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Join Essex Rising for the Women’s March in Morristown on 1/20/18

Ride on the Justice Train from South Orange to Morristown for the NJ Women’s March on Jan. 20th with your neighbors and friends in Essex Rising and beyond – we are joining SOMA Action for a fun train ride!

The train leaves for Morristown at 9:48 and we are meeting at 9:20 to park and rally with SOMA Action! The return train leaves at 1:23 and arrives back in SO at 1:57; the march goes from 11-1 and is .5 miles from the train station.

Wear your pink and purple pussy hats and bring the whole family! When democracy is under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back! Sign up for march here- and see sign up genius for train below:

Essex Rising’s Elizabeth Redwine Receives WO HRC Freedom Award

The West Orange Human Relations Commission (HRC) honored 7 recipients with the annual Freedom Award, including one of Essex Rising’s founders, Elizabeth Redwine. Elizabeth has been working tirelessly in her community since the 2016 elections and was gracious and motivating during her acceptance speech.


Other honorees at the MLK Day Celebration in West Orange included Janice Johnson Dias, Eric and Monique Pryor, Lou Mignone., Lieut. Charlie Bryant and Sgt. George Lopez.

Essex Rising Candlelight Vigil for Charlottesville

In quick response to the events in Charlottesville, Essex Rising released a statement and pulled together a community candlelight vigil to show support for all those who fight against racism and bigotry.

The vivil began at the West Orange, NJ Community House and ended at Town Hall where speakers  included UU Ministers Emily Boggis and Anya Sammler-Michael, Rabbi Weitzmann from B’nai Keshet, Pastor Adams from Joy Church,Cantor Rebecca Moses and Dr. Akil Khalfani as well as Essex Rising leaders Elizabeth Redwine, Khabirah Khaabirah and Cindy Matute-Brown.



Essex Rising Unity Cookout

Essex Rising, the Islamic Center of Passaic County, and Black Lives Matter Newark held a Unity Cookout on Sunday, August 20th. The event was attended by approximately 50 people including members of Wind of the Spirit, West Orange African American Heritage, West Orange Hispanic Association.

Defend the rights of all residents of West Orange, NJ

Sign the Petition!

West Orange is a vibrant, diverse community and for over two hundred years we have welcomed migrants from all over the world. In the face of punitive federal immigration enforcement policies, which create a dragnet that threatens to sweep up people who seem different and tear families apart, we urge the adoption of strong policies to ensure that agents and employees of the town of West Orange:

  • will NOT use township resources to enforce federal immigration law;
  • will treat all individuals fairly and without discrimination based on actual or perceived immigration status;
  • will protect the personal, confidential information of all West Orange residents by not maintaining sensitive information and not sharing information with federal immigration authorities;
  • will adopt protocols for U-Visa certification so that undocumented victims of crime who have been helpful to local law enforcement may apply for protection under the immigration laws.

We must seek to protect and defend the rights of all the hardworking residents of our town—we are all neighbors, we are colleagues, and we are fellow parents in our schools. We want all West Orange residents to feel they can participate without fear in the civic life of our community.

No mandate exists that West Orange do the federal government’s work in the arena of immigration enforcement. As taxpayers, we want our township resources to be used to protect and strengthen our community, not to destabilize and damage it by contributing to detention and deportation.

As residents concerned with public safety for all residents, we want a clear separation of immigration enforcement from municipal services so that all residents, including undocumented immigrants, can feel comfortable reporting crimes, serving as witnesses and using emergency services.

It is essential that our community unite in continuing and strengthening fair and welcoming policies for all West Orange residents.


West Orange es una comunidad vibrante y diversa y desde hace más de doscientos años hemos dado bienvenido a migrantes de todo el mundo. Frente a las políticas punitivas y duras de la inmigración federal que amenazan hacerles daño a las personas que parecen diferentes y desgarrar a las familias, queremos que hayan políticas fuertes para garantizar que los agentes y empleados del municipio de West Orange:

  • NO utilizarán los recursos del municipio para hacer cumplir la ley federal de inmigración;
  • tratarán a todos los individuos de manera justa y sin discriminación basada en el estatus migratorio real o percibido;
  • protegerán la información personal y confidencial de todos los residentes de West Orange al no mantener información confidencial y no compartir información con las autoridades federales de inmigración;
  • adoptarán protocolos para la certificación de la visa U para que las víctimas indocumentadas del crimen que han ayudado a la policía local pueden solicitar protección bajo las leyes de inmigración.

Debemos proteger y defender los derechos de todos los residentes de nuestro municipio: todos somos vecinos, somos colegas y somos padres de familia en nuestras escuelas. Queremos que todos los residentes de West Orange sientan que pueden participar sin temor en la vida cívica de nuestra comunidad.

