Newark teaches America a lesson on lead pipes – and hiring local | Editorial

Posted May 02, 2021

President Joe Biden has called to replace 100 percent of the country’s lead pipes as part of his American Jobs Plan, to prevent the toxic chemical from flaking off into our drinking water. Cities should take a page from Newark, which treated this like the health emergency it is, and got the job done way ahead of time.

Not only did Newark replace nearly all of its 18,500 lead pipes quickly – raising the money through a bond to speed things up and make it free for homeowners – it involved local people in the effort. The city created an apprentice program that trained 50 Newark residents, 32 of whom are still on the job, and provided help to local businesses so they could bid for pieces of the project.

“We’re fixing a problem in our community, so it only makes sense that there should be an opportunity for our people, especially during COVID, to benefit,” Mayor Ras Baraka said.

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Trump Dominated GOP Primary Gives Murphy the Race He Wants and Needs

By Bob Hennelly | May 2, 2021

Insider NJ

Singh

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Months after thousands of Trump supporters chanting stop the steal violently attacked the U.S. Capitol in a bid to disrupt the certification of the 2020 election, his MAGA movement has turned New Jersey’s June primary into a referendum on former President Trump.

No doubt, this is a great relief to Governor Phil Murphy, the Democratic incumbent who’s well aware that if he prevails in November, he will be the first member of his party to win re-election since Gov. Brendan Byrne did so 43 years ago.

If the November general election were to focus just on the tragic here and now of New Jersey– 25,000 residents dead including several thousand senior citizens in nursing homes— close to 900,000 people infected—and a third of our small businesses shuttered, Murphy might have something to worry about.

But if an internal poll provided to the right-wing news site Daily Caller is right, Hirsh Singh, an engineer and a perennial ultra-right  MAGA candidate has pulled even or better against Jack Ciattarelli, the former Somerset County Freeholder and Assemblyman, who’s been embraced by the Republican establishment.

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New driver’s license for undocumented immigrants takes effect Saturday. Here are all the details.

Posted Apr 30, 2021

Lives will change for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants Saturday, when the state Motor Vehicle Commission will begin accepting applications for driver’s licenses from people without federal immigration status.

After years of political fights and months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey will become the 14th state allowing the state’s 450,000 undocumented residents to obtain standard driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards.

Nearly 750,000 people will be affected by the law, which passed in December 2019 and will also benefit certain senior citizens, formerly incarcerated residents, transgender people whose documents may not match their given gender identity, domestic violence survivors who are unable to retrieve legal documents, homeless people, veterans and low-income residents who cannot afford to recover legal papers.

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Hudson County official 'open minded' about getting out of ICE contract

04/28/2021

Polirico

The chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners says he is looking to see if the county can stop housing federal immigration detainees, possibly “by the end of the year.” 

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The chair of the Hudson County Board of Commissioners says he is looking to see if the county can stop housing federal immigration detainees, possibly “by the end of the year.”

“I'm open minded to get out of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] contracts,” Anthony Vainieri Jr. told POLITICO on Wednesday night.

The commissioner had been an ardent supporter of renewing a 10-year contract with ICE, which would allow the county to hold detainees. The board of commissioners voted to continue the contract late last December amid fierce criticism from progressives and immigration advocates. The commissioners pledged in 2018 to phase out ICE detentions.

Vainieri said "nothing is concrete” and many details remain to be determined. Essex County’s announcement that it would no longer house ICE detainees, announced earlier on Wednesday, made him consider leaving the contract.

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Newark police change rules to allow Muslim officers to wear hijabs on duty

Posted Apr 29, 2021

Female Muslim police officers will no longer be barred from wearing a hijab as part of their uniform, Newark officials announced Thursday.

“To be able to recognize people’s religion, how they practice it, and allow them to do that safely and appropriately on their work site, speaks volumes to where we’re going as a department,” Mayor Ras Baraka told reporters at a press conference announcing the policy change.

A hijab or headscarf is a traditional head covering worn by Muslim women as a sign of modesty.

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Biden wants universal preschool. NJ will be a test on how to get it done

JOHN MOONEY, EDUCATION WRITER | APRIL 30, 2021

NJ Spotlight News

April 28, 2021: President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

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For all of New Jersey’s gains in building a nationally recognized preschool program over the past two decades, the reality is it is still serving only about a third of eligible children, if that.

Now President Joe Biden has expanded the possibilities, in announcing in his address to Congress this week his American Families Plan, which would invest an additional $200 billion in federal funds to bring universal preschool to every state.

Early childhood advocates in New Jersey welcomed the announcement, saying the funds and focus could make a significant difference. One recent estimate from the National Institute for Early Education Research said a truly universal program for all 3- and 4-year olds would cost an additional $1.7 billion.

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Singh’s Choice Threatens the Viability of the Republican Party

By Fred Snowflack | April 29, 2021

Insider NJ

 

Hirsh Singh in a column appearing Wednesday refers to a civil war within the Republican Party around the June 8 primary where Singh is challenging Jack Ciattarelli.

Broadly speaking, this is something we’ve seen before in GOP gubernatorial primaries – an establishment figure being challenged from the right.

And as Singh mentioned, this does give voters a “clear choice.”

But it’s a choice that can threaten the continued viability of the Republican Party in New Jersey.

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Biden embraces his inner Robin Hood

President Joe Biden wants to soak the rich to give to the middle class and poor. And he ain't afraid to say so.

In his first address before a joint session of Congress, the president embraced a tax-and-spend mantra to frame his next big legislative fight, walking right up to a third rail that has terrified Democrats for decades and forced his predecessors to triangulate and retreat to safer middle ground.

“I’m not out to punish anyone. But I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country,” Biden said Wednesday, urging billionaires and millionaires to “pay their fair share.” “When you hear someone say that they don’t want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent and on corporate America, ask them: Whose taxes are you going to raise instead, and whose are you going to cut?”

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Essex is ending controversial contract with ICE to hold immigration detainees in county jail

Essex County officials said Wednesday they will terminate a contract to house detainees for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the county jail, ending a long-standing arrangement that has led to mounting protests in recent years.

The move comes just days after Essex entered into an agreement to house Union County inmates at the Essex County Correctional Facility.

“We have had a very solid working relationship with ICE during the last 13 years. It has always been in the best interest of the detainees to remain close to their family, friends, attorneys and community organizations helping them in a facility that was safe and secure,” said Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo in a statement. But he said there was not enough space at the facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark to house both the ICE detainees and the additional inmates from Union.

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Booker makes final pitch for expanded child tax credit in Biden’s latest spending proposal

Posted Apr 27, 2021

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker left a White House meeting earlier this month with a promise from President Joe Biden to make permanent two poverty-fighting tax credits included in the original $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus law.

Booker joined other congressional Democrats Tuesday in pushing Biden to fulfill his commitment.

“Our levels of child poverty are a moral obscenity,” Booker said on a Zoom press conference. “This is a transformative change. Tragically, we have not yet made it permanent. We must seize this moment.”

“This will be one of the most significant things any Congress has done in the history of the United States.”

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