The New Jersey State AFL-CIO was honored to be selected by the National AFL-CIO to share best practices at the Northeast Regional Conference on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, regarding the formation of labor/community partnerships and advancement of our shared goals. This recognition is a testament to the hard-work of Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc., Chair, Charles Hall, Jr. and the coalition Board of Trustees, and further proof of how we in New Jersey continue to serve as a model for the country when it comes to building programs to strengthen our collective voice.
As founding partners of the nonpartisan grassroots coalition Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc., the New Jersey State AFL-CIO has developed an extensive network of community partners and progressive allies and has embarked on several high stakes initiatives, including spearheading and unifying the public in an effort to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage via ballot referendum, enacting new early voting laws, fully funding the state’s education formula, achieving comprehensive immigration reform, and conducting statewide voter registration in New Jersey’s diverse communities.
The coalition has achieved several milestone victories since forming in 2011. Through voter registration, we have measurably amplified the voice and impact of New Jersey’s working families, who turned out to vote in massive numbers in both the 2011 and 2012 elections. Through issue advocacy, the coalition worked with our student partners to prevent a steep tuition increase at Rutgers University, achieved voter approval of a $750 million dollar investment in higher education construction projects, and successfully joined small business and community leaders to thwart Walmart’s attempts to build a store in Newark.
We thank the following leaders for their indispensable role in the ongoing success of the coalition: Charles Hall, Jr., Chair, Working Families United for New Jersey, Inc.; Dr. Nuran Nabi, Plainsboro Township Councilman; Ludi Hughes, President, Filipino American Political Action Coalition; and Jack Yoon, Student-Labor coordinator at New Jersey United Students.
We have established a long-term community engagement structure and look forward to building on our success and redefining our potential as a collective progressive movement.