On January 27, 2013 BONJ welcomed its new president, Bishop John Gandy, of Abundant Life Worship Center Church in Egg Harbor City. He commented in his opening remarks on why he is here: "Let me answer the question that might be on the minds of some: Bishop Gandy, why would you pause and stop preaching the gospel and get into something that is so political? I am doing this is because I feel like it is my responsibility. In fact I feel like it is the responsibility of every leader of people of faith. When things in a culture or in a community... occur that intersect with scripture we have to talk about it...."
Nearly 100 BONJ leaders heard Bishop Gandy and several other distinguished speakers, including a panel of local elected officials from Edison, Franklin Township, Lawrence, Teaneck, and Highland Park discuss the state of their towns (see photos here). Afterwards, attendees broke into working groups, as shown above, to plan leadership events for the spring to continue our successful program to promote diverse, inclusive and economically vibrant communities.
The featured and inspiring speaker was Councilman Rev. Marlon Millner from Norristown, PA and a leader of Building One PA (B1PA). He spoke about strategies B1PA used to secure a commitment of $500,000 by HUD for a demonstration project in southeast Pennsylvania to reform practices within the Housing Choice Voucher program that reinforce the concentration of poverty and limit opportunities for families.
For more pictures from the event, click here.
Nearly 1,000 religious leaders, mayors, local elected officials, labor, business, and other community leaders from across the state participated in Building One New Jersey’s Statewide Public Meeting on September 30, 2012 (Building One New Jersey was formerly known as New Jersey Regional Coalition). We pressed state and national policy makers to act on bipartisan solutions to urgent problems impacting our communities including high property taxes, inadequate education funding, lack of jobs, underfunded infrastructure investment, and an exorbitant and discriminatory criminal justice system. Participants included U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Frank Pallone, Senator Barbara Buono, Senator Ron Rice, Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Assemblyman Joe Cryan, Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula, and Kevin Drennan (Chief of Staff for Senate President Sweeney). Pictured above: Building One New Jersey's President, Rev. R. Lenton Buffalo, Jr., with U.S. Senator Robert Menendez at the September 30 event.
One hundred leaders from Bergen to Atlantic Counties attended the Building ONE New Jersey (BONJ) State Leadership Assembly on February 26, 2012 in East Windsor. NJRC and BONJ leaders including twenty mayors and elected officials began planning six spring policy briefings around the state to continue developing and advancing a policy agenda to promote diverse, inclusive and economically vibrant communities. Attendees heard thought-provoking presentations by authors and policy experts David Rusk and Professor David Troutt of the Rutgers University School of Law in Newark.
Click here for an article about the event in the Montclair Times by Mayor Jerry Fried.
Click here for an article about Mayor Victor DeLuca representing NJRC and BONJ at a meeting at the White House on March 13, 2012 to advance our policy agenda.
Leaders of the New Jersey Regional Coalition and Building One NJ including Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Mayor Jerry Fried of Montclair, Council President Sal Anderton of West Orange, Councilman Victor Cirilo of West Orange, and Roselle School Board Member Archange Antoine (pictured above) met with US Senator Robert Menendez at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in West Orange on November 4, 2011, to present details of NJRC's federal policy priorities. (Photo by Jewel Scott Jones).
NJRC Leaders Participate in White House Forum on Older Suburbs, Inclusion, Sustainability and Economic Growth
A delegation of twenty five NJRC leaders participated in the historic White House Forum on First Suburbs, Inclusion, Sustainability and Economic Growth on Monday, July 18, 2011.
This was a nationwide event -- 170 local elected officials, business, labor and civic leaders from 22 metropolitan regions from across the United States crowded into the White House South Court Auditorium to discuss the strengths and assets as well as the fiscal, social and environmental issues facing America’s first suburbs.
They were joined by some of the Obama Administration’s most important and influential officials including Counselor to President Obama Pete Rouse and Secretary of US DOT Ray LaHood, some of the nation's most respected policy experts and an exceptional group of inspired local leaders who served as our panel experts. NJRC’s New Jersey delegation included: Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Mayor David DelVecchio of Lambertville, Mayor John Bencivengo of Hamilton in Mercer County, Mayor Joseph Florio of Union Township, Mayor Paul Medany of Deptford, Mayor Gail Cook of Beverly, Mayor Victor De Luca of Maplewood, Mayor Albert Kelly of Bridgeton, Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Jennings of Willingboro, Councilwoman Diane Stinney of Pemberton, Councilwoman Lizette Parker of Teaneck, Councilman Nicholas Lewis of Montclair, Member of Board of Education Archange Antoine of Roselle, Member of Board of Education of Hamilton Township Kim Melton of Atlantic County, Former NJ Commissioner of Banking and Insurance Neil Jasey, Dr. Roland Anglin of Rutgers University, Dr. David Trout of Rutgers University, Rev. R. Lenton Buffalo, Jr. of Union Baptist Church in Elizabeth, Marty Johnson of Isles, Rev. Darrell L. Armstrong of Shiloh Baptist Church in Trenton, and Kiki Jamieson of the Fund for New Jersey.
You can also read a number of local stories about the event. Here is a selection:
- Bridgeton: http://www.njregionalequity.org/files/Bridgeton_White_House_2011_07_18.pdf
- Burlington County: http://www.njregionalequity.org/files/BurlCo_White_House_2011_07_18.pdf
- Teaneck: http://www.njregionalequity.org/files/Teaneck_White_House_2011_07_18.pdf
For full details about the event, visit the Building One America website at http://buildingoneamerica.org/content/white-house-event-report
Twenty NJRC leaders attended the Building One America (www.buildingoneamerica.org) weeklong leadership training from August 14-19, 2011 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Attendees from NJ, MD, OH, NY and PA included elected officials such as councilpersons and members of boards of education, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim clergy and lay leaders, as well as a refugee from Darfur, Sudan who was imprisoned for a year for human rights work. NJRC attendees were from Atlantic, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer and Union Counties. For information on upcoming weeklong leadership trainings in 2012, including scholarships, please email email@example.com.
The NJRC Statewide Leadership Assembly took place on Sunday, January 30, from 3 to 6 p.m., hosted by Shiloh Baptist Church, Trenton. More than 80 leaders from across New Jersey gathered together for 2011 planning and leadership training.
Pictures: President Buffalo (L) and Paul Scully conducting leadership training (R).
By REV. R. LENTON BUFFALO JR.
Versions of the op-ed below by Rev. R. Lenton Buffalo Jr., President of the New Jersey Regional Coalition, were published during the week of 12/27/10 as an op-ed or a letter to the editor in The Daily Record (Morris County), Trenton Times, The Burlington County Times, and Press of Atlantic City.
Making Lemonade from a Lemon -- New Housing Legislation Deserves Support
While it’s not perfect, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan and Senate President Steve Sweeney deserve compliments and gratitude for turning a near disaster for fair housing into a very positive framework for a more progressive and fair system for affordable housing in New Jersey.
New Jersey Regional Coalition celebrated a brilliant 2010 fundraising dinner on November 4th! Close to 300 guests joined to salute our outstanding 2010 awardees. Pictured in this photo (from the left): NJRC leader Marlene Lao-Collins; Assemblyman Albert Coutinho, accepting awards for Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan; NJRC leader Luis Garcia, St. Mary's Church, Elizabeth; Reverend David Confer of Bethany Lutheran Church in Palmyra; Joseph McNamara of NJ Laborers Employers Cooperation and Education Trust; Mayor Michael Powers of Lawrence Township; Rev. Dr. Robert Hargrove, accepting on behalf of the NJRC Southern District Council; Dr. Roland Anglin of the Initiative for Regional and Community Transformation at Rutgers University; and NJRC leader Nicole Plett. Not pictured: Awardee Sister Grace Nolan of Catholic Charities, Camden Diocese.
Building One New Jersey: State Planning for Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth" -- a powerful, dynamic summit meeting on equity and planning brought close to 400 people together in Princeton on July 23, 2010. Panelists and attendees made up an amazing array of Federal, State, municipal, corporate, civic, and clergy leaders who joined in a powerful discussion of regional equity and a NJ state plan.
See a summary of the ONE New Jersey policy platform.
Visit PlanSmart NJ's website for more information about NJRC's partner in this Building One New Jersey event.