The Democratic Party stands for inclusivity and diversity, for dismantling all forms of hate and bigotry, and for embracing all of the different cultures and religions that make up our society. We categorically condemn extremism and bigotry in any form and strive towards a world where our differences become our strengths. 

Valuing diversity and dismantling extremism means taking a thoughtful, measured approach to controversies and issues that are beyond our understanding and are beyond the scope of our personal, cultural, and lived experiences. To respect our differences, we should pause, reflect, and be guided by those voices in our community directly touched by these issues. While passion can drive us in positive ways, yielding to passions without applying reason also leads to divisiveness and mistrust. 

A foundational goal of the Democratic Party is to bring people together, not to divide them, and the anti-Hindu Teaneck Democratic Committee resolution does not accomplish this important goal.  We stand with those who value inclusivity and diversity, and against hate and bigotry in any form.  

For Immediate Release: 9/26/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

Chairman Jones Statement on Death of Former Governor Jim Florio

Jones: Florio was a ‘Consummate Public Servant’ who will always be remembered 

TRENTON, NJ –  New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., is releasing the following statement on the death of former Governor Jim Florio and the positive impact he had on New Jersey: 

“Governor Jim Florio was a consummate public servant who rose from humble, working class beginnings to devote his life to making the State of New Jersey a better place to live, work and raise a family. As a member of Congress representing South Jersey, he wrote landmark environmental legislation that is still helping us clean up industrial sites and create a greener future. As Governor Jim Florio had the courage of his convictions to pursue a progressive agenda even in the face of major opposition and backlash. While he did not win a second term, his initiatives on school funding and gun safety helped shape the state we love today and his impact will always be remembered. 

On behalf of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, I want to extend my condolences to Governor Florio’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time, and commit to always remembering the positive impact he had on our state.” 

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For Immediate Release: 9/22/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

NJDSC Announces 2022 Democratic State Convention October 6-9

In-person and virtual events scheduled all weekend throughout New Jersey

TRENTON, NJ –  The New Jersey Democratic State Committee will hold its 2022 Convention starting Thursday, October 6th and continuing until Sunday, October 9th. This year’s theme is Road Trip: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going, and the Convention will focus on connecting Democratic voters in multiple communities across the state while celebrating New Jersey’s unique history and charting a course to a more progressive future.

The four day convention features in-person and virtual meet-and-greets with Democratic leadership, training sessions on Campaigning 101, Political Communications, and Field Strategy, and the opportunity to join other Democrats at brunch, lunch, or breakfast celebrations across the state. New Jersey Democratic Leaders such as Governor Phil Murphy, Chairman LeRoy Jones, State Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz, and Congressman Bill Pascrell will be in attendance at events throughout the weekend, and additional speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. 

“With the midterm election rapidly approaching there couldn’t be a better time for Democrats in New Jersey to gather together and reaffirm our commitment to fighting for our rights and celebrating the diversity of our party and our state,” said NJDSC Chairman Jones. “Here in New Jersey, Democrats have been working together to make our state a safer, affordable, and more equitable place to live, work, and raise a family. We are up against an extreme Republican Party that is bent on taking away our rights, from their assault on women’s reproductive rights to their attacks on voting rights and on the sanctity of our democracy itself. We look forward to hearing from fellow New Jersey Democrats about how we can come together and continue building momentum, driving progress and standing firmly against the radical Republican extremists who are threatening our human rights and freedoms.” 

This year’s NJDSC Convention will also be the first time in-person convention events have been held since 2019. Mindful of reducing the spread of COVID-19, the convention is being reimagined to give Democrats an opportunity to meet both in person, and virtually, in different locations throughout the state. Event sizes will be limited.

Passes for the convention are $22 and include access to every virtual and in-person event that entire weekend. After purchase, attendees MUST RSVP for EVERY event you wish to attend on their respective Mobilize page due to limited capacity for COVID safety. Events will reach capacity so attendees are asked to purchase their tickets early!  Tickets are not available at the door.

Tickets and the full convention schedule are available at: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/njdscroadtrip

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact: leslye@njdems.org

For Immediate Release: 9/14/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

New Jersey Receives Third Credit Rating Upgrade In A Year

NJDSC Chairman Jones praises Gov. Murphy and NJ Dems for fiscal responsibility

TRENTON, NJ – For the third time in the last year, New Jersey has received an upgrade from a major credit rating agency thanks to the strong financial leadership of Governor Phil Murphy and legislative Democrats. The decision by Fitch Ratings to upgrade New Jersey’s credit rating on general obligation bonds from “A-” to “A”, as well as to maintain the state’s credit rating outlook as positive, marks the first time Fitch has upgraded New Jersey since it started rating the State in 1992. 

Fitch noted that “the strong fiscal momentum of recent years and consistent policy actions [in New Jersey] to confront its long-term fiscal and liability challenges reflect a notable improvement in budget management.” The ratings agency also projected that steps taken by New Jersey are “likely to yield further gains going forward” — a testament to the leadership of Governor Murphy and Democrats in the state legislature who have fought for long-term financially prudent decision making. 

“This dramatic improvement in New Jersey’s financial health is happening because Governor Murphy and our Democratic legislators have committed themselves to responsible budgeting and to making our state more affordable, equitable and prosperous for everyone,” said NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. “In stark contrast to the Christie administration when our state suffered through 11 credit rating downgrades, Democrats have proven their commitment to fiscal responsibility by making full pension payments two years in a row, while still investing in essential services like education and public safety, as well as delivering property tax relief to nearly two million residents thanks to the new ANCHOR program. This is all happening amid an economic recovery from COVID-19 and global economic issues that affect us all. This credit rating upgrade proves that New Jersey is headed in the right direction. Democrats will continue to stay focused on growing our economy, creating good-paying jobs, and making sure there are more opportunities for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”

The entirety of the Fitch report can be found here.

In regards to Senator Ron Rice’s retirement, NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. is releasing the following statement:

“Today Senator Ron Rice, one of the greatest champions for social justice we have ever had in the New Jersey State Legislature, retires after nearly four decades of public service. Senator Rice is the longest-serving Black legislator in state history and has been a tireless advocate for not only his constituents in Essex County but the entire state of New Jersey.

Senator Rice began his service career as a Marine in Vietnam and then as a police detective in his home city of Newark. In 1981, Rice won a seat on the Newark City Council where he was re-elected three times, spending sixteen years as a council member. He ran and won his seat in the State Senate in 1986 and went on to be re-elected eleven times. He also served as Deputy Mayor in Newark from 2002-2006. 

Senator Ron Rice is a social justice and civil rights icon that New Jersey has been deeply fortunate to have leading us into a brighter and more equitable future. There are not many who come along with the level of commitment to public service that Ron Rice exemplified throughout his entire life. He invigorated everyone he met and worked with and never lost sight of fighting for those who often get left behind, disenfranchised, or ignored. He was a passionate champion for civil rights and racial equality – never backing down from a fight and always ready and willing to go to bat for the people and issues he cared about most. Sometimes, that meant that he ruffled a few feathers or made people mad, but that never stopped him from fighting for what he believed was right. His effect on our communities will be felt long after this departure and I have no doubts that we will continue to see the fruits of his labor for another four decades to come.

On a personal note, I will miss getting to work with Senator Rice on a regular basis but am glad to see that he will now be able to focus on his health and his family after a lifetime of service. I am also comforted knowing that so many in our legislature will continue Senator Rice’s mission of ‘etching compassion and equality into our society, one issue, and sometimes one person, at a time.‘”

For Immediate Release: 7/20/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

Rep. Chris Smith Joins Majority of House Republicans in Voting NO on Marriage Equality

GOP Bigotry, Extremism on Display as Smith Opposes Cherished Human Right

TRENTON, NJ – While every Democrat in the House of Representatives voted yesterday to codify the right to marriage equality into law, 157 House Republicans instead chose to support bigotry and homophobia by opposing this fundamental human right — and New Jersey Republican Congressman Chris Smith was one of them. The vote was taken in the wake of Republican appointees to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and telegraphing that they would do the same to other fundamental rights like same sex marriage and contraception. 

“It is disappointing that in the year 2022 anyone in elected office would oppose the fundamental right for people to love and marry who they want, but the fact that this kind of bigotry and extremism comes from right here in New Jersey is appalling,” said NJDSC Chairman LeRoy Jones. “The government has no business telling people who they can marry, just like it should not be forcing women to give birth. I hope to see the U.S. Senate pass this bill immediately and send it to President Biden’s desk so we can protect the right to marriage equality. Congressman Smith’s betrayal of basic human rights will not be forgotten and this vote will be a permanent stain on his record.” 

For Immediate Release: 7/1/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

Chairman Jones Thanks Gov. Murphy, Dem Legislators for Passing Historic Budget

Chairman Praises Governor, Legislative Democrats for Investing in NJ

TRENTON, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy signed the new FY2022-23 state budget into law yesterday after it was passed by Democrats in the state legislature with minimal Republican support. The budget provides an unprecedented level of property tax relief for homeowners and renters, makes historic investments in public school funding and new programs designed to make the state more affordable like the child tax credit and back to school sales tax holiday, makes the full state pension contribution, sets aside the largest surplus in state history and much more. 

NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., is releasing the following statement:

“New Jersey residents are demanding help from our state government to deal with both rising costs due to inflation and structural inequities that have existed for too long, and this year’s state budget passed by legislative Democrats and signed into law by Governor Murphy makes real progress on both of those fronts. Once again, Democrats have answered the call to take significant action to make New Jersey a stronger, fairer, more affordable and more equitable state, while Republicans prove that they are incapable of providing any real solutions. 

This budget will provide the most significant property tax relief program in state history, helping both homeowners and renters stay in their homes. It will create a landmark child tax credit program based on the successful federal model that will help parents make ends meet. It will invest in our public schools with both operating and capital funding that will allow districts to keep property taxes under control while modernizing facilities. It will keep our promise to state employees to once again make the full pension payment, while also setting aside a record surplus to help weather any future economic downturn. All in all, this state budget meets the moment and addresses many of the urgent needs our residents are facing. It also comes at a time when the legislature has also just passed incredibly important bills to protect abortion rights and keep our communities safe from guns, showing real progress on these major issues. 

