The hall was electric as Governor-Elect Phil Murphy entered the NJEA Convention at the Atlantic City Convention Center today. NJEA President Marie Blistan reflected that energy as she introduced New Jersey ‘s next governor to a standing-room-only crowd of members with NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller, NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty and NJREA President Judy Perkins by her side
“Good morning is an understatement!” Blistan proclaimed. “Thank you NJEA members for making it a good day. And thank you Ambassador Murphy for your willingness to stand up for NJEA, our members, our students, and our students’ families in our great state!”
“A stronger and fairer economy starts in our schools and in our classrooms.”
“It’s been a long eight years, and it’s been a long campaign,” Blistan continued. “Throughout the campaign, Ambassador Murphy had been tried and tested, and he has proven that he has a backbone of steel. It is my honor and privilege as your president of this great association of 200,000 members to introduce you to our next governor: Ambassador Phil Murphy!”
With a voice hoarse from the long campaign, Murphy thanked teachers and educational support professionals [ESP] for their commitment to his election. He singled out NJEA’s leadership team for their unwavering support during his and Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver’s campaign. He noted that he had attended the NJEA Convention last year at the beginning of his campaign, when he visited on both days of the convention and hosted a town hall-style meeting.
“I gave you my word, win or lose, that I’d be back this year,” Murphy said. “It’s a lot better to come back here after a win than a loss!”
“The people of New Jersey said with a clear voice that they want a different direction for our state,” Murphy exclaimed. “They want an end to the division, to the name-calling, to the disrespect. I am honored that they have asked Shelia Oliver and me to take on this great privilege.”
Murphy looked to his future as governor.
“The campaign is over and now it is time to live up to our promises in that campaign: a stronger and fairer economy that works not just for some, but for every family in our state,” he said.
“We cannot reclaim our hold on the economy without an educated workforce,” Murphy continued. “A stronger and fairer economy starts in our schools and in our classrooms. Let’s commit to a new partnership that gets our state back to working for every child and every family.”
“We haven’t wavered, even under intense pressure, in what we stand for,” Murphy continued. “What we said back in the primary is what we believe and what we’ll continue to believe.”
Murphy concluded by thanking NJEA and its 200,000 members for their work to get him to the Statehouse.
“Thank you for all the calls you made, and all the doors you knocked on, and thank you for answering your call, your mission to be an educator.”