Additional $100 million on the way for NJ COVID Relief

Sen Menendez announces

TRENTON – On 14 October 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy with US Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Tom Malinowski announced $100 million in additional Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support New Jersey COVID-19 affected residents and businesses.

$70 million will be distributed to restaurants, microbusinesses, and other small businesses through Phase 3 of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. $10 million of the funds will help small businesses purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through the NJEDA Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program. $15 million will support renters through the Department of Community Affairs’ (DCA) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program; and $5 million will support food banks and other hunger relief efforts.  

“Small businesses and the people they employ are the backbone of New Jersey’s economy, yet they have borne a disproportionate share of the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Murphy“It is incumbent on us to support them in any way possible. This additional funding helps us accomplish that goal.” 

“Many restaurants have had a hard time staying afloat even with outdoor dining and are now facing an uncertain winter. Our economic recovery depends on the ability of our small businesses to survive until an effective treatment and cure for the coronavirus can be found,” said Senator Steve Sweeney. “We need Washington to step up now with another stimulus package to keep us from sliding further into recession.” 

“I want to commend our state leaders for working together to get the federal coronavirus relief dollars we passed last spring into the hands of those who need it most,” said US Senator Bob Menendez.  “This $100 million fund comes from the money we in Congress included in the CARES Act to help combat the economic fallout of this pandemic.”

Phase 3 of the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program expands eligibility to any business with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) and increases the amount of funding businesses can receive. To ensure funds flow to businesses that need them most, Phase 3 grants are earmarked primarily forrestaurants and micro-businesses. $35 million will be dedicated to support businesses classified as “Food Services and Drinking Places” and $15 million is designated for “micro-businesses” with five or less employees. The remaining $20 million will be available to support any eligible business. 

One third of each funding pool is designated for entities located in New Jersey Opportunity Zones. 

$10 million will support the NJEDA’s new Small and Micro Business PPE Access Program, an public-private partnership for businesses with 100 employees or fewer to receive grants in the form of discounts on PPE purchased through NJEDA “Designated Vendors”.  read more

Small landlords can apply for free New Jersey grants until Tuesday, October 13

NJ help for landlords

Small landlords can apply for free New Jersey grants until Tuesday, October 13. Apply today!

Breaking: now you can register or change your NJ voter registration – online

Register to vote

NJ now allows online voter registration and information changes. Register by 13 Oct 2020.

Guide to NJ’s 2020 Vote by Mail Election

Patch published a detailed synopsis of how New Jersey’s first vote-by-mail elections are going to work. 2020 is the first year that mail-in ballot voting will be taking place statewide.

Vote by Mail ballots can be returned by the USPS, placed in ballot boxes Gov. Murphy is situating around the state, turned in at polling locations and at county offices.

You can also cast your vote by visiting a polling location, but the ballot will be provisional since the staff will not be able to tell whether you have already sent in your mail-in ballot. read more

Bergen County Cares small business grant program open for second time thru Friday, August 21

Bergen County Cares small business grant program open for second time thru Friday, August 21

Bergen County park restrooms and amenities will re-open Saturday, 06 June

James McFaul Environmental Center

Bergen County park restrooms and amenities re-open Saturday, 06 June

NJ Senate will hold first ever remote hearing to consider COVID-19 bills

NJJ State House chamber

NJ Senate will hold first ever remote hearing to consider COVID-19 bills

NJEDA announces launch dates to apply for grants for businesses impacted by COVID-19

NJEDA announces launch dates to apply for grants for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Recursos para la epoca del coronavirus | Coronavirus outbreak resources

Hands holding heart

Recursos para la enfermedad coronavirus | Coronavirus outbreak resources

Both the State of New Jersey and the City of Newark are offering relief for tenants

Both the State of New Jersey and the City of Newark are offering relief for tenants

On May 28 students will rally for a millionaires tax to provide more school aid

On May 28 students will rally for a millionaires tax to provide more school aid #p2

Newark Mayor Baraka on the deaths of three preemie infants in University Hospital

university hospital
Speaking about the three preemie infants who recently passed away at University Hospital in Newark, Mayor Ras J. Baraka shared these comments:

“The deaths of three premature infants with an Acinetobacter bacteria and the infection of a fourth, all cared for at University Hospital, are stark reminders that an overhaul of the quality of care and the leadership of the hospital is urgently needed. The infants had a variety of other medical conditions, but the fact remains that they contracted the bacteria in the hospital’s neonatal ICU. The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness will work collaboratively with the New Jersey State Department of Health to continue careful monitoring of the situation in that unit.

