From Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. <[email protected]>
Subject Chairman’s Update: Minimum Wage Raise, Muslim Heritage Month, and More!
Date January 5, 2024 10:39 PM
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As we ring in the new year, I want to extend my heartfelt wishes for a joyous and prosperous year ahead to our entire Democratic community! This year holds extraordinary significance for all of us - as a presidential election year - with the potential to keep moving forward and creating meaningful change by re-electing President Joe Biden. The choices made by the electorate will profoundly affect our nation's direction for years to come. We, as individuals and as a collective force, possess the ability to shape the landscape of our state and nation. With optimism in our hearts and determination in our actions, let’s embrace this opportunity to craft a brighter future for New Jersey and the country at large. Let's channel our energy and passion into the transformative power that resides within each of us. Together, let's embark on the fight we know is ahead, fueled by the belief that our unified efforts will pave the way for a brighter and more inclusive tomorrow.

Happy New Year, and here's to the potential that lies ahead!

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On January 1, New Jersey's minimum wage officially increased to $15.13 an hour, marking a pivotal moment in our state's commitment to economic fairness. This hike, a result of incremental adjustments, signifies a monumental stride toward ensuring a more sustainable livelihood for countless workers. The increase affects about 350,000 of New Jersey’s roughly 1.9 million hourly workers. Many non-hourly employees will also see at least an indirect benefit from the statewide increase.

“Raising the minimum wage has been a top priority of mine since day one,” said Governor Murphy . “There is no doubt that inflation has had an impact on every New Jerseyan. Now that we are close to surpassing the $15 per hour milestone, it’s important that we continue to ensure that everyone working in New Jersey has access to a livable wage.”

Despite their hard work, many individuals in New Jersey still grapple with the daunting reality of making ends meet due to insufficient wages. Access to a livable wage is not merely an economic matter; it's a fundamental human right that can profoundly impact the overall well-being and stability of individuals and families across New Jersey. This progressive step is a testament to the acknowledgment that fair compensation isn't just about financial stability; it's about dignity and respect for the labor and contributions of every individual.

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It’s time for our final new legislator spotlight! This week, we’re excited to introduce Angela McKnight and Barbara McCann-Stamato for District 31. From District 32 we’re welcoming Raj Mukherji, John Allen, and Jessica Ramirez. And last but not least we’re welcoming our new Reps for District 33, Gabe Rodriguez and Julio Marenco!

Welcome to the team!

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January is Muslim Heritage Month, and NJDSC is celebrating with a weekly spotlight on members of our Muslim Caucus that are a shining example of what it looks like to be a community leader and advocate for the rights and protections of our New Jersey Muslim community at large.

This week, we are honoring two outstanding leaders, Sami Shaban and Jabeen Ahmed, whose dedication to advocacy and community leadership sets an inspiring precedent. Sami Shaban, a Senior Legal Counsel at SJK Partners, brings invaluable insight to the NJDSC Muslim Caucus and has notably served on the Somerset County Planning Committee and the Franklin Township Board of Education. Similarly, Jabeen Ahmed, CEO of Sheefa Pharmacy, exemplifies leadership, recently assuming the role of Vice President of the New Jersey State Board of Pharmacy. Their contributions reflect the spirit of advocacy and empowerment that embody the essence of this month's celebration. Their unwavering commitment and dedication are invaluable assets, enriching both our Muslim Caucus and their entire New Jersey communities.

— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.

Additionally, I wanted to share the words of our Muslim Caucus Chairs regarding the unfortunate passing of a fervent community leader, Imam Hassan Sharif:

“The New Jersey Democratic State Committee Muslim Caucus, along with the rest of our state, mourn the passing of Imam Hassan Sharif. Imam Sharif was known throughout the City of Newark for his effort to keep residents safe, no matter their religion. He was a leader and most of all, a human being who exemplified kindness and generosity. As we mourn the loss of Imam Sharif, we find comfort in surah Al-Baqara of the Quran, which says, “[i]ndeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed, to Him we return.” Imam Sharif’s legacy will live on in the lives that he has touched and the differences that he made in his community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and members of his community.”

-Omar Bareentto & Sikandar Khan
Co-Chairs of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee Muslim Caucus
Paid for by the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, 142 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608.
New Jersey Democratic State Committee
142 West State Street
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United States
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