From Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. <[email protected]>
Subject Chairman’s Update: Protecting LGBTQ+ Youth, Further Debt Cancelation, and More!
Date February 23, 2024 7:54 PM
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͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌The New Jersey Democratic Party is made up of political leaders that drive progressive change across the Garden State. If you’d like to unsubscribe, click here. [[link removed]]

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Happy Friday! I wanted to kick things off with an incredible article that just came out, spotlighting Lieutenant Governor Tahesha Way. Born into a working class family deeply rooted in our state's transit system, Lt. Governor Way's trajectory to the second-highest office in New Jersey is nothing short of extraordinary and is a testament to hard work, resilience, and a commitment to community.

I encourage you to take a moment to read the full article [[link removed]] and get to know the person behind the title. Lt. Gov. Way's story is not just about political milestones; it's about the core values that make her a true leader in our great state. Join us in celebrating Tahesha Way's achievements and in recognizing her as a true trailblazer whose leadership is steering New Jersey towards a brighter and more inclusive future.

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This week, we have had to grapple with the sad and heart-wrenching news of the tragic death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict. Nex, a vibrant member of the LGBTQ+ community, should have been able to pursue their education in an environment free from violence and discrimination. The loss of a young life is a stark reminder that our schools must be sanctuaries of inclusivity and protection, where every student feels valued and secure.

This tragedy highlights the distressing reality where extremist rhetoric has infiltrated the very spaces meant to nurture and educate our children. We have reached a point where the safety and well-being of our students are being jeopardized. It is imperative that we stand against the propagation of divisive and harmful ideologies and ensure that our educational institutions remain sanctuaries of learning.

In light of this devastating incident, we extend our gratitude to Governor Murphy for his unwavering commitment to prioritizing the safety of LGBTQ+ students. It is crucial that we continue to work towards creating environments where every student, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can thrive academically and personally without fear of prejudice or harm.

Last year, Governor Murphy launched a State Transgender Information Hub – a one-stop hub designed to aid New Jersey’s transgender and non-binary community in finding information about essential programs and services. For more information, visit: [link removed] [[link removed]]

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February is Black History Month, and we have been proud to dedicate this month to recognizing the outstanding contributions of Black Caucus members and leaders in our state. Throughout February, we have been shining a spotlight on individuals who continue to make history, serving as exemplary community leaders and advocates for the rights and well-being of the Black community in New Jersey.

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For the last full week of February, we are proud to put a spotlight on Tim Awojobi, a remarkable individual whose journey embodies resilience and dedication. Tim enlisted in the United States Air Force in 2016, contributing his skills and commitment to the 514 Force Support Squadron. In August 2021, he took on active duty, playing a crucial role in supporting the Afghan refugee mission. Following his honorable discharge in February 2022, Tim didn't rest but took on a new mission – he founded TTA Empire, Inc., serving as its CEO. This non-profit organization is dedicated to veteran's outreach, educational scholarships, and mental health awareness. Tim's commitment extends beyond his organization; he serves as the Military & Veterans Caucus Chair for New Jersey Young Democrats and imparts his knowledge as an Adjunct Professor at Brookdale Community College. Tim Awojobi's story is a testament to the impactful contributions that individuals can make, and we're honored to celebrate him.

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We are also proud to highlight the leadership of Senator Angela McKnight. In 2015, Senator McKnight made history by becoming the 1st African American Assemblywoman for the 31st District of the state of New Jersey. Today, she continues to make an impact as a member of the New Jersey State Senate, representing District 31. Beyond her political achievements, Senator McKnight is the Founder & CEO of AngelaCARES, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Jersey City, NJ. AngelaCARES is dedicated to advocating for and supporting seniors and their caregivers, while also serving as a mentor to the youth by fostering education and empowerment through volunteerism. Senator McKnight's unwavering commitment shines through as she actively works towards enhancing the quality of life across generations, showcasing her dedication to building stronger and more resilient communities. We are honored to celebrate Senator Angela McKnight during Black History Month for her outstanding contributions and leadership.

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This week President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan. The Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

President Biden vowed to fix the student loan system and make sure higher education is a pathway to the middle class – not a barrier to opportunity. Already, the President has canceled more student debt than any President in history – delivering life changing relief to students and families.

Last year, President Biden launched the SAVE plan – the most affordable repayment plan ever. Under the SAVE plan, monthly payments are based on a borrower’s income and family size, not their loan balance. The SAVE plan ensures that if borrowers are making their monthly payments, their balances cannot grow because of unpaid interest. This relief has given borrowers critical breathing room in their daily lives, allowing them to afford other expenses, buy homes, start businesses, or pursue dreams they had to put on hold because of the burden of student loan debt. President Biden remains committed to providing debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, and won’t stop fighting to deliver relief to more Americans.

— Chairman LeRoy J. Jones, Jr.

P.S. Our Progressive Caucus is hosting a special virtual event on February 26 in honor of Black History Month and we are thrilled to have Rev. Thurselle Williams, NJDSC Interfaith Committee Chair, and The Honorable Danielle M. Jones Councilwoman - Borough of Eatontown, as our guest speakers. It's going to be an informative and inspiring evening, so don't miss out on the chance to attend and learn more about the important contributions of Black Americans in New Jersey. RSVP here! [[link removed]]

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P.S.S. If you’re interested in applying to be a delegate for the 2024 Democratic National Convention, your LAST chance to learn about the application process is next week. We are hosting our last Delegate Selection Plan Info Session on Tuesday 2/27. Sign up HERE [[link removed]] . See you in Chicago!

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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
Trenton, NJ 08608
United States
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