COALITION OF WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS WORKING WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP TO FUND STUDY OF GENDER, ETHNIC DIVERSITY
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.
WPCNJ PAC to Honor Jeanette Hoffman Recipient of the Carol Murphy Award
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.
WPCNJ PAC to Honor Kelly Stewart Maer Recipient of the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award
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.
2021 WPCNJ Annual Meeting Featuring Lisa Jackson
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
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.
WPCNJ Congratulates the 2021 Passion * Power * Progress Award Honorees
WPCNJ to Honor Marcia Brown Recipient of the Social Justice Award
WPCNJ to Honor Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli Recipient of the Good Guy Award
WPCNJ to Honor Michellene Davis, Esq. recipient of the Mary Philbrook Award
Named among the Top 25 Most Influential Minority Leaders in Healthcare in the nation by Modern Healthcare Magazine, Becker's Hospital Review Top 50, Top 65 and in 2020, Top 70 African Americans to Know in Healthcare, Top 10 on the NJBIZ Health Care Power 50, the 2017 Top 100 in Business, the ROI-NJ Top Influencer, the Insider-NJ Politically Most Influential List, ranked by NJBIZ as the State of New Jersey’s top lobbyist in the healthcare industry, and as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal, Michellene Davis serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of RWJBarnabas Health. Ms. Davis leads Social Impact and Community Investment across the healthcare system. She oversees the areas of Policy Development and Government Affairs, Healthy Living and Community and Employee Wellness and Engagement, and Global Health.
She leads the organization’s mission of health through addressing the social determinants of health through a policy led equity framework of racial justice informed social impact and serves to enhance the system’s position with state and federal elected officials and agencies.
Ms. Davis is a noted thought leader on health equity and change agency and is the co-author of, “Changing Missions, Changing Lives: How a Change Agent can Turn the Ship and Create Impact.” RWJBarnabas Health is the largest, most integrated healthcare delivery system in the State of New Jersey, covering a service region which is home to more than two-thirds of the State’s residents. Having joined RWJBarnabas Health (previously Barnabas Health System) in 2009, Ms. Davis became the first woman and the first person of color to ever ascend to the position of Executive Vice President in its 152 year history. She is the creator of the RWJBarnabas Health Women’s Leadership Alliance, the Young Professional Advisory Council and the Corporate Institute for Internship.
Before joining RWJBarnabas Health, Ms. Davis served as Chief Policy Counsel to former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, where she was the first African American to serve in this position in state history. She was the first African American and only the second women to serve as Acting New Jersey State Treasurer responsible for a state budget of over $30 billion dollars. She was the youngest person to serve as Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery in state history and served as a senior policy advisor in the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Ms. Davis has a proven record of supporting the equitable building of community wealth throughout her career and, while Acting State Treasurer of New Jersey, founded the New Jersey Department of the Treasury’s Office of Supplier Diversity and Division of Minority and Women Owned Businesses.
She is also active in civic engagement in the local and the global community. Internationally, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute. Nationally, she serves on the Boards of The Democracy Collaborative, The Root Cause Coalition and the Building Healthy Places Network Advisory Council.
She is the President Emeritus of the Executive Women of New Jersey, the state’s premier organization for senior level executive women in business, Chair of Academic Affairs for the Joint Board of Rutgers-Rowan Universities; Treasurer of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center WoWomen’s Association; and is on the boards of the Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership; New Jersey Bipartisan Coalition for Women’s Appointments; The Caucus Educational Trust and the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus Foundation.
She began her legal career as a trial litigator, is an Honors graduate of Seton Hall University and holds a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall School of Law and Executive Education Certificates in Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Impact Strategy from the Harvard Business School and from the Wharton School of Business respectively.