What’s Next for New Jersey?

2017 marks a gubernatorial election year for our state. Hear from three of the candidates who have officially launched their campaigns to be New Jersey’s next governor as they share their vision for issues important to the planning community: What sectors are primed for growth in New Jersey’s economy over the next 10 years? Do they see a role for a State Development and Redevelopment Plan? How will the State prioritize its resources, including those from the new gas tax, when investing in transportation infrastructure? How does transit – within the state and into New York City – factor into this? How would their administrations address the state’s affordable housing need?

Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli

headshotJack Ciattarelli’s grandparents immigrated to this country nearly 100 years ago, settling in Raritan Borough, Somerset County. His mother was one of right children, born and raised in Brooklyn. Between his parents, they had but one high school diploma. What they lacked in formal education, they made up for in work ethic and integrity.

After graduating from public schools, Jack attended Seton Hall University, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, followed by passing the CPA exam. He started and owned two successful private sector businesses. He continues to provide good-paying jobs and benefits for his employees and their families as the owner and publisher and Galen Publishing, LLC.

Jack has had the privilege to serve in public office on the local, county and state level, choosing to term-limit himself each time. He has served on the Raritan Borough Council from 1990-1995, the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholder from 2007-2011 and has represented New Jersey’s 16th Legislative District as an Assemblyman since 2012.

After dedicating himself in the State Assembly to fixing New Jersey’s financial woes and fighting for long-term solutions to provide tax relief, Jack realized that the kind of dramatic changes we need in our state can only be accomplished as Governor. He is running for Governor to provide an entirely new direction for our state and has outlined a substantive five-point plan.

As part of his plan, Jack has outlined proposals to reform school funding to solve the property tax crisis, change public employee benefits to restore fiscal responsibility, provide comprehensive tax reform to spark economic growth, streamline state government to make it less expensive and improve bi-partisan communications to get things done.

Ambassador Phil Murphy (Coming Soon)

Assemblyman John Wisniewski

jwisnewskiJohn Wisniewski was born and raised in New Jersey.  He grew up in Sayreville and graduated from Sayreville War Memorial High School. He went to Rutgers University for college and later earned his law degree from Seton Hall University.  The son of a millwright and grandson of a Fire Chief, John understands working families and knows the values of Main Street, New Jersey. As a young man in high school and college, John started his own small business earning pocket money as a photographer.  John and his wife, Debbie, still live in Sayreville where they have raised three daughters, Emily, Sarah and Rachel.

Elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1995, John has earned a reputation as one of New Jersey’s most progressive and productive legislators.  As the chair of the Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee since 2002, John has sponsored and led to the passage of millions in funds to improve roads, bridges and other transportation projects. He has fought efforts by the Port Authority to double bridge tolls, proposed a State Transportation Infrastructure Bank, and led the effort to stop Governor Jon Corzine from selling off and privatizing the New Jersey Turnpike.

As a leading advocate for working people, John has sponsored legislation to increase the minimum wage, fought for middle class property tax relief that also makes millionaires pay their fair share, worked to restore the earned income tax credit, and sponsored the Garden State Manufacturing Act to encourage the creation of jobs in New Jersey.

John has always fought for justice and equality for all of New Jersey’s citizens.  He led efforts to expand voting rights and was an early sponsor of legislation to provide marriage equality for the LGBT community.

During his time in public life, John has never backed away from taking on the powerful on behalf of the people — whether it was Wall Street banks or Chris Christie.

In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, John lobbied big banks to provide mortgage forbearance for victims of the storm. He also sponsored legislation to oversee Sandy recovery money and guarantee it got to deserving victims.

Perhaps John’s most well known battle was exposing the Christie Administration’s Bridgegate scandal. Under John’s leadership, the Transportation Committee found the emails that proved the Christie Administration had illegally shut down the George Washington Bridge for petty, political purposes.

In 2016, John served as the New Jersey chair of Bernie Sanders campaign for President. Together with Senator Sanders, he has fought to build a Democratic Party that will challenge the billionaire class corrupting our political system and maintaining an economy that sends most new wealth to the richest one percent.

A recent editorial heralded John Wisniewski as “a worthy option as governor,” praising him for presenting “a serious, straightforward style that demands respect. There’s little pretense involved; he makes no apologies for being a dedicated progressive…”

As New Jersey’s next governor, John Wisniewski will take on the corrupt political and economic interests — and be a champion for working and middle-class families.