To the Editor:
On November 7, the New Jersey governorship and our whole legislature (40 Senators and 80 General Assembly members) are up for election. New Jersey is one of only two states with gubernatorial elections this year, and the rest of the country will be watching. This year, we ALL have to go to the polls and vote! We have to make sure our voices are heard and that we elect officials — legislators, sheriffs, freeholders, council members, board of education members — who truly represent us.
However, in this age of abundant data, it can be surprisingly difficult to learn who is running for office, and what their positions are on the issues. Do you want to contact your local candidates to ask their positions on issues they have not spoken about publicly? Good luck with that! All the state provides is the candidates’ names and postal addresses.
The Good Government Coalition of New Jersey (ggcnj.org), a new non-partisan grassroots group that grew up in Princeton, recently launched a campaign to correct this problem. GGCNJ created a database designed to provide information on all statewide candidates (and many local candidates) running this year. Candidates are asked to state their views on a list of good government measures and supply personal contact information (email, phone, website, social media) as well as biographical information (occupation, education, previous public service). This information is then posted on the site so voters can make informed decisions.
GGCNJ is calling on all candidates to help by providing their information to the database — every candidate should want informed voters! (Email email@example.com to get an electronic survey form.) We also encourage all citizens to make use of this database before they cast their ballots.
GGCNJ’s broader mission is to strengthen democracy in New Jersey by working with residents across our state to bring greater transparency, accountability, and participation to our state and local governments. The Coalition has identified several areas in which the current political system in New Jersey is broken. Too much power is concentrated in too few hands. This leads to a system that is dominated by those with money and power who shape decisions in backroom deals, leaving the public shut out of the process. GGCNJ aims to ensure that government, at both the state and local levels, works on behalf of all of us. To find out more and to join us, please go to ggcnj.org.
Yael Niv, Nathaniel Daw
Julia Sass Rubin, Gregory Stankiewicz
Mt Lucas Road