Monthly News & Updates

June 2022 | Issue 2

NJ Citizen Action's 40th Anniversary

Sen Lautenberg & NJCA opposing Reagan healthcare cuts - April 1985

In our continued celebration of NJCA's 40th anniversary, take a look back with us to important moments in our early history.

The photo on the left was taken on April 10th, 1985. NJCA hosted a healthcare rally in Cranford, NJ with Senator Frank Lautenberg, attended by over 300 senior citizens and community leaders. The NJCA Healthcare Coalition asked the Senator to oppose all Reagan-era cuts in cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security recipients, Medicare and Medicaid. A few months later, after months of intense debate, the U.S. Congress passed a budget that left the Social Security COLA, Medicare and Medicaid intact.

See more photos from NJCA's history

Snapshots From History

In 1984 NJCA helped establish a coalition of community partners and faith-based organizations throughout the state to drive voter registration in underserved communities
After the 1985 Exxon Valdez oil spill NJCA founding member John Atlas addresses a crowd of over 300 people representing numerous environmental and citizen groups
After the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill NJCA activists led a demonstration at the Exxon Stockholder meeting

NJCA In Action

Renee Koubiadis

NJCA: families living in extreme poverty need more help from vital safety net

A vital safety net for NJ families living in deep poverty is shrinking even as the number of residents in need continues to grow amid rising costs and an ongoing pandemic, advocates say.

Federal lawmakers built the program with the goal of lifting families out of poverty through work, but it was influenced by harmful narratives that have permeated U.S. policymaking for more than a century, said Renee Koubiadis, NJCA Anti-Poverty Program Director.

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NJCA and partners call on NJ to end racist auto insurance rate-setting

New Jersey groups that have been pushing for passage of legislation that would prohibit auto insurers from using education, occupation, or credit score when setting one's auto insurance rate are now asking the state to just make the move on its own.

"African-American and Latino drivers with perfect driving records can be charged higher premiums than white drivers with blemished driving records who are better off socioeconomically," the groups said.

"Basically, it's more expensive to have bad credit than a car crash," added Renee Koubiadis, NJCA Anti-Poverty Program Director.

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Op-Ed: President Biden must keep his promise on student loan forgiveness

By Lauren Wightman, social worker and former NJCA intern

Debt burdens like these, especially with inflation on the rise, prevent borrowers from achieving the economic prosperity our higher education was supposed to secure for us. They also help limit our nation’s economic growth. Graduates with debt spend less, are less likely to start new businesses, are less likely to buy homes, and add additional strain to public safety nets.

Income inequality and the racial wealth gap make this especially true for minority students, with average loan amounts being disproportionately higher for female students, students of color, and students identifying as LGBTQ+.

The ever-growing cost of education is unfair, unjust, and unsustainable. The system for financing higher education in this country has become such a debt trap that it too often leaves borrowers owing tens of thousands of dollars more than the number of their original loans.

Read more

See more NJCA in the news

Our Community

Free Services Spotlight:

Eviction Protection

In August 2021, the Murphy administration began providing critical protections to renter households who experienced economic hardship during the pandemic. As a result, there are statewide eviction protections for renters who complete income self-certification. This protection applies regardless of immigration status. 

If you are facing eviction from your home, New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund can help. Our Eviction Protection Program team provides a combination of education, outreach and direct assistance for those who need it throughout New Jersey. To date, we have helped more than 700 New Jerseyans self-certify and protect themselves from eviction.

Learn more and contact our team

Free First-Time Homebuyer Webinars for National Homeownership Month

For the 20th year, the White House and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has declared June as National Homeownership Month.

"Homeownership is a major source of generational wealth for many Americans - it is a central part of the American dream. But for too many Americans - especially Black and Brown Americans - homeownership and the opportunity to build and pass down wealth through it are unattainable. Longstanding inequities in the housing system, from disinvestment to redlining and mis-valuation of homes in communities of color, have locked out entire generations from the American dream and the opportunity to build generational wealth. Housing also opens up opportunities that are tied to where one lives, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure that everyone has equitable access to those opportunities." - President Joe Biden

For National Homeownership Month, NJCA has launched our annual series of free first-time homebuyer webinars that are running throughout June, July, and August. The next webinar is Thursday, June 16th at 6 pm.

Click here for more information and to register for a webinar

Upcoming Events

First-time homebuyer webinars (click a date to register):

Employee Spotlight:

Bonita Holmes, Director of Loan Counseling & Loss Mitigation

Bonita Holmes - Director of Loan Counseling and Loss Mitigation

As the Director of a statewide HUD-Certified housing counseling program in one of the most densely populated, diverse, and most segregated states in the country for the last 17 years, Bonita Holmes brings more than 38 years of professional experience as an advocate and nonprofit service provider who understands the unique needs of New Jersey's low- and moderate-income families, including renters, homebuyers, and homeowners, in addition to her own personal experiences having been born and raised in Newark, NJ...

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