The New Jersey Working Families Alliance, a major force in grassroots politics in the state, has added seven new organizations in a move that leaders say expands their board to include additional community-based organizations and racial justice groups.
NJ 11th for Change, Camden We Choose Coalition, Our Revolution Essex County, Camden County NAACP Branch #2080, South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, Latino Action Network, and the South Jersey Progressive Democrats have now joined the Working Families organization, according to state director Sue Altman.
“It’s an exciting time to be working to build a stronger, more powerful progressive movement in New Jersey,” Altman said. “Our Working Families board will bring together the stalwart institutional experience and resources of NJ’s labor unions with grassroots organizations fighting in their local communities, and professional advocacy organizations fighting for progressive values in Trenton. Change will happen when we organize with all of our assets, together, pulling in the same direction.”
New Working Families board members include Our Revolution Essex County chairman Justin Goldsman, NJ 11th for Change co-executive directors Mara Novak and Judy Kelly, South Jersey Women for Progressive Change leader Meredith Meisenheimer, and Camden County NAACP #2080 president Kevin Barfield.
Goldsman praised Working Families for fighting to “bring truly transformative progressive change to New Jersey,” and Novak said that she admires “New Jersey Working Families’ bravery, determination, and tireless effort in promoting accountable government.”
Novak and Kelly took over the grassroots group that is widely credited with ending the political career of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-Harding) following the departure of Saily Avelenda, the new executive director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.
The Working Families Alliance is made up of key New Jersey labor unions, including the Communications Workers of America (CWA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). Top community groups, including NJ Citizen Action, Make the Road, and Environment NJ, are also part of the Working Families Alliance.
Altman joined New Jersey Working Families in May 2019 after Analilia Mejia left to become national political director of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.