“In July, Governor Murphy acted swiftly and decisively in appointing a monitor for University Hospital. Today, more action is needed. The hospital is central to providing health care to Newark residents, and I have been very concerned about its quality of care, its leadership’s failure to live up to the Newark Agreement negotiated when the hospital was created, their insensitivity to the opinions of residents, their attempt to reduce the number of pediatric beds without consulting myself or the Governor, and the failing grade they received on their level of care from the Leapfrog Group.

“The time has come for the State of New Jersey and the Newark community to collaborate in setting a new direction for University Hospital:

The hospital needs to become more responsive to the people it serves and sensitive to their needs. This requires more community input with new leadership, including a new board with adequate representation of Newark residents and a new President/CEO with a history of sensitivity to community.
State and federal investment is needed to enable University Hospital to become the first-class teaching hospital that it was intended to be, including an overhauled emergency room, a world-class trauma center, and more outpatient clinics to meet the underserved medical needs of the people of Newark.

“In 1968, the state and federal governments negotiated a detailed pact with the people of Newark to create a top-notch medical facility with community involvement and oversight in perpetuity. On the 50th anniversary of the Newark Agreement, it’s time to keep the promise.”

Free or Discounted Rides to Polls on Election Day (Nov. 6th) by Uber & Lyft

By Olivia Rizzo of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

For some people half the battle of voting is getting to the polls, but this year voters can get some relief from a slightly unexpected source: Uber and Lyft.

Both ride share companies are offering free or discounted rides to voters on Nov. 6, and both companies are partnering with voting organizations that encourage people to register and then go out to vote.

free ride to voteAccording to Pew Research, 3 percent of registered voters who did not vote in 2016 cited “transportation problems” as the main reason they didn’t vote. Additionally, 14 percent of people cited that they were “too busy or conflicting schedule,” and “inconvenient hours or polling places,” which are issues that tend to affect low income communities.

This is why Lyft in particular said it wants to offer free rides to underserved communities.

Uber said in a press release it is partnering with When We All Vote to get people registered and with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to offer free rides to polling places.

Uber is also sharing voter registration resources with users in the app.

In order to get a free ride to the polls on Elections Day, users will need to open the app, search for their polling place using the “get to the polls” button, and order a ride.

It appears that users will not be able to use the free ride for another location as the polling place search bar is separate from the standard location search bar.

Lyft announced its Election Day initiatives back in August, partnering with Vote.org, Turbo Vote, Nonprofit Vote, and other organizations which will distribute promo codes for 50 percent off rides to polling places. Lyft has also partnered with Vote Latino, the National Federation of the Blind, and Urban League affiliates to provide free rides to underserved communities.

Like Uber, Lyft is also encouraging its users to register to vote through the app, and partnered with When We All Vote and National Voter Registration Day to amplify their get out the vote efforts.

More information about how to get a free or discounted ride to your polling location can be found on Uber and Lyft’s websites.

In New Jersey, the deadline to register to vote was Oct. 16.

Uber’s website is www.uber.com
Lyfts’ website is www.lyft.com

Link to nj.com article

The 6th USCT at Trenton Barrack’s 3 Centuries of Black Soldiers 2018 event

Chuck at 3 Centuries

6th USCT member Ari Lopez Wei filmed this short video of the troop at the 2018 Three Centuries of Black Soldiers event at the Trenton Barracks Museum which took place the last weekend of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the museum and the 6th USCT re-enactment troop.

Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

New Americans in NJ
Source: Immigration Council

Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel.

“While the funding will not be enough to ensure representation for all of the approximately 2,000 immigrants currently detained in New Jersey detention facilities for civil immigration violations, it is a promising first step towards protecting the due process rights of both long-time New Jersey residents with deep ties to our communities and who have families who would be devastated by their detention and deportation, as well as recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC) in Newark, NJ. “AFSC has been representing immigrant detainees for over 20 years in New Jersey and we have seen firsthand the significant impact that legal representation has on a detainee’s ability to present their case to an immigration judge. It also ensures that detainees are treated with dignity and respect as they navigate a dehumanizing immigration system that tears families and communities apart.”

“We will continue to advocate on behalf of immigrant detainees and look forward to a day where the state of New Jersey fully funds a universal representation program that provides access to counsel to all immigrants detained in New Jersey and facing deportation,” stated Chia-Chia Wang, AFSC’s Director of Organizing and Advocacy.

AFSC, the ACLU of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic recently issued a report entitled “The Meaning of Counsel in the Immigration System: New Jersey Case Stories”, that highlights the importance of access to counsel for detained immigrants in New Jersey by documenting the stories of eleven New Jersey immigrants detained in immigration detention centers, many of whom are AFSC clients.