Coalition Member, 

NJDSC launched our Coalitions program in March of this year and we are already so proud of what we have been able to accomplish because of the dedication the Democratic community in New Jersey has given back to us. As we continue to grow, we want to make sure to keep our coalition members up-to-date on what we have been working on, introduce new leadership within the caucuses, and keep members informed on any events coming up.

Voter Education Program 

Our voter education program helps provide information to voters on civic engagement. NJDSC helps to educate voters on how to find their polling location, understand what’s on the ballot,  and make a plan to vote in person or by mail. So far this year, we have:

  1. Hosted 5 Community Outreach events 
  2. Held 2 voter registration drives, hosted by the High School Democrats
  3. Attended 3 community events where NJDSC hosted a voter education drive
  4. Registered 80 new voters 
  5. Assisted 42 voters in applying to Vote By Mail 

Do you want to host a vote education table at your community event? Contact our Youth Coordinator Keely Magee keely@njdems.org.

Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Caucus

Chair: Ludi Hughes is the CEO and Founder of Hughes International Consulting, LLC and experienced in sales, marketing, fundraising, and community organizing.

The AANHPI Caucus launched, held their first meeting, and hosted their first event this May.   The first meeting introduced members to the Vice-Chairs of the caucus and the event was held in order to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month and the kickoff of the caucus (pictured above!). They have also partnered with the Black, Latino, South Asian American caucuses to host a Meet and Greet this Thursday, July 28th – more details below! The AANHPI Caucus is currently partnering up with Asian Youth Council to increase civic engagement among young activists! Contact aanhpi@njdems.org for more information.

Black Caucus

Chair: T. Missy Balmir

Vice-Chair (New Leadership): Eash Haughton specializes in campaign management, strategic communications, issue advocacy and public policy. He is a Senior Associate at Kivvit. Eash received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Cum Laude with a minor in African – American Studies from The College of New Jersey and his Masters of Public Policy with a concentration in Political Processes and Institutions from Rutgers University.

In June the Black Caucus hosted a virtual general body meeting (pictured above) with special guests; Chairman LeRoy Jones, Congressman Donald Payne Jr., and Assemblyman Benji Wimberly. They have also partnered with the AANHPI, Latino, South Asian American caucuses to host a Meet and Greet this Thursday, July 28th – more details below! 

Emerging Leaders Caucus

Chair: Fatima Heyward

In May, the NJ High School Democrats, NJ Young Democrats, and the NJDSC Emerging Leaders Caucus hosted a Young Dem Summit! Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and Congressman Frank Pallone were in attendance for impactful civic workshops and on-site voter registration.

Latino Caucus

Chair: Arlene Quinoñes-Perez

Co Vice-Chair: Cristina Pinzon

Co Vice-Chair: Maria Del Cid

The Latino Caucus has partnered with the AANHPI, Black, and South Asian American caucuses to host a Meet and Greet this Thursday, July 28th – more details below! 

LGBTQ+ Caucus

Chair: Lauren Albrecht

Vice-Chair: Joe Forte

With June being Pride Month, it was a busy time for our LGBTQ+ Caucus who hosted and assisted with several events across New Jersey. These events included our LGBTQ+ Caucus and the Monmouth County Democrats LGBTQ+ Caucus annual Pride Brunch before the Jersey Pride parade in Asbury Park, and a partnership with the Union County Democratic Committee for a Pride Celebration (pictured above) that featured: NJDSC Chairman LeRoy Jones, UCDC Vice-Chair Assemblywoman Linda Carter, Union County Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams, and NJDSC LGBTQ+ Caucus Chair Lauren Albrecht. The LGBTQ+ Hudson Mixer is also coming up on August 4th. Further event details can be found below – please reach out to Chair Lauren Albrecht or Vice-Chair Joe Forte if you would like to collaborate lgbtqcaucus@njdems.org!

Muslim Caucus

Chair: Sikandar Khan 

Our Muslim Caucus joined with the AANHPI and South Asian American Caucuses in order to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month in May, where it was an honor to celebrate some of the rich cultures that make up our New Jersey community.

Progressive Caucus

Co-Chair: Doris Lin

Co-Chair: Michael Hobbs

Our Progressive Caucus, which works to advance progressive policies and progressive Democratic candidates, have held discussion panels in March and April on “Redistricting and Fair Maps” and “The Progress of Legalized Cannabis”. 

South Asian American Caucus

Co-Chair: Toral Patel  

Co-Chair (New Leadership): Nidi Makhija is a business technology leader turned entrepreneur with 20+ years of digital transformation experience. She lives in Somerset County, with her husband of 26 years, where they have raised two beautiful daughters. She is an elected district representative and also serves on the Board of Trustees of Raritan Valley Community College of NJ. She ran a robust campaign for the Mayoral office of  Bridgewater in 2015. She is a Charter Member of the New Jersey chapter of TIE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) and has successfully served on several boards namely Emerge America, Westrick Music Academy and the Indian Association of Greater Somerset County. In 2019, Nidhi received the county’s prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt Service Award, presented to her by NJs first Lady Tammy Murphy. The Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Service Award honors Somerset County women who volunteer their time to promote and enhance Democratic principles in the community. She is an alumna of Columbia University for Digital Business Leadership and has a Bachelor of Engineering and Master of Financial Management from Mumbai Univ, India.

At the July Steering Committee meeting of the South Asian American Caucus, Nidhi Makhijia, a 17-year New Jersey resident, was voted to take on the role as co-chair of the Caucus. She has served as an executive member of SAAC since 2019 and will join Toral Patel, who was elected as co-chair in 2019. The SAAC co-hosted the celebration of AAPI Heritage Month with the AANHPI and Muslim Caucuses in May (pictured above) and are co-hosting a Meet and Greet with the AANHPI, Black, and Latino, caucuses this Thursday, July 28th, as well as hosting a meet and greet with Congressman Tom Malinowski in August– info on both events below!

Veterans Caucus

Chair (New Leadership): Debbie Hamilton-Clax served in the Navy from 1988-1993 as a Cryptologic Technician in the Electronic  Warfare field. Debbie has a AAS in Computer Information Security, and is currently majoring in Planning and Public Policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Debbie volunteers at the Domestic Abuse Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County and will soon be sworn in as the  Service Officer and Benefits Protection Officer for the Warren  County DAV Chapter 48. 

Vice-Chair (New Leadership): Julio Aponte III served in the United States Navy as an Electrician’s Mate First Class (Surface Warfare/Air Warfare). Julio became District Leader (4th ward) for the City of East Orange  Democratic Committee, 4th Ward Vice-Chair, Essex County Democrats Sgt-At-Arms, Essex County Veteran Advisory Board, and East Orange Veterans Advisory Board. Currently, Julio works for the City of East Orange at the Water Commission as the Acting Supervisor for Maintenance at the Water Treatment Plant in Short Hills, NJ.

Vice-Chair (New Leadership): Paul Marder is a Naval Aviation veteran, and executed strategic communications as member of Operation Warp Speed (Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force). He is the Senior Financial Analyst for Johnston & Johnston.

Vice-Chair (New Leadership): Dan Staples served in the Marine Corps. He is a mathematics teacher in Manchester Township, and the President at the Manchester Township Education Association. Dan also is a part of the NJEA Patriots Alliance which is a community within the association to discuss ways to help your schools, your community, and each other succeed.

Our Veterans Caucus was reintroduced in April 2022 and Caucus Chair Debbie Hamilton-Clax has already been busy making calls for the NJDSC Pro Choice phone bank! The Veterans Caucus is also hosting their kickoff event today, July 27th with guest speakers: Chairman LeRoy Jones and Secretary/Commissioner of Registration for Warren County and a Vietnam veteran, Robert Stead – more info below!

Women’s Caucus

Chair (New Leadership): A’Dorian Murray-Thomas is also the Founder and CEO of SHE Wins Inc., a leadership and social action organization for middle and high school girls in Newark. At only 23 years old, A’Dorian was recognized as a President Obama White House Champion of Change, a Glamour Magazine “College Woman of the Year,” a Youth Service America “Everyday Young Hero,” ESSENCE Magazine, one of The Root Magazine’s «25 Young Futurists,» and a recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Award for her work in education and youth development.

Southern Regional Vice-Chair (New Leadership): Commissioner Caren Fitzpatrick is the Director of Finance & Administration at Meet AC, the organization that is charged with bringing meetings and conventions to Atlantic City. Caren has spent more than 20 years in both for profit and nonprofit organizations, giving her deep and varied experiences in budgeting, forecasting and fiscal responsibility. Caren proudly serves as Atlantic County Commissioner at Large.

Our Women’s Caucus was just reintroduced this past month and eager to get started working with the Democratic Women of New Jersey. Be sure to follow the Women’s Caucus on social media to stay informed and up-to-date on happenings:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

You can also contact women@njdems.org to learn more and get involved!

Upcoming Events:

NJDSC Veterans Caucus Kickoff Event

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

TIME: 6:30 P.M.- 8:30 P.M.

PLACE: The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille, 

211 Main Street, North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Join the NJDSC Veterans Caucus for their kickoff event with special guest Secretary/Commissioner of Registration for Warren County and a Vietnam veteran, Robert Stead.

Meet & Greet Hosted by AANHPI, Black, Latino, and South Asian American Caucuses

Thursday, July 28, 2022

TIME: 5:30 P.M.- 8:30 P.M.

PLACE: 618 Restaurant, 

618 Park Ave, Freehold, NJ 07728

Join the NJDSC for a Meet & Greet hosted by the AANHPI, Black, Latino, and South Asian American caucuses! There will be refreshments served and a cash bar.

LGBTQ+ Caucus Hudson County Mixer

Thursday, August 4, 2022

TIME: 6:30 P.M.- 8:30 P.M.

PLACE: Six26 Lounge and Rooftop, 

128 Christopher Columbus Dr, Jersey City, NJ 07302

​​Come enjoy a summer evening meeting and mingling with LGBTQ+ Dems! There is no admission fee and light refreshments will be provided.


South Asian American Caucus Meet & Greet with Congressman Tom Malinowski

Thursday, August 18, 2022

TIME: 6:00 P.M.- 8:00 P.M.

PLACE: Address will be sent upon RSVP

Come join NJDSC South Asian American Caucus for an evening full of lively conversation and refreshments with Congressman Tom Malinowski. RSVP for a specific address – this is an outdoor event!



NJ LGBTQ Democrats 2022 Awards Gala

Friday, September 9, 2022

TIME: 7:00 P.M.- 11:00 P.M.

PLACE: Jumping Brook Country Club

210 Jumping Brook Rd., Neptune, NJ 07753


Join our LGBTQ+ Caucus in paying homage to some incredible honorees, being entertained by some of our best performers, and raising money to support LGBTQ+ candidates! 

We are excited to keep the momentum going through the rest of the year and look forward to seeing members at one of our upcoming events. If you have not signed up for a specific Caucus yet, you can do so HERE, in order to get involved. 

-NJDSC Coalitions