Free Press community empowerment event in Hackensack Wed June 7 – all welcome!

FreePress - freedomWhat: Our Voices, Our Future: What Residents and Civic Leaders Want in Local Media
When: Wed., June 7th, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.)
Where: Johnson Public Library, 274 Main St, Hackensack NJ

Here’s what you can expect at the event: Free Press members, residents, journalists, and community leaders will be gathering to share ideas on how local media can better serve the public. You’ll get a chance to meet others like you, take action to address New Jersey’s local news crisis, and brainstorm about the steps we can take together to improve coverage in your community. read more

Sen Bob Menendez Hosts Empowerment Summit in Trenton on April 22 – Free

Sen Bob Menendez Empowerment SummitU.S. Senator Bob Menendez Hosts an Empowerment Summit for the Community

Friday 22 April 2016
9:00am-1:30pm
Trenton War Memorial
1 Memorial Drive
Trenton, NJ 08608

Cost: Free
Lunch will be served
RSVP here

Visit the summit event page for additional information

Hundreds of Jews break the sanctity of the Sabbath to save a life – that couldn’t be saved

Deborah Stubin missing flyer
Source: Passaic Police Department

The Daily Mail covers the discovery of Devorah Stubin’s car and body: a 22 year old woman who suffered from occasional seizures and became lost in Maywood, NJ last Thursday night after exiting the Garden State Parkway. NJ.com reports on the community turn-out to search for Devorah and bring her home:

Hundreds of members of the Orthodox Jewish community from around the tri-state area flocked to Passaic Friday as news surfaced of the missing 22-year-old.

“It’s amazing how many people gave up their Sabbath to come help in the search,” said Leat Kuzinar, a family friend. “There were 200 to 300 people, more than what we needed.” read more

Meet with journalists in a free forum and get help telling YOUR story about life in Atlantic City

NJ News Voices in ACFree Press wants to help Atlantic City community members tell your stories to the press:

We’ve heard what outsiders have to say about Atlantic City. Now it’s your turn. Meet with journalists in a community forum and tell YOUR story about life in Atlantic City.

My Atlantic City – What’s Your AC Story?
Tues 08 Dec 2015 | 6–8:30 pm
(light refreshments will be served)
Noyes Arts Garage at Stockton University
200 Fairmount Ave
Atlantic City NJ
RSVP today

We hear from Creative New Jersey that some stories may get into a PBS documentary and that free training on media platforms will be offered to all participants. read more

Thousands join mayor’s Occupy the City rally on Saturday to support Newark, youth & to stamp out violence

Mayor Baraka and CommonLed by Rapper-activist-actor Common joined Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Municipal Council and actor-rapper-activist Common, thousands of Newark residents united to “Occupy the City” on Saturday, August 8, meeting at a designated location in each of Newark’s five wards at 3:30 pm and marching to the City’s historic downtown “Four Corners” at Broad and Market Streets for a huge anti-violence and community support rally.

Building on the success and support from Newark residents during his “Occupy the Block events, Mayor Baraka hosted the “Occupy the City” event to unite residents against despair, violence, and crime in Newark and to promote love, hope and empowerment. “Occupy the Block” is a community engagement tool modeled after the historic “Occupy” movement, which advocates the social disruption of harmful or ineffective social constructs. Marchers wore purple t-shirts specially made for the occasion. read more

Thriving local economies means more health & resilience

walmart never respectsWalmart and Target say they help communities overcome health issues and the ill effects of poverty but the reverse is true.Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Stacey Mitchell writes about the difference between communities with thriving local economies and those dominated by Big Box retail giants:

study found that counties dominated by a few big firms have … less engaged citizens than those in which economic activity is dispersed across many locally owned businesses. “We find that residents of communities with highly concentrated economies (ed note: where big box stores predominate) tend to vote less and are less likely to keep up with local affairs, participate in associations, engage in reform efforts or participate in protest activities at the same levels as their counterparts in economically dispersed environments (ed note: where small businesses proliferate)…”. read more

Leadership tool: CHEJ’s Community Organizer Guide

CHEJ Organizer's Manual Screenshot
Fight to Win Leadership Handbook

by Center for Health, Environment & Justice

This is CHEJ’s first basic community organization manual. Although it is written for first time organizers, established leaders may find they learn a new trick or two. Topics covered include how to start a group, keep a group going, research opponents, organize your community, carry out an effective action, raise funds, and win!

Attend info session for NJ’s non-violent fugitive Safe Surrender program

Fugitive_Surrender foto imgTwo information sessions for November’s Fugitive Safe Surrender program are being held 6:30-8:30pm on Thursday, Oct. 17 in Hackensack and Tuesday, Oct. 22 in Paterson, NJ. Faith workers, community and re-entry advocates, criminal justice students and attorney volunteers will want to attend a session to learn directly from experts handling the program, what it can do for non-violent offender law fugitives. Volunteer needs and opportunities will also be discussed. Law and criminal justice student volunteers will gain valuable insights into the legal system and CE credits will be issued to attorney volunteers. read more

Sharpe James corrects NY Times reporter on Newark history

Branch Brook Park & cathedral
Branch Brook Park

Today I came across this letter from former Newark mayor Sharpe James to the author of a front page December 2012 New York Times article about Cory Booker: Promise vs. Reality in Newark on Mayor’s Watch. Written by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter author Kate Zernike, the article presents an unflattering view of Booker, but it also refers offhandedly to Mr. James as corrupt. In this statement, Mr. James rebuts that characterization and shares some history about Newark and its governmental accomplishments. read more

Poverty creates poor school performance. Time to stop it.

Kennedy with kids

Kennedy with kidsBobby Kennedy made hunger and poverty relief a top priority with his Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, but 50 years later the United States has the 2nd highest rate of poverty among industrialized nations. And Dale Hansen of the Detroit News is asking, if poverty is the biggest problem education faces, why aren’t we more focused on relieving it? Dale supplies his own answer: Republicans are way too committed to their war on public education to allow positive change to get in their way. read more