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Essex Rising co-sponsors Defending Democracy events

with NJ 11th for Change, SOMA Action, and Blue Wave NJ

August 26th is is Women’s Equality Day and Essex Rising stands behind women’s right to choose!

Think reproductive rights and abortion access are secure in New Jersey?

Nothing could be further from the truth!

Find out why, and what you can do. Register for this important discussion

New Jersey is reliably BLUE — so you’d think that Roe v. Wade wouldn’t be at risk here, and that women would have no problem accessing abortions, birth control, and other reproductive care. Unfortunately, NJ has its share of anti-choice voters, not to mention politicians (on both sides of the aisle!) who are perfectly willing to play political football with women’s health and reproductive rights. Combine that with scarcity of care providers in many parts of New Jersey, and we have a real crisis of care for women — especially poor women and women of color.

It’s time for our state legislators to prioritize ALL women’s health and freedom of choice.

Please join us on Thursday, August 26 at 7:00 pm for this Defending Democracy event: a LIVE online discussion with Phoebe Pollinger (National Council of Jewish Women/Essex), Merrill Mezzacappa (NOW-NJ), and Roxanne Sutocky (The Women’s Center, Cherry Hill). See below for more about these powerful women!



Co-sponsored by:

Phoebe Pollinger serves on the Board of NCJW/Essex and as State Policy Advocate and Co-chair of its Reproductive Rights Committee.  Chair of Roe v Wade celebratory events – “Roe at Risk”, “Roe & Religion” and “Living in the Crosshairs – Untold Stories of Anti-abortion Terrorism” and “The Information Void”, Phoebe has lobbied our state and federal legislators, written letters to the editor, presented webinars and marched and picketed on behalf of women’s health legislation and reproductive rights for over 15 years.  She is the recipient of the NCJW/Essex 2015 Hannah G. Solomon Award for Service to the Community and the recipient of the NCJW Social Change Tribute Award at the 2016 NCJW Washington Institute.

Merrill Mezzacappa received her BA from Fordham University and JD from Rutgers University School of Law. She served for 25 years as assistant prosecutor with the Sussex and Somerset County prosecutors’ offices and Chief Assistant Prosecutor in Somerset County where she supervised the sex crimes, child abuse, vehicular homicide and domestic violence units. Merrill was also the legal advisor to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program and a Special Deputy Attorney General in the State Grand Jury Investigation of Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Members of the Clergy. Currently, Merrill is a member of the National Organization for Women and serves as the Reproductive Rights Task Force Chair for NOW-NJ.

Roxanne Sutocky is the Director of Community Engagement for The Women’s Centers, abortion care providers located in Cherry Hill, Atlanta, Hartford, Philadelphia and Delaware County, PA.  Roxanne is a driving force behind the Thrive NJ Coalition where she was integral in the writing of the Reproductive Freedom Act to ensure that the perspectives of both the providers and the patients were reflected.  She serves on the Coalition’s Steering Committee and chairs its Abortion Access Subcommittee. This year, Roxanne was instrumental in the passage of Connecticut’s law prohibiting deceptive and misleading advertising by ‘fake clinics’, also known as ‘crisis pregnancy centers’.  


Redistricting: What It Means for New Jersey’s Notorious Political Landscape 

SEP. 13 @ 7pm

Are you worried that you’ll get “redistricted”right out of Mikie Sherrill’s district?

Are you concerned that this year’s backroom dealings to redraw district borders will rob you of representation?

Then register for this deep-dive discussion into REDISTRICTING!

Redistricting — a process required every 10 years, after the census is completed — can either make our government more fair and representative, or it can strengthen existing politicos’ death grip on power.

Which will it be this time? How will this year’s ongoing redistricting affect YOUR representation in Trenton and in D.C.? Will you still be in the same district, or will YOU be redistricted to a different representative’s territory? Will the process give your vote MORE power to effect change, or will it make your vote less meaningful? And — most importantly — WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Nobody knows the ins and outs of this like our featured speakers:  

  • Marcia Marley of BlueWave NJ
  • Matthew Duffy from New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
  • Peter Chen from New Jersey Policy Perspective. 

Co-sponsored by: