Home>Highlight>Activists rally ahead of committee meeting on EDA incentives

From left, New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan, Camden County Board of Social Services member Stephen Johnson and South Jersey Women for Progressive Change political engagement committee chair Sue Altman. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Activists rally ahead of committee meeting on EDA incentives

They claim hearing is a closed process

By Nikita Biryukov, February 11 2019 4:31 pm

Shortly before a joint legislative hearing on tax incentives meted out by the state Economic Development Authority, a group of activists, union officials and residents arrayed in front of the statehouse to show their opposition to the tax incentives and the hearing itself.

“There’s an injustice in New Jersey, and it’s been created by our own legislature and past governors who’ve done nothing for the working people of this state, but yet they’ve taken care of their cronies, their friends, their politically connected — the chosen few,” said Ray Greaves, chairman of the New Jersey Amalgamated Transit Union, said. “We’ve seen it down in Camden County, and it’s disgraceful.”

The activists and union officials of the statehouse, among whom was New Jersey Education Association President Marie Blistan, said they were barred from testifying during the day’s hearings, which ran for close to six hours, though one person, New Jersey Policy Perspective senior policy analyst Sheila Reynertson spoke at both.

The majority of those called, the tax incentive opponents said, backed the corporate tax breaks.

“The legislature at that time used the poverty and challenges of a place like Camden as an excuse to subsidize corporations. That way of thinking has to stop,” South Jersey Women for Progressive Change political engagement committee chair Sue Altman said, adding later: “Today’s hearing is more of the same. it favors the credentialed, the powerful and the politically connected, and it leaves out the voices of the people who these policies most directly affect.”

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