Media Room

Check out recent media clips and press releases on NJCAEF and our partner organization, New Jersey Citizen Action.

If you are a member of the media looking to speak to a New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund staff member or client for an upcoming story, please contact Ann Vardeman at 732-246-4772 or

Recent Clips

N.J. Restores Program to Help Homeowners Pay Their MortgagesNewsworks October 6, 2016

Blog post by the Partners for Health Foundation on the impact of NJCAEF’s Montclair VITA Program during the 2016 tax season – July 11, 2016

Shark Week Warning at Shore: Predatory Lenders Feasting on Unsuspecting Consumers in Jersey, Elsewhere – Asbury Park Press, July 1, 2016

Surprise Out-of-Network Medical Bills Cost NJ $1B – Daily Journal, June 17, 2016

Google is Right to Target Predatory Lending – Sunday Star Ledger, June 12, 2016

‘Tax Fairness’ must include Increased Earned Income Tax Credit – Sentinel, May 25, 2016

Free Lunch and ForumAsbury Park Coaster, May 12, 2016

(additional media highlights below)


Press Releases

#LeadFreeKidsNJ Campaign Celebrates Victory in Governor Christie’s Announcement on Lead Abatement Funding

Trenton, NJ – Today in a State House Press Conference Governor Christie announced $10 million in the FY2016 budget for lead containment and abatement programs for low and moderate income New Jerseyans, in a huge victory for the #LeadFreeKidsNJ Campaign.

Victory for NJ Consumers and Pension Holders:  State Divests Pension Funds From Illegal Payday Lenders

Trenton, NJ – Today, New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) commended the New Jersey State Investment Council (NJSIC) on its announcement that it has formally divested New Jersey pension fund money from JLL Partners, which used millions of pension funds to purchase the second largest predatory payday lender, ACE Cash Express.  ACE was fined $10 million in 2014 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its predatory lending and illegal debt collection practices.

New Jersey Citizen Action Kicks Off Annual Opening of Free Tax Preparation Center

NJCA has helped over 26,000 New Jerseyans Claim $40M in refunds, $15M in Earned Income Tax Credit, Over Past Decade of Free Tax Prep Service

Newark, NJ – On Wednesday, January 20, Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action, Congressman Donald Payne Jr., Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Newark Council President Mildred Crump, Internal Revenue service (IRS), and community partners will mark the Annual Opening of NJCA’s Tax Center located at 165 Halsey Street, Newark, NJ 07102.  The event will kick off with a press conference at 10:30 a.m.  There will be photo opportunities with clients receiving free services at the event.

Feds Announce 2 Day Extension For Consumers Seeking Health Coverage Effective January 1

Highland Park, NJ – NJ for Health Care Coalition partners working to educate New Jersey consumers on health options available to them under the Affordable Care Act were pleased with the announcement that consumers will have two additional days to enroll in order to be covered on the first day of the New Year.

NJ for Health Care Coalition Applauds Assembly Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee for Advancing Strong Bill to Protect Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills

Trenton, NJ – Members of the NJ for Health Care Coalition, a diverse collection of organizations which represent health care consumers, applauded the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee for advancing a strong bill to protect consumers from Surprise Medical Bills.  The bill passed by a majority vote.

Statement on NJ State Investment Council’s Failure to Conclude Divesting State Pension Fund from Illegal Payday Lender

New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) expressed great disappointment over the New Jersey State Investment Council’s (NJSIC) failure to formally divest New Jersey pension funds from JLL Partners, which used $50 million of pension funds to purchase the second largest predatory payday lender in the nation, ACE Cash Express.  Back in September, NJSIC indicated that they would complete divesting by its November meeting.  ACE was fined $10 million in 2014 by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for its predatory lending and illegal debt collection practices.

NJ Consumer Advocates Ramp Up Demand for Divestment from Payday Lender

New Jersey Citizen Action and other state advocacy organizations held a press conference to push their demand that the  New Jersey State Investment  Council, (NJSIC) divest New Jersey pension fund money from JLL Partners and the nation’s second largest predatory payday lender, ACE Cash Express.

Media Highlights

Shore Mayors, Local Officials Slan NJNG’s Steep Rate Hike

April 13, 2016 – Dena Mottola Jaborska, Associate Director: “This is the kind of rate hike that you don’t see very often.  Quite frankly, this is not the time to do that. Utility companies are here to serve the public interest.”

Menedez Bill Seeks Protection for Consumers Overwhelmed by Medical Debt

March 25, 2016 – Beverly Brown Ruggia, CRA Organizer:  “One of the leading factors that contributes to foreclosure and bankruptcy is medical debt,” she noted. “The Medical Debt Relief Act will give patients and their families the time to recuperate from the shock of sudden and/or debilitating illness before they have to sort out the financial transactions that result from medical treatment and care.”

New Legislation Would Make NJ’s Lead Reference Level the Same as CDCs

March 14, 2016 – Ann Vardeman, Program Director: “What we’re doing instead of these inspections of single- and two-family rental units for lead, we’re using our children as human lead detectors.”

Add $10M to Budget to Fight Lead Poisoning in NJ’s Kids, Advocates Urge

February 2, 2016 – More children with high blood-lead levels have been found in some of state’s older cities than in Flint, MI.

When Gov. Chris Christie unveils his budget for the next fiscal year on February 15, it ought to include $10 million to fight lead poisoning in New Jersey, community groups urged yesterday.

ACA open enrollment extended due to ‘unprecedented’ demand, traffic on

December 17, 2015After an “unprecedented” number of last-minute calls and clicks to, federal officials are giving people a little more time to sign up for health insurance coverage that begins Jan. 1.

Controversy Arises Over Proposed Paid Sick Leave Ordinance

December 15, 2015On December 16th, New Brunswick City Council will hold a public hearing and, perhaps a final vote, on the city’s proposed Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.

Over 80,000 New Jerseyans find insurance plans under Obamacare ahead of deadline

December 9, 2015 – More than 80,000 people in New Jersey have selected insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act since Nov. 1 and local advocates are canvassing North Jersey to encourage people to sign up before Tuesday’s deadline for coverage starting in January.

‘Greed’ helped stall N.J. bill to curb surprise out-of-network medical costs: lawmaker

December 11, 2015 – Legislation that would prevent New Jersey consumers from getting surprise out-of-network medical bills stalled Thursday when the sponsor pulled it from a committee agenda after learning it did not have enough votes to pass.

NJ coalition blasts proposal to exchange estate tax for gas tax hike

December 3, 2015The hot topic at the State House in Trenton for well over a year has been increasing the gas tax to replenish the nearly bankrupt Transportation Trust Fund. The talk heated up again Tuesday when a coalition called “Better Choice Choices for New Jersey” held a press conference and blasted a long-rumored proposal to eliminate the state’s inheritance and/or estate tax in exchange for the gas tax hike.

N.J. lawmakers take action on surprise out of network medical costs

November 23, 2015 – A state Assembly committee Monday approved legislation that would prevent consumers in New Jersey from getting surprise out-of-network medical bills that can saddle them with huge bills. The measure would require hospitals and doctors to disclose whether they are part of a person’s insurance network before treatment occurs.

Executive Director Phyllis Salowe-Kaye’s op-ed in the Star Ledger

October 15, 2015 – Essex County sets example for N.J. by backing banks that support low-income neighborhoods.

NJTV on our roundtable with Rep. Pallone on the 5 year anniversary of Dodd Frank financial reform.

July 27, 2015