Today the Women’s Political Caucus of NJ, LUPEPAC, PAM’s List, a coalition of African American women leaders, the Democratic Task Force of the Bipartisan Coalition for Women’s Appointments announced their collaboration with Senator Loretta Weinberg, Senator Nellie Pou and the NJ Legislative Latino Caucus, and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter and the NJ Legislative Black Caucus in an effort to secure landmark appropriations to study the gender and ethnic diversity of those appointed to state boards and commissions, as well as all publicly elected officials.
These organizations have been working collaboratively for years in an attempt to develop ways to address the lack of diverse representation in our state’s elected offices, as well as appointed positions on boards and commissions. It is clear that a key element missing from this effort is availability of current, transparent data that is public-facing, searchable and easily downloadable for data visualization and analysis by researchers. For ongoing analysis, it is also crucial to ensure consistent and ongoing access to the data.
“For too long now, our appointed boards have been dominated by white men. It is difficult to achieve gender parity or appropriate representation on these boards when it is unclear who is serving and when their terms end. I am hopeful that this transparency will make the nomination and appointment process more equitable for the diverse communities we represent. I appreciate the Governor and Senate President’s willingness to help in this endeavor.” said Senator Loretta Weinberg.
"Nearly one in five New Jerseyans are a member of the Hispanic community, and as the Latino Caucus, a top priority is to ensure there is proper representation from our community in all levels of government. In order to accomplish this goal, we need to ensure we are armed with the most accurate and current data. Those elected to serve in office, as well as those on public boards and commissions, should reflect the diversity of our state." said Senator Nellie Pou, Chair of the Legislative Latino Caucus
“We must be intentional to ensure gender equity and diversity is represented in all spaces. This database is an essential tool needed to guarantee that a conscious effort is established in this endeavor. I would like to thank all of the partners for their strong alliance and support with these necessary inclusion initiatives.” said Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus.
Members of these organizations have partnered with legislators to develop two resolutions. The first will fund a deep dive into the racial and gender makeup of all the seats on New Jersey’s more than 500 public boards. Data will be collected by Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, and the public-facing database will be jointly housed by Eagleton and the Governor’s office. The regular updating of this database would be codified via legislation to ensure that future administrations continue to make the appointments process transparent and equitable.
The second appropriation would accelerate achieving the goal of P.L.2019, c.377, signed in January of 2020, collecting the race and gender of every elected public official currently in office at the municipal, county and state levels. It is important that the public have this data as soon as possible so that voters can make informed decisions about diversity in representation when entering the voting booth.
“For fifty years the Center for American Women and Politics has been tracking and monitoring the number of women candidates and officeholders nationwide. This has taught us that you can’t solve the problem of underrepresentation until you define the problem and you can’t define the problem without the data. This appropriation will finally allow us all to fully understand the status of women and people of color in New Jersey State government and develop effective strategies to make sure that the diversity of our state is reflected in our government.” said Debbie Walsh, Director of the Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.
Jeanette Hoffman is an experienced public affairs consultant and statewide media spokesperson specializing in strategic messaging, marketing, crisis communications and public affairs campaigns. As president of a public affairs firm that services a broad range of corporate and non-profit clients, she has over two decades of experience in issues advocacy, politics, policy, and state government.
Hoffman is also a media commentator who can be seen on national and New Jersey television and radio stations discussing politics and public policy. She is regularly featured as a political strategist for media outlets such as Fox, My9, Newsmax, NJTV, CBS News, News 12 New Jersey, Gannett Newspapers, Ebru TV, National Public Radio, WNYC radio and New Jersey 101.5.
Jeanette has been named to ROI’s Influencers List Women in Business 2021, NJBIZ’s prestigious “Forty Under 40” list and Fox’s “Chasing News” Power List. Since 2012, State Senator Loretta Weinberg has consistently featured Jeanette on her New Jersey Women of Power List. She’s also been named one of Observer/PolitickerNJ’s top political operatives several times, and one of Save Jersey’s “Right 40 Women to Watch.” She is a regular speaker at Center for American Women and Politics “Ready to Run” campaign leadership training for women, and has served as a Faculty in Residence for CAWP’s New Leadership program.
Jeanette has served as a senior vice president at one of the state’s top ten lobbying firms and Vice President of the Commerce Industry Association of New Jersey, representing more than 900 businesses. A former Executive Director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, Hoffman was the Party’s primary media spokesperson throughout several campaign cycles. Jeanette began her career in state government working for Governor Christine Todd Whitman, and later worked for Assembly Speaker Jack Collins and Congressman Bob Franks.
A proud graduate of The College of New Jersey, Jeanette has served on the College’s Alumni Executive Board. She is active with the Jersey Shore Partnership and an avid marathon runner and a former fitness instructor. Jeanette resides in Monmouth County with her husband and four children.
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As an executive with over 30 years of industry experience, Kelly Stewart Maer has an extensive network in federal, state, and local government, including working for a U.S. Senator, NJ Senate President, and NJ House Speaker, and five NJ State Governors.
Currently, as the Director of Public Affairs, State and Federal for Capital Health System, Kelly oversees all Public and Government Affairs functions for the growing hospital system as it expands in Bucks County, PA. In this capacity, she works directly with senior management, the CEO and Board of Trustees, on key initiatives. Kelly has received a series of awards and recognitions for her efforts to date, as well as a position as a Board Member of Drumthwacket Foundation and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Healthcare Policy Transition Team.
Kelly has been ranked among the 100 most powerful political players in New Jersey on Insider NJ’s 2016-2020 Power Lists as well as PolitickerNJ’s “Women of Power Lists” for 2015 to 2020
Kelly earned her MA in Corporate Communications from Rowan University and her BA in Communications from the University of South Carolina. She is a past and present Board Member of multiple organizations, and her involvement in volunteer activities stems from a sincere desire to give back to her community and the state of New Jersey.
Kelly grew up getting involved in politics as her Grandfather was a prominent figure and her father was NJ State Assemblyman. They fostered her love of campaigns and fueled her drive to work on the 1992 Clinton – Gore race – where she worked alongside Barbara’s son, Stephen Sigmund. She also worked on the 2008 US Senate and Presidential races, 2016 Hilary Clinton campaign and numerous state and federal races throughout her career.
A lifelong New Jerseyan she lives in Monmouth County with her husband, daughter and their rescue pup. She cherishes the friends she’s made serving on the Board of the WPCNJ for the past eight years.
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WPCNJ Annual Meeting
Tuesday, May 11 | 7:00pm
Featuring Special Guest Speaker
Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives - Apple Inc.
Lisa P. Jackson is Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, and served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2013.
At Apple, Lisa leads the company’s environmental initiatives, global community education programs, product accessibility efforts, corporate giving, and worldwide government affairs. She is also the head of Apple’s newly announced Racial Equity and Justice Initiative.
Since Lisa’s arrival in 2013, Apple has transformed its environmental footprint. Under her leadership, the company reached its goal of powering its operations around the world with 100 percent renewable energy and is now implementing its industry-‐leading supplier clean energy program —responsible for adding over 5 gigawatts of new clean energy around the world — to drive the transition to renewable energy with Apple’s manufacturing partners. In addition, Lisa spearheads Apple’s circular economy programs, grounded in the company’s ambition to one day make its products using only recycled or renewable materials.
President Barack Obama appointed Lisa as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2009 — the first African-‐American to hold the position. As Administrator, she focused on reducing greenhouse gases, protecting air and water quality, preventing exposure to toxic contamination, and achieving environmental justice by expanding environmental outreach to underserved communities and communities of color.
In 2002, Lisa joined the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection as Assistant Commissioner. GovernorJon Corzine appointed her the Commissioner of Environmental Protection in 2006. Lisa also briefly served as Corzine's Chief of Staff.
Lisa has been recognized as a leader in business and sustainability in a number of leading publications including Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, Vogue’s Game Changers, InStyle’s Badass Women, Newsweek’s Most Important People, TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World (2010 & 2011) and Ebony’s Power 100 lists. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including Princeton’s James Madison Medal, Tulane University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Environmental Law Institute’s Environmental Achievement Award, the Corporate EcoForum’s C.K. Prahalad Award for Global Sustainability Business Leadership and The Captain Planet Foundation’s Protector of the Earth Award.
She serves on the boardsof Tulane University, SF Film,The American Film Institute,Conservation International and Emily’s List, and is an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
Thank You to the 2021 Passion * Power * Progress Sponsors
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Fairview Insurance Agency Association
Hackensack Meridian Health
Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli
Advocacy & Management Group
Assemblyman Daniel Benson
Capital Impact Group
Speaker Craig Coughlin
Fair Share Hospitals Collaborative
Fox Rothschild LLP
Genova Burns LLC
Senator Vin Gopal
Middlesex County Democratic Organization
New Jersey Business & Industry Association
New Jersey Chamber of Commerce
New Jersey Natural Gas
New Jersey Realtors
New Jersey Utilities Association
Planned Parenthood Action Fund of NJ
Princeton Public Affairs Group
River Crossing Strategy Group LLC
Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Somerset County Democratic Committee
South Jersey Industries
Thomas Edison State University
Utility & Transportation Contractors Association
Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP
Bevan, Mosca & Giuditta, P.C.
Marcia W. Brown, Esq.
Edison Democratic Organization
Sharon Shinkle Gardner
Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald
Jefferson Health New Jersey
Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak
McCarter & English LLP
Congressman Frank Pallone
Stark & Stark
Senator Joseph Vitale
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg
Shari Weiner, Esq.
Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey
Jennifer H. Chuang, MD, MS, FAAP
Assemblyman Thomas Giblin
Katz Government Affairs
Eileen Kean, Esq.
Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt
NAIOP New Jersey
NJ Food Council
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano
Thank you again for sharing our commitment to increase women’s participation in the political process.
Marcia Wilson Brown is vice chancellor for external relations and governmental affairs, a position in which she forges and maintains relationships on behalf of Rutgers University – Newark with public officials, governmental agencies, and civic groups. She has spent more than 15 years in higher education at Rutgers University-Newark, holding positions as vice chancellor for student and community affairs, associate dean for program development in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA), associate dean and director of academic foundations, and associate dean of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark Minority Student Program.
Brown is an alumna of the School of Law-Newark where she was elected class speaker and was the recipient of three honors: International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award, Judge J. Skelly Wright Award for Civil and Human Rights Activities, and the Rutgers Alumni Senior Award. She clerked for Chief Justice Robert Wilentz, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and was admitted to practice in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, U.S. Federal District Courts (Eastern Districts, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brown is involved with research, teaching, and civic engagement activities at RU-N. She helped to expand the Office of University-Community Partnerships; engaged funders as partners for access and retention programs for students from Newark and from first-generation families; and served as a consultant and adjunct with the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience. She also teaches a seminar annually focused on social justice and health disparities, and is affiliated faculty at SPAA. Under the leadership and guidance of former RU-N Chancellor Steve Diner, she helped bring in more than $500,000 in scholarship money for first-generation students from Newark to attend college and live on campus.
Brown has spent more than 30 years in community development advocacy in Newark, working on housing, education, and nonprofit leadership issues, and through the Lucent Foundation, she helped structure more than $10 million in philanthropic dollars toward Newark’s nonprofits engaged in rebuilding neighborhoods and providing learning opportunities for young people. As president and co-founder of the University Heights Neighborhood Development Corporation (UHNDC), she and social activists Junius Williams and Richard Cammiereri helped develop more than 60 units of affordable housing in the Central Ward for low- to moderate-income families.
Brown has been recognized on numerous occasions for her contributions to young people and the quality of life in Newark. She is a mother, grandmother, poet, and the founder of the newly minted Newark Repertory Theater Company committed to engaging and educating audiences with bold, dynamic, and diverse theatrical plays.