Monthly News & Updates

Sept. 2022 | Issue 5

NJ Citizen Action's 40th Anniversary

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

Early in President W. Bush’s second term, his administration pushed to partially privatize the Social Security System. NJCA opposed the plan due to its reduction in benefits for working class Americans, the exploding of the national debt, and subjected retirement security to the whims of the turmoil economic market.

On a cold winter’s day in 2005, NJCA planned a protest outside of one of President Bush's rallies to fight the proposed plan. After the mid-term elections of 2006, Democrats had effectively killed the plan to dismantle Social Security.

See more photos from NJCA's history

Snapshots From History

NJCA In Action

On the Inflation Reduction Act with Congressman Tom Malinowski

On Friday, September 16th, NJCA hosted a town hall with Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) and partner organization the NJ League of Conservation Voters to discuss the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act and what it means for New Jerseyans:

  • lower prescription drug prices
  • fighting climate change
  • keeping healthcare affordable

In case you missed it, you can watch the entire discussion on the NJCA Facebook page.

Advocates say more should be done to forgive student debt, lower higher-education costs

“'It’s good news that there will be some cancellations. It’s not enough,' says Beverly Brown Ruggia, with New Jersey Citizen Action.

The average student borrower in New Jersey owes more than $30,000. New Jersey Citizen Action wants Biden to forgive up to $50,000 in debt.

'We need to help strengthen our workforce and create an environment where we have the most highly educated workforce in the world,' Brown Ruggia says. 'That's what we want. That's what this country needs to invest in. $50,000 is not that much money.'”

Read more

Bill would create protections for private student loan borrowers in N.J.

"Under the bill, lenders would have to make terms more transparent, allow borrowers to apply for loan co-signers to be released, and create protections for borrowers with disabilities that prevent them from working, as well as others who default...

Only about 10% of student loan debt owed nationally today is from private loans. Still, it’s a staggering amount — a quarter million New Jerseyans owe more than $9 billion in college debt to private lenders, according to the center...

Beverly Brown Ruggia is financial justice program director at New Jersey Citizen Action, which is urging New Jersey legislators to pass the bill.

She said reforms are needed, and relief is overdue — especially for borrowers with private loans who were excluded from both loan relief during the COVID pandemic and the Biden administration’s recent student debt relief program."

Read more

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Upcoming Event: Annual Financial Justice Summit

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Our Community

NJCA in the Wild: Montclair Jazz Festival

NJCA staff hit the tables on Saturday, September 10 to talk to people at the 13th annual Montclair Jazz Festival about fighting for racial, social, and economic justice with political advocacy and free empowerment services for low- and moderate-income families. We may just pop up in your town next!

Want NJCA at your event? Contact us here

NJCA conducts Financial Literacy Workshop with United Way of Greater Newark

"The United Way of Greater Newark, convener of the Newark Asset Building Coalition, is collaborating with six partners to host four free Financial Literacy workshops as part of a four-week series in September.

The four seminars address student loans and reducing the price of education, a dive into life insurance, how to qualify and apply for home energy assistance, and an introduction to investing...

The series kicked off on Thursday, Sