Essex Rising

Home » What you can do » What’s new with Essex Rising

What’s new with Essex Rising

With just over TWO WEEKS to go to the November 6th election, Essex Rising is focused on canvassing for the candidates Essex Rising has endorsed, and others we support. If you haven’t already gone canvassing, contact one of the campaigns. It’s quick to learn, and easy and fun to do!

October 14th we had an exciting rally featuring Mikie Sherrill for Congress, Cindy Matute-Brown for West Orange Town Council, Terry Trigg-Scales for West Orange Board of Education, and Jeremias Salinas for West Orange Board of Education.


Congressional Seat in NJ 11th district

Mikie Sherrill could flip the Congressional seat for NJ11 from Republican to Democrat, but the race is very close. It is essential that every Democrat and Progressive gets to the polls—and bring as many voters with you as you can. Remind your friends and neighbors! Many of us have opposed Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen so vigorously since 2016 that he is retiring. If Mikie wins his seat now, this will be our victory, too. But it’s still a serious fight against Republican big guns and big money. This race has caught national attention. Vice Presidents Biden and Pence have each come to NJ recently to support their party’s candidates. If we win NJ11, it will be major event!

What can we do now to help win this seat? Keep on canvassing! Keep spreading the message that Mikie Sherrill, a Montclair resident, stands for Essex County’s voters. (Yes, believe it, some people still haven’t heard about Mikie Sherrill – and they are the voters you can help bring into the fold! Some people don’t even know they have had a Republican representing them in Congress all these years – up till NOW!).

Essex Rising was one of the first groups to host Mikie Sherrill, back in July 2017, at the start of her run. For Essex Rising’s most recent “Progressive Discussions” event, Mikie Sherrill returned to highlight her views on key values, including health care, women’s right to choose, tax policies that will make NJ more affordable, gun safety, and environmental protection. Republican Congressman Freylinghuysen dismally failed us constituents on all these issues — and now Mikie’s opponent, arch-conservative Republican Jay Webber, would be even worse! Print out this comparison of our choices to spread around, from our friends at NJ11ForChange!

We must win this one! Contact Maralyn Kinch to join a town team and to volunteer for Mikie’s campaign, and/or sign up with Judy Kelly to canvass for Mikie Sherrill, and to get the materials you need. You can canvass alone or in groups. If you live in West Orange, please also volunteer for the local candidates Essex Rising has endorsed.

Cindy Matute-Brown for West Orange Town Council

Cindy Matute-Brown is the only Essex Rising-endorsed candidate for Town Council. As a Steering Committee member of Essex Rising, Cindy not only supports Essex Rising’s principles but she also embodies them in her ethical positions and in her career track record of supporting labor and educators. And she stands up for these principles in Town Council and Board of Ed meetings.

Cindy stands for transparent, progressive leadership with sound fiscal policy. We want to be sure our taxes are spent fairly. We don’t want to grant unnecessary tax breaks to wealthy developers that we, the taxpayers, legally must reimburse to our school system. Cindy is full of fresh ideas to stabilize West Orange by providing local opportunities so that our young graduates can work here and afford to stay, and equally, that retirees can afford to remain in their homes in West Orange. Check out and share these {INSERT LINK} film clips of Cindy discussing these issues.

Cindy has the great honor of being the only candidate running for Town Council who has been endorsed by the PCCC—the Progressive Campaign for Change Committee—backed by key Democrats like Chairman Keith Ellison and Elizabeth Warren. Cindy is also the only candidate endorsed by Our Revolution, the national organization of Progressive Democrats. Our Revolution has three intertwined goals: to revitalize American democracy, to empower progressive leaders, and to elevate the political consciousness. Our Revolution’s national office receives thousands of requests to endorse local candidates each year, but very few receive the national endorsement. Cindy is the ONE for Town Council.

What can you do to help Cindy’s campaign now?

Donate here to help the campaign spread the news.

Please join Cindy’s campaign team, made up of fellow Essex Rising members. We are getting the word out about her campaign, by canvassing our neighborhoods, either with Cindy or alone or with friends, to tell people about Cindy’s ideas for the Town Council, and by hosting neighbors for coffee. Volunteer here. To get yard signs delivered to you,  email Help your friends erect signs, especially in spots with prime visibility!  


Board of Education @Terry4WOBOE  

Terry has a distinguished 38-year career as an educator in Essex County’s school system, during which time she has lived in West Orange and raised her children here. Noting the intense conflict in our district over the WOBOE, she was inspired to serve. She believes a successful school system incorporates the parents and teachers, and that school boards should not be at odds with the community or reactive, but rather be “thoughtful in their deliberations and be proactive. My experience as an administrator has taught me that through a ‘continuous improvement model’ we must evaluate programs and initiatives to ensure a quality education for all students. Trust, honesty, respect and collaboration are the cornerstones of a strong school district.” It’s time to Get This Educator on Board!

Our school budget is much bigger than our municipal budget. This is where most of our taxes go. The State has only funded one-third of what it owes West Orange for our schools—we, the taxpayers, are funding that shortfall. We must work with our NJ State Legislature and Governor Murphy to correct that, and Terry has already served during Governor Murphy’s transition on his Education, Access, and Opportunity Committee, whose first priority was fully funding towns’ schools. This is a VITAL KEY  to lowering your taxes. Also prioritized in the Committee’s report, reductions of standard testing of students and staff, reduction of student debt, and reduction of college tuition costs.

What can you do to help now?

Donate here to help Terry’s campaign spread the news.

Contact the campaign through its website to volunteer, to canvass, or to get Terry Trigg-Scales lawn signs.

There are two seats up for election on the Board of Ed. Please give your second vote to Jeremias Salinas, also an educator, with 15 years’ of experience. Our local government needs to become more representative of our community, and Jeremias would be the only Hispanic voice on the BOE. He fully supports Essex Rising principles.

Let’s get THIS TEACHER on Board!

Both of them recently were interviewed on West Orange 07052 and made clear their motivations for serving. The third candidate for WOBOE, Cheryl Merklinger, refused to be interviewed, perhaps because 07052 published screenshots of her support for Republicans, the NRA, President Trump, and Vice President Pence!

Senate Race

A shoutout for Senator Menendez. He has consistently stood up for NJ and many of the principles of Essex Rising and is endorsed by our NJ Democrat leaders. Republicans want to take this seat. They are hammering Menendez for “corruption,” conveniently forgetting that, although admonished for unethically accepting gifts, he was cleared of all charges against him. If Sen. Menendez lost this seat now, we would lose a crucial Democrat vote in the Senate, and elect instead the first Republican senator for NJ since 1972—Bob Hugin. Hugin represents much of what is most wrong with our politics: the entitlement of millionaires and billionaires, and the power of big pharma to price-gouge the ill. Hugin figured that because cancer patients really needed his company’s drugs, he should raise the price! He made millions, and then he funded Chris Christie and Donald Trump. Say no to Hugin! Do not forget to vote FOR Menendez: not to vote (an undervote) will benefit Hugin.


We must GET OUT THE VOTE! That means ensuring that eligible voters, including new residents in our town, are registered to vote. To vote in person, they must register within 21 days before the election—deadline to vote in person is October 16th. They can download registration forms here, which include change-of-address information. To vote by mail, anyone can access Vote-By-Mail forms and mail in a vote by October 30th.

We can help by printing out these forms, carrying them with us, and giving them out whenever we encounter somebody who hasn’t voted before or isn’t registered.

You can always check your voter registration and polling place at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: