Tag Archive: Annette Quijano

Who Gets the Gavel?

6a00d83451b91969e20120a9635b11970b-320wiWill the Democrats choose diversity?

Leadership battles reveal a lot about a party. And now that Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein is headed to the NJ Senate, there’s a battle brewing over who will take over Greenstein’s gavel as chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

According to PolitickerNJ, three members of the democratic caucus have put their name forward, including anti-choice Assemblyman Peter Barnes.

For obvious reasons, I’d rather the gavel go to Annette Quijano (the current co-chair) or Reed Gusciora (a more tenured committee member) because both are so clearly superior to Barnes on progressive issues like gay rights and choice.

Again, a lot is revealed about the nature and direction of a party based on leadership choices like these. Stay tuned….

Women’s Equality Day, Trenton Celebration with Annette Quijano, Shirley Turner

The newest member of the Assembly, Annette Quijano, spoke today at a Trenton press conference marking Women’s Equality Day, the 88th anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.  The press conference was called by Women Advocating for Good Government, WAGG-NJ, a task force of the NJ Women’s Political Caucus, whose mission is:

to increase the number of women in the legislature and other levels of government, to educate women in the political process, and to empower women to take leadership positions in the state, county, and local political organizations.

Assemblywoman-Select Quijano discussed her recent appointment and how pleased she was to have the support of women throughout the state.  She talked about having a clear understanding of issues facing women and families, having been raised by a single mother.

Senator Shirley Turner reminded the audience that the year she was elected to the NJ Senate, there were only 2 women, so with her election and that of Sen. Diane Allen’s the same year, they doubled the number of women in the Senate.  Today there are 9.

Former Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck, Chair, WAGG-NJ said:

We have gone through a number of years which have tarnished the reputation of our state. Now, with women entering the chambers in greater numbers than at any time in history, we look forward to responsive representation in a bi-partisan spirit by women who have the best interests of their constituents at heart.

Founding Chair and former NOW NJ President Myra Terry noted that the number of women in the NJ legislature is now at a historic high of 35 out of 120, bringing New Jersey’s ranking among all 50 states from 15th to 14th for the percentage of women in a state legislature.

Zulima Farber, President of LUPE (Latinas United for Political Empowerment) and former NJ Attorney General, also discussed the close vote in the county committee meeting and praised State Democratic Party Chair Joe Cryan continued efforts to increase the number of women in office.

Former Assemblywoman Joan Wright, WAGG’s executive director, announced the a new WAGG initiative to sponsor Town Hall Meetings in the southern, central, and northern parts of the state featuring panels of women legislators and highlighting their work.  The first of the series will be held at the

Alice Paul Institute, Mount Laurel, NJ, on Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 6 to 9 p.m.

Will a Woman Replace Cohen in LD20?

PolitckerNJ is reporting that the Dem county committee meeting to choose a replacement for former Assemblyman Neil Cohen will be held next Tuesday and that the group LUPE, Latinas United for Political Empowerment, chaired by former Attorney General Zulima Farber, endorsed Corzine’s Assistant Counsel Annette Quijano for the position

“We are pleased to endorse a Latina who is so well qualified to represent the 20th Legislative District.  Her vast experience in public service, including in the Office of Governor?s Counsel, makes her eminently qualified to serve in the Legislature,” said LUPE Board Chair, Zulima Farber.

LUPE also noted that early in her career Quijano “was the first Latina Chief of Staff for State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak (D-20).”

The Spanish language newswire Terra is also reporting “el colombiano Jorge Castro y el cubano Ángel Estrada, director del cuerpo de Freeholder en la ciudad de Union” among the contenders. The Star Ledger also mentioned Freeholder Director Estrada as a possible candidate. The Star Ledger reported last month,

Lesniak said the open assembly seat ‘absolutely’ will go to a minority.  “Hispanics and African-Americans make up a majority of the district,” Lesniak said. “Now that there’s an opening, it’s only right that it be filled by a minority.”

This is a great opportunity for State Dem Party Chair and 20th district Assemblyman Cryan to make good on his promise to increase the number of women in elected office.  Women also make up over 50% of the district (52% of Union County overall).

Among the other women mentioned in the Star Ledger article were Roselle Councilwoman Cecelia Dallis-Ricks and Elizabeth Councilwoman at Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste.

Last year, three women were appointed to the legislature in the wake of three resignations, which (along with their November election victories) brought the overall number of women to 34, or 28%.  According to the Center for American Women and Politics New Jersey now ranks 15th for the percentage of women in the legislature, tied with Connecticut.  It’s unlikely we would have moved up as much without those appointments, and now we have a chance to move up again and at the same time have representation for the 20th district that reflects its diversity.