President and Co-founder of BlueWaveNJ
Democrats, progressives, independents and responsible Republicans have the opportunity this year to replace the destructive, profoundly unfair policies of Gov. Chris Christie with an agenda led by a strong, progressive leader.
BWNJ has worked with all the major Democratic candidates running for governor and considers them friends of the organization. However, after a rigorous vetting process, including a detailed questionnaire sent to each candidate, our Board voted unanimously to endorse Phil Murphy as New Jersey’s next governor.
With the primary just over a week away, I want to take this opportunity to provide some background on why BWNJ Board members concluded that Murphy is the best candidate to lead our state during these critical times.
The most progressive policies, and the skills to implement them
The No. 1 reason the Board endorsed Murphy is quite simple: his agenda for making New Jersey a leader in progressive policies is directly aligned with BWNJ’s values of fairness and justice. In addition, he has the support and leadership skills needed to implement it. Murphy’s policy platform is practical, specific and substantial; it includes
- Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour
- Making sure the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes
- Investing in infrastructure and job creation
- Ensuring a path to solvency for state pensions and divesting our pension funds from hedge funds
- Requiring equal pay for women
- Mandating earned sick leave
- Restoring state funding to Planned Parenthood
- Establishing a child and dependent care tax credit
- Lowering insurance premiums by reining in excessive out-of-network costs
- Defending the ACA at all costs, and exploring every possibility to expand coverage, including through a state public option
- Committing to 100% clean energy by 2050, creating green jobs and promoting environmental justice in our cities
- Making colleges and universities affordable for all, including providing free community college
- Ending high stakes testing in our schools
- Passing automatic voter registration and early voting
- Making NJ a sanctuary state
- Building a more humane criminal justice system
- Providing drivers’ licenses and statewide ID to undocumented workers
- Strengthening gun safety and anti-violence laws
Murphy has shown bold leadership in proposing new initiatives, from his clean energy proposal, which is one of the strongest in the country, to his plan for a public bank, an idea recently supported by Bernie Sanders for Vermont, that will invest directly in New Jersey's economy, rather than sending profits back to Wall Street. Murphy has actually proposed that the public bank offer state-based refinancing of student loans, giving relief to thousands of millennials.
While long, this policy list is far from comprehensive. There are more details on where Phil stands on the issues at: www.murphy4nj.com/issues/.
In supporting Phil Murphy, BWNJ is joined by over 50 organized labor organizations and most of the state’s progressive organizations and elected officials— including Working Families Alliance, Clean Water Action, the Sierra Club, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and the entire New Jersey Democratic Congressional delegation.
Like BWNJ, these organizations and individuals did their due diligence and came to the same conclusion: Phil Murphy offers the most impressive policy platform, the deepest knowledge of the issues, as well as the character, management skills and political leadership necessary to turn these ideas into reality.
What about Murphy’s background in banking?
You’ve heard it before and you will surely hear it again. “How can you endorse Murphy when he worked for Goldman Sachs?”
Yes, there are bad actors on Wall Street, but Phil Murphy isn't one of them. Consider the choices that he made after leaving Wall Street more than a decade ago:
- He served on the national board of the NAACP
- He was chosen as the National Finance Chair for the Democratic National Committee, working closely with Howard Dean on the 50-state strategy, which led to the election of President Obama
- He served under President Obama as the US ambassador to Germany from 2009-2013
- Phil and his wife Tammy have helped lead several local charities to support troubled teens, domestic abuse survivors and the long-term unemployed.
Being successful in a highly competitive industry does not warrant our automatic mistrust. In fact, given New Jersey’s fiscal situation, Murphy’s experience could prove useful in starting a state bank and helping to solve the pension crisis.
To win in November
If we are to bring New Jersey back to life after eight years of Chris Christie, we need to build a strong coalition of progressives across New Jersey. We look forward to partnering with other organizations and individuals to elect a progressive as our next governor. BWNJ leadership is proud to support and endorse Phil Murphy’s vision of equity, justice and growth.
And no matter whom you support, don't forget to vote on June 6th and then help us elect a Democratic governor in 2017!