New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund is proud of what we were able to accomplish in 2015. With the support of our Board, partners, activists, donors, funders and others, we:
PAID SICK DAYS: Together with our partners at the NJ Time to Care Coalition, NJ Working Families Alliance, BlueWave NJ, SEIU 32BJ, and scores of other organizations, NJCAEF delivered a stunning victory for the working people in Elizabeth, NJ, educating voters on the local Paid Sick Days ballot question, which passed with an overwhelming 84% of the vote, making Elizabeth the tenth municipality in New Jersey to win paid sick days for its workers. As a result of these local victories, over 175,000 workers now have paid sick days!
QUALITY & AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL: As leaders of the state’s largest consumer health advocacy coalition, NJ for Health Care, we led efforts to implement national health reform in New Jersey. In addition to enrolling nearly 1,000 New Jerseyans into affordable health care coverage through our enrollment assistance program, we continued to lead the statewide ACA outreach an enrollment effort, which has connected over 600,000 New Jerseyans to health care coverage.
A BALANCED APPROACH TO NJ’S FISCAL CRISIS: NJCAEF and our partners in the Better Budget Choices for NJ coalition successfully fought for an increase in the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, which reversed Governor Christie’s tax hike on 500,000 low-income families. We also educated the public & media on the negative impact of regressive economic policies in NJ.
COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT & FAIR BANKING: We achieved a huge victory and, along with the NAACP NJ State Conference, led the charge to divest State Pension Fund dollars from the country’s second largest predatory payday lender which was recently fined over $10 million by the Department of Justice. We also provided research and data to Essex County on the need to require banks to invest in underserved communities, ultimately leading to the passage of Essex County’s Responsible Banking Ordinance (RBO), which was the first RBO to be passed in NJ and the second to be passed at the county-level in the country.
FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT: We provided free financial empowerment programs and services to over 10,000 low- and moderate-income individuals across the state:
- Provided foreclosure counseling to 816 homeowners who were behind on their mortgages, securing over $30 million in assistance through the NJ HomeKeeper and Home Saver programs;
- Provided first-time homebuyer counseling to 292 low- and moderate-income families, helping them achieve their dream of homeownership;
- Provided free tax preparation to 4,647 low-income workers, helping them receive $7.9 million in refunds (of which $3.3 million was in Earned Income Tax Credits); and
- Provided community education and outreach to over 4,300 people across New Jersey.