Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Christine Clarke for LD26 State Senate:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will support changing the NJ primary ballot to an “Office Bloc” design as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: I look forward to working together collaboratively on ballot reform. We need both strong vetting processes for candidates to ensure true representation of parties’ core values, and fair endorsement and ballot placement processes.
Ballot Order: Following best practices in 16 states, I will support implementing a rotational ballot order system that ensures to the greatest extent possible that no candidate is advantaged over other candidates on the basis of their ballot placement by enabling all candidates running for the same office to receive first and subsequent ballot positions an equal number of times (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more details).
Voter access: I support adopting parts of H.R.1 in New Jersey in order to increase voter participation, ensure access to the ballot box, and strengthen elections, including specifically same day registration, early voting and a paper trail for machine voting that enables verification.
Ethics reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information and the release of income taxes by candidates for county-level and state-level public office, as a means of transparency.
Comment: I am hesitant to require disclosure of personal private income information for local and county offices, as it’s sometimes difficult in some areas of New Jersey to get good people to run for office and these requirements might be a deterrent. However, I do agree with financial accountability and disclosures in general, and am open to this idea.
Campaign funding: I support the public funding of campaigns for all state-level elected offices (i.e., the state legislature and gubernatorial elections).
Redistricting: I support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process.
Public Advocate: I support passing legislation to reinstate the statewide Office of the Public Advocate that was eliminated in 2010.
Posting of bills: I support requiring bills to be posted a minimum of 72hrs prior to voting in the legislature, to allow legislators to read bills thoroughly and obtain feedback from the public.
Legislative meetings: I support making all committee meetings accessible to the public for attendance and testimony by online means (e.g., via zoom) and streaming of voting sessions even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, to increase availability and transparency of government.
Full time legislature: I support making the state legislature full-time and prohibiting the simultaneous holding of other paid positions, so as to eliminate conflicts of interest and sources of influence and pressure on state legislators.
Comment: The current salary rates for legislators are not enough to sustain a family with multiple children as a sole income source in New Jersey. This makes running for office prohibitive for so many of the people whose voices are sorely needed in government. If salaries and working hours are reformed such that the position of being a New Jersey legislator could be a viable full time job and primary or sole source of income, we may see more people from underrepresented and underserved communities able to consider public service.
More information about Christine Clarke:
Campaign website: http://www.clarkeforsenate.com
Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
Party affiliation: Democratic party
Date of Birth: 8/17/1977
Current Occupation: Environmental activist
Education: B.A., Montclair State University; trained Climate Reality Leader
Public/party service: I am a Climate Reality Leader, a steering committee member of the Jersey Renews coalition, and an Honorary Adviser to the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY associated with the United Nations. I am a member of the NJ NAACP Environment and Climate Justice team via Morristown Local 2092, and I serve as municipal chair of the Jefferson Township Democratic Committee. I was also on the 2018 steering committees for the NJ March for Science and the NJ People’s Climate Movement. I am the former Environmental Director at Action Together New Jersey, and was an early organizer with NJ 11th For Change.
Over the last few years I have put into practice the fight for the values I believe in. I have organized grassroots calls to action, free public educational forums and live streamed events bringing people together around renewable energy and environmental conservation. Now I am running for office to build on that work by setting forth policies that create jobs, fight pollution and build a clean energy future. I was proud to champion the peer-to-peer work to advance campaign funds for childcare during and after my prior race in order to improve equitable access to candidacy for working parents, and am committed to supporting family-friendly legislation, including legislation that protects families’ reproductive healthcare, when elected. I will legislate from a working class, grassroots frame of mind, and keep in mind that policies should treat all families like they are our own.
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