NJEA members have been eagerly working toward, and anticipating, the gubernatorial inauguration of Ambassador Phil Murphy. On Oct. 8, 2016, NJEA PAC, the 125-member political action committee, unanimously endorsed Murphy in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary. The unprecedented endorsement in the primary launched a 13-month campaign, NJEA Members4Murphy, that helped result in Murphy’s victory on Election Day in 2017.
In April, NJEA delivered more than 6,800 signatures to place Murphy on the primary ballot. In May, NJEA PAC once again met to endorse Murphy through the general election.
Throughout the spring, NJREA hosted regional town hall meetings that enabled their members to meet Murphy and hear from him his vision for the state.
Additionally, NJEA’s Legislative Action Teams, UniServ consultants, and rank-and-file members canvassed, made phone calls, and communicated with members about the pro-public education positions that had earned Murphy the NJEA endorsement.
The hard work continued throughout the summer, and NJEA once again deployed Summer Fellows to contact members and share information about PAC-endorsed candidates, including Murphy.
On Oct. 21 and 22, members from all 21 counties, including NJEA, NJREA, and NJEA Preservice went door-to-door, made phone calls, mailed postcards, and organized events to encourage members to support Murphy and other endorsed candidates.
The work continued through Election Day, and at the NJEA Convention, governor-elect Murphy personally thanked NJEA for their tireless efforts and constant support.
NJEA members have always been engaged in political action to support candidates who share their values, but the 2017 election cycle was noteworthy for the creativity, enthusiasm, and unflagging dedication members showed after eight years of inflammatory rhetoric and devastating economic decisions by the Christie-Guadagno administration.
NJEA members, like all New Jerseyans, can look to Murphy’s inauguration as the dawning of a new day for the state.
Gov. Murphy has already begun to change the conversation around public education. In the days leading up the inauguration, he reiterated his pledge to end the use of PARCC tests in New Jersey. His nominee for Commissioner of Education, Dr. Lamont Repollet, is an educator with experience as both a teacher and administrator in New Jersey’s public schools. Additionally, Murphy has stood by his pledge to fund New Jersey’s schools according the law and to work toward providing free tuition to New Jersey’s county colleges.
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