No existe mandato ninguno de que West Orange haga el trabajo del gobierno federal en la esfera de la aplicación de la ley de inmigración. Como los que pagamos impuestos en este municipio, queremos que nuestros recursos municipales se utilicen para proteger y fortalecer a nuestra comunidad, no para desestabilizarla y dañarla contribuyendo a la detención y deportación.

Como residentes preocupados por la seguridad pública de todos los residentes, queremos una separación clara de la aplicación de leyes de inmigración de los servicios municipales, para que todos los residentes, incluyendo a inmigrantes indocumentados, puedan sentirse cómodos denunciando crímenes, sirviendo como testigos y usando servicios de emergencia.

Es esencial que nuestra comunidad se una para continuar y fortalecer políticas justas y de bienvenida para todos los residentes de West Orange.

Refugee Relief Committee Holds 2nd Postcard Event

Essex Rising’s Refugee Relief Committee help it’s 2nd event, this time focused on children writing to other children.


From Paul Davis, National Advodcacy Coordinator, Housing Works

The ACHA bill is slated to be voted on next week. It will pass unless 2 Senate Republicans vote “no”. We are pretty close to losing it all- and pretty close to winning. Please take more actions than you thought possible this week and next!

Quick update:

  • Senate AHCA bill went to the CBO Friday night. The score may be released as early as Monday (the 26th), and move to the floor as early as Tuesday (the 27th).
  • Because it is a reconciliation process and a privileged bill, there will only be 20 hours (basically a day and a half) of debate. During this time, Congress members can add amendments and try to gum up the works. However, leadership can (and will) pull the plug once they’ve ruled that the amendments are just an obstruction airy tactic.
  • It is unclear when McConnell needs to release the score, and there is no definite requirement / deadline.

What do we know so far?

  • Despite Senate GOP critiques of the House Bill, the Senate Bill is essentially the same – even more than 80%.
  • States are allowed to waive benefits
  • They will argue they’ve protected pre-existing conditions, but this is not the case
  • They will have a “fix” for the age tax (back to ACA structure of 3x instead of 5x)
  • Medicaid
    • Deeper cuts over the long run than House bill
    • Offering phase-out of expansion (up to 7 years but it will still be gone).
    • Regarding putting caps in place – the growth rate would be the same until 2025, but after 2025 would cut more deeply than the House.
    • Some (Ds or liberals) will argue that we can come back from this. That is inaccurate. If they vote this bill, they will have virtually ended Medicaid as we know it.


Forget about calling +only+ your senators.

  1. Call ALL of the 12 listed below. A lot. Activate everyone you know. Call the health aides in the senate offices, not just the front desks.
  2. Then organize actions if you’re close enough and get in the press!

And if you can’t hit all 12, then prioritize these 8. Phone #s, staff names and contact emails are below, along with a calling guide to make our calls count.

-Cassidy (LA)

-Collins (ME)

-Murkowski (AK)

-Heller (NV)

-Portman (OH)

-Cotton (AR)

-Flake *and* McCain (AZ). (These two in particular should understand how this bill is bad for veterans).

We can’t stop now — the Senate is running out of time and rushing *hard* to close before June 30. We have to keep at it, and be even more effective.

Legislative Assistant Helen Heiden • • 202 224 4521

ARKANSAS: Sen. Thomas Cotton (R)
Abigail Welborn, Legislative Assistant • • 202-224-2353

ALABAMA: Sen. Luther Strange (R)
Legislative Assistant Nick Moore • • 202-224-4124

ALASKA: Sen. Murkowski, (R) 
HELP Cmte Legislative • 202 224 6665
Legislative • 202 224 6665

COLORADO: Sen. Cory Gardner (R)
Legislative Director Curtis Swager • • 202-224-5941
Ali Toal, Legislative Assistant • • 202-224-5941

LOUISIANA: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R)
Senior Health Policy Adviser Matt Gallivan * • 202-224-5824
Research Analyst Davis Mills • • 202-224-5824

MAINE: Sen. Susan Collins (R)
Legislative Assistant Elizabeth Allen • • 202 224 2523

OHIO: Sen. Rob Portman (R)
Legislative Assistant Sarah Schmidt • • 202-224-3353

NEVADA: Sen Dean Heller (R)
Legislative Assistant Rachel Green • • 202 224 6244

TENNESSEE: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)
David Cleary, Chief of Staff • • 202-224-4944
HELP Committee health staff Mary-Sumpter Lapinski • • (202) 224-6770

WEST VIRGINIA: Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R)
Legislative Assistant Dana Richter • • 202-224-6472
Legislative Correspondent Mike Fischer • • (202) 228-1395

WISCONSIN: Sen. Ronald Johnson (R)
Legislative Director Sean Riley • • 202-224-5323