I would like to thank Governor Murphy, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo, Assembly Budget Chairwoman Eliana Pintor-Marin and all members of our Democratic caucus for supporting this budget. There is always more work to be done in pursuit of economic, racial and social justice, but this budget makes critical progress for the people of New Jersey.”

For Immediate Release: 6/30/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

NJ Republicans Vote NO on $2.5 Billion in Property Tax Relief 

Chairman Jones: GOP is All Talk, No Action on Affordability 

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Republicans are once again proving that they are completely out of touch with the needs of the state’s middle class families, voting against a record $2.5 billion in property tax relief in the FY2022-23 state budget. Nearly every single Republican member of the state legislature voted NO on the budget, which establishes the landmark ANCHOR property tax relief program that will provide thousands of dollars to New Jersey homeowners and renters to make the state more affordable. 

“Republicans like to talk a big game about affordability, but when forced to actually do something about it, they voted no on $2.5 billion in tax relief for the middle class and working families,” said NJDSC Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. “People in our state and around the country are struggling with inflation and higher costs, but New Jersey Republicans just turned their backs on them — putting their own political games first and the middle class last. Governor Murphy and legislative Democrats are proving once again that only the Democratic Party can be counted on to deliver real solutions to the problems people are facing, and the Republicans have shown that when it’s time to step up they would rather play politics than get things done.” 

Under the budget passed by the legislature and expected to be signed into law soon by Governor Murphy, the ANCHOR tax relief program will provide more than 870,000 homeowners with a household income of under $150,000 with a $1,500 property tax credit on their property tax bill each year; more than 290,000 homeowners with a household income between $150,000 and $250,000 with a $1,000 property tax credit on their property tax bill each year; and more than 900,000 renters with incomes up to $150,000 with $450 each year to help offset the rent increases caused by increasing property taxes.

“Republicans are about complaining, not about action,” Chairman Jones said. “New Jersey Democrats are all about delivering the results that the middle class and working families deserve.” 

For Immediate Release: 6/24/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, 201-978-8651

Chairman Jones, Vice Chair Schaffer Respond to Outrageous SCOTUS Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade

Jones & Schaffer: This Assault on Women’s Rights Cannot Be Allowed to Stand 

TRENTON, NJ — New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., and Vice Chair Peg Schaffer are releasing the following joint statement denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, eliminating abortion rights in much of the country and endangering countless women’s lives. 

“This decision is an unprecedented assault on women and their right to control their own bodies and make decisions about their own health care, and it once again proves Republicans’ utter contempt for women in this country. The Republican Party and its agents on the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act, weakened gun safety laws that are proven to keep communities safe, and have now destroyed 50 years of legal precedent in overturning Roe — all in the service of forcing their extreme conservative agenda on an American public that absolutely does not support it. 

At this tenuous moment in our nation’s history, it’s impossible not to question the Supreme Court’s legitimacy and its ability to serve its constitutional function. Minority rule cannot continue to be imposed on an American society that wants to move forward into a better future, not be pulled backwards by a radical court that is completely out of touch with the will of the people.  

Let’s be clear – this is not just about Roe. This is about Republicans seeking to create a Christian theocracy at all levels of government and upending our democracy. Justice Thomas proved that in his concurring opinion, where he disgustingly signaled that rulings protecting same-sex relationships, same-sex marriage, and the right to contraception should be next on the Court’s chopping block. 

While we can be thankful that the right to an abortion was codified into New Jersey state law last year by Governor Murphy and the Demcratic-majority state legislature, millions of women across the country will now face a far different reality. We must collectively rise up against this tide of radical conservatism and vote to defeat every single enabler of this destructive agenda. ” 

For Immediate Release: 6/23/22

Contact: Phil Swibinski, (201) 978-8651

Governor Murphy, Chairman Jones Make Their Case to DNC Rules Committee to Make NJ an Early Primary State 

NJDSC Delegation: ‘If You Can Run Here, You Can Run Anywhere’ 

WASHINGTON, DC – Led by Governor Phil Murphy and Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr., the New Jersey Democratic State Committee made its pitch today for the state to become one of the first in the nation to choose the next Democratic nominee for President. The NJDSC delegation, which also included Executive Director Saily Avelenda, Legal Counsel Raj Parikh, Democratic strategist Laura Matos and Deputy Executive Director Leslye Moya, traveled to Washington DC to present in front of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee along with other states being considered for the honor. 

“The theme of our presentation today was simple, and it shows why we believe New Jersey would make such an competitive proving ground for our party’s presidential candidates: if you can run here, you can run anywhere,” said Chairman Jones. “I would like to thank the members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee for their hospitality and openness to hearing our case, and we look forward to continuing to share why New Jersey is so uniquely positioned to take on this critical mantle.”  

The presentation touched upon New Jersey’s many unique attributes, including its unparalleled racial, geographic and economic diversity, the state’s compact size allowing for efficient retail campaigning, its strong union membership, the fact that New Jersey has been a national leader in expanding voting rights and access, and other factors that make it an excellent choice to become an early presidential primary state.