How To Respond
The text below was actually an email sent yesterday by Beto O'Rourke, the Congressman from El Paso, Texas who nearly won a U.S. Senate seat. It is worth reading in light of the recent tear gas assault on refugees on our southern border.
We have learned by speaking with one voice change is possible. The 2018 election proved that. We can make a difference by making a gift to organizations that support immigrants. Listed below are a couple organizations you can contribute to during this holiday season.
Email text from Beto O'Rourke:
It should tell us something about her home country that a mother is willing to travel 2,000 miles with her 4-month-old son to come here. Should tell us something about our country that we only respond to this desperate need once she is at our border. So far, in this administration, that response has included taking kids from their parents, locking them up in cages, and now tear gassing them at the border.
People are leaving violent countries where they fear for their lives. Without money, they are subsisting on hope for their kids, for themselves, that they can get to safety. After being denied the ability to lawfully petition for asylum for the last 10 days, they are desperate.
We choose how to respond to this challenge.
Let’s do this the right way and follow our own laws. Allow asylum seekers to petition for asylum at our ports of entry. They must do so peacefully and follow our laws; but we must also ensure the capacity to effectively and timely process those claims (right now 5,000 waiting in Tijuana and only 40 to 100 are processed a day).
Those who have a credible fear of returning to their home country (as determined by a U.S. judge) will be able stay until their full asylum request has been determined. Those applicants ultimately granted asylum will then live in the U.S., make us a better country for being here, and those who are not granted asylum will be returned to their home country.
Longer term: work with the people of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to address underlying conditions that are causing them to flee in the first place. That means addressing effects of our failed past involvement in those countries (in their civil wars, drug trade and drug wars) and the institutional failings in those countries (rule of law).
It won’t be easy and will involve a much greater investment of time, focus and resources. Or we can continue to ignore those countries and their people until they show up at our border.
Consider a gift to:
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition or New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice.
Remember, today is #GivingTuesday.
ACA Open Enrollment 11/01/18 - 12/15/18
The Open Enrollment Period under the Affordable Care Act is from November 1 to Friday, December 15. Families in need of health coverage can sign up at HealthCare.gov.
The state of New Jersey recently launched a Get Covered NJ website to help people enroll. The site includes information about plan options, financial assistance and contact information for New Jersey consumers who want help to get covered.
As part of the outreach campaign, the state is also working with five community organizations to support enrollment efforts. These organizations are providing application assistance and conducting outreach events. The organizations are:
- Center for Family Services - 877-922-2377
- The Family Resource Network - 800-355-0271
- Oranges ACA Navigator Project - 973-500-6031
- Fulfill | Monmouth & Ocean - 732-918-2600 or 732-731-1400
- Urban League of Hudson County - 201-451-8888, ext. 217
New Jerseyans can also call 877-9-NAVIG8 (877-962-8448) to talk about health insurance options and get help enrolling.
Living Near Poverty
Most people don't see poverty on a regular basis. It's often out of site and out of mind. The other day a timely report was issued about families living near poverty. The numbers are astounding.
A news story was published yesterday in the New Jersey Herald by reporter Jennifer Jean Miller. It is titled, Report: 23 percent in county struggle but not in poverty. Before reading the article think of the phrases we often use to describe unfavorable life situations, "trying to make ends meet" or "struggling to get by". Think of those who work two or three jobs.
For additional information visit the ALICE in New Jersey page of the United Way of Northern New Jersey. ALICE = Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. You can download the full 2018 New Jersey ALICE report.
November 6 is Election Day. Make your voice heard. Be a voter.
Resisting Donald Trump
New Jersey's two Senators and twelve Representatives are:
- Robert Menendez - Democrat 202-224-4744
- Corey Booker - Democrat 202-224-3224
- Donald Norcross - Democrat - 1st District 202-225-6501
- Frank LoBiondo - Republican, 2nd District 202-225-6572
- Tom MacArthur - Republican, 3rd District 202-225-4765
- Chris Smith - Republican, 4th District 202-225-3765
- Josh Gottheimer - Democrat, 5th District 202-225-4465
- Frank Pallone, Jr. - Democrat, 6th District 202-225-4671
- Leonard Lance - Republican, 7th District 202-225-5361
- Albio Sires - Democrat, 8th District 202-225-7919
- Bill Pascrell - Democrat, 9th District 202-225-5751
- Donald Payne, Jr. - Democrat, 10th District 202-225-3436
- Rodney Frelinghuysen - Republican, 11th District 202-225-5034
- Bonnie Watson Coleman - Democrat, 12th District 202-225-5801
You can also access this list online by visiting the House Of Representatives Directory of Representatives.
What's New on the NJ Community Resources Website
11/18/18 - Created a new page of the New Jersey and Pennsylvania delegations to the 116th Congress.
11/13/18 - Links to five community agencies helping consumers during ACA's Open Enrollment Period.
10/18/18 - The Energy Assistance Programs page has been updated to reflect new income guidelines for LIHEAP, USF and PAGE programs. The deadline for the LIHEAP program has been set at August 31, 2019.
10/08/18 - Two additions to New Jersey Organizations, the Federal Reserve Board of New York and the Federal Reserve Board of Philadelphia. Both are active in community development activities and research which benefits the entire region.
9/14/18 - New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition is now Hunger Free New Jersey. It is listed in the statewide nonprofits section of the community resources page here.
8/28/18 - The logo and url to the state's Housing Resource Center have been updated. It takes effort to review all twenty webpages and 2000+ links here but you will rarely find broken links!
7/22/18 - Please share the fact that the states's LIHEAP program has been extended to August 31, according to a DCA press release issued last Thursday. The extension applies to heating, cooling and emergency assistance.
6/03/18 - Guadalupe Family Services, a Camden nonprofit founded in 1995, added to the community resources page. GFS offers clinical counseling and direct social services, focusing on families in distress.
5/28/18 - Three new Assembly members were sworn in last week: Linda Carter (LD22), Lisa Swain (LD38) and Christopher Tully (LD38). See the New Jersey Legislature page for listings.
5/13/18 - A couple venues added to the Music and Theatre section of the NJ Links page. Over 170 links from Cape May to Sussex, house concerts to arenas.
3/28/18 - New 2018 Weatherization Assistance Program income guidelines posted to the energy assistance page.
3/17/18 - Added several county ResourceNets which can be found in the community resources page. There is a ResourceNet for each county so families can obtain needed health services for their children.
3/14/18 - Updated the biographical page. It reveals I'm a candidate for a party office, to become the Democratic Committee Person in Philadelphia's Ward 22, Division 03.
2/24/18 - Re-added an old tutorial Patrick Crispen's Roadmap96, described as "a free, 27 lesson Internet training workshop designed to teach new "Net travellers" how to travel around the rapidly expanding (and often-times confusing) "Information Superhighway" without getting lost." Take a look to see what the Net was like in the 1990s.
1/29/2018 - Income guidelines with New Jersey SHARES are effective February 1. Visit NJ Energy Assistance Programs page. The New Jersey Legislature page has also been updated due to the swearing in of Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-34).
1/28/2018 - The Earned Income Tax Credit page was updated which includes the new 2017 NJ EITC Fact Sheet published by the Department of Human Services.
1/22/18 - The annual income for 2018 has been increased for the state's Lifeline Utility Assistance program for seniors and disabled to $27,189 for individuals and $33,334 for married couples.
1/19/2018 - Update to the list of new freshmen in the 218th New Jersey Legislature.