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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.


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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.


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2021 WPCNJ Annual Meeting Featuring Lisa Jackson

WPCNJ Annual Meeting 
Tuesday, May 11 | 7:00pm
Featuring Special Guest Speaker
Lisa Jackson
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

Thank You to the 2021 Passion * Power * Progress Sponsors






Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey




Fairview Insurance Agency Association

Hackensack Meridian Health



RWJBarnabas Health

Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli



Advocacy & Management Group


Anheuser Busch


Assemblyman Daniel Benson

Capital Impact Group

Speaker Craig Coughlin

Fair Share Hospitals Collaborative

Fox Rothschild LLP

Genova Burns LLC

Senator Vin Gopal

Amy Mansue

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

Reynolds American

Riker Danzig

River Crossing Strategy Group LLC

Senate President Stephen Sweeney

Somerset County Democratic Committee

South Jersey Industries

Taft Communications

Thomas Edison State University

Utility & Transportation Contractors Association

Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP



ARH Associates

Bayshore Recycling

Bevan, Mosca & Giuditta, P.C.

Marcia W. Brown, Esq.

Laurie Clark

Eileen DellaVolle

Edison Democratic Organization

Dennis Enright

Sharon Shinkle Gardner

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald

GTB Partners

Hoagland Longo

Jefferson Health New Jersey

Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak


McCarter & English LLP

Elizabeth Murray

Congressman Frank Pallone

Stark & Stark

Senator Joseph Vitale

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg

Shari Weiner, Esq.




Rosemary Bernardi

Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey

Jennifer H. Chuang, MD, MS, FAAP

Zulima Farber

Jeanne Fox

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin

Impact NJ

Katz Government Affairs

Eileen Kean, Esq.

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt

Lawrence Law

NAIOP New Jersey

NJ Food Council

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano

Melanie Willoughby

Trish Zita


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

The Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey (WPCNJ) hosted its annual Passion * Power * Progress Awards reception virtually on Thursday, February 11th. The spirited event was a great success, honoring those whose leadership, civic involvement and professional efforts have helped make New Jersey a better place for women.
We were delighted to present the following awards for 2021 to:
·     Michellene Davis, Esq., RWJBarnabas HealthMary Philbrook Award
·     Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli, Legislative District 15 – Good Guy Award
·     Michael Egenton, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce – Good Guy Award
·     KIVVIT – Corporate Award
·     Marcia W. Brown, Esq. – Social Justice Award
Special guest speaker First Lady Tammy Murphy celebrated the contributions the evening's honorees have made to advancing women and expressed the need for greater representation of women in politics and government.  
In case you missed it or want to revisit the event, here is a link to the archived recording.
The Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey is the only multi-partisan, pro-choice, grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women's participation in the political process and creating a political power base to achieve gender equality. We recruit, train, and support women candidates for elected and appointed offices at all levels of government and we sponsor community education programs designed to encourage civic engagement.

WPCNJ to Honor Marcia Brown Recipient of the Social Justice Award

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.

WPCNJ to Honor Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli Recipient of the Good Guy Award

Assemblyman Anthony S. Verrelli has been committed to helping other people his whole life. An unapologetic advocate for New Jersey’s working-class families, he believes that everyone deserves a second chance and an opportunity to succeed.


Anthony, born and raised in Trenton and Lawrence by Italian and Scottish immigrants to the United States, graduated from Notre Dame High School before attending the Sam F. Secretario Carpenters Training Center.


Anthony became a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America in 1989 and remained a union member for over 30 years. As a union carpenter, he served as a senior council representative, team leader, and trustee for the Northeast Carpenter Funds and as president of Carpenters Local Union 254. During career in the trades, Anthony fought for fair wages and strong health benefits for his union members.


Anthony began a career of public service in 2001, when he became a member of the Ewing Township Zoning Board of Adjustments, on which he served until 2004. He was a member of the Mercer County Planning Board from 2004 to 2008 and the Mercer County Improvement Authority from 2008 to 2016.


Anthony served on the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 2016 to 2018 and has served the working families of the Fifteenth Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly since August of 2018. He was re-elected by his constituents to serve his first full term in the Assembly in November of 2019.


Assemblyman Verrelli supported raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 so that all New Jerseyans can live well and retire with dignity. He champions legislation that improves and expands access to physical and mental healthcare –including addiction and substance abuse services – and reentry services; reduces recidivism, strengthens protections for veterans, seniors, children, and vulnerable populations; effectuates economic justice; and ensures clean air and water for all.


Assemblyman Verrelli is vice-chair of the Assembly Labor Committee and is a member of the Assembly Health Committee and the Assembly Special Committee on Infrastructure and Natural Resources.


Anthony has been a proud member of the Hopewell Township Knights of Columbus since 2010and sits on the boards of Recovery Advocates of America and CONTACT of Mercer County. Anthony lives in Hopewell Township with his wife, Donna, and his daughter, Alyssa, and many of his relatives reside in Mercer County.

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.


WPCNJ Endorsed Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle for NJ State Senate

The Women’s Political Caucus of NJ (WPCNJ) Endorses Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle for District 37 Senate Seat
With the retirement of the incomparable Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the Legislature will lose one of its most dedicated advocates for women’s issues. We must ensure that her seat is filled by a public servant as equally committed to not only supporting women and women’s initiatives, but one with a record of spearheading their advancement and passage.  We believe Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle is that candidate. 
For over a decade, Valerie Vainieri Huttle has supported and advocated for issues central to WPCNJ’s mission including reproductive health and choice initiatives, pay equity, paid sick leave, and assistance for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. She did so not only in words but in deeds, sponsoring with Senator Weinberg so many of the laws that make New Jersey better for women. 
Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle has made Trenton more welcoming for women who want to serve in government. She has long maintained a majority female staff and has hosted a leadership program for high school women from her district. She is also a champion for seniors and individuals with disabilities and mental health conditions, and their paid and unpaid caregivers, who are disproportionately women. 
The women of New Jersey need greater representation in the State Senate. WPCNJ proudly endorses Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle for the District 37 Senate seat. 

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