard to overcome. While civil unions have been a progressive step forward for the cause, New Jersey residents seem to agree that basic civil rights should no longer be denied to a significant portion of our population.

This has been a great week for New Jersey’s Democrats. Despite some weird media fixation on whether or not Senator Menendez would be given a speaking role at the Pepsi Center (and everyone knows he’d have delivered the keynote if it were up to me — and perhaps should have, all things considered), we’ve seen our share of groundbreaking scenes at this year’s convention. Our state’s delegation played a big role yesterday, from the morning move to pledge all of our 127 delegates to Barack Obama, to being the last state to have our delegates counted in the roll call before Hillary Clinton’s historic motion to nominate Obama by acclamation. It’s fitting that six new backers for the marriage equality bill would announce their support at a convention where so much history is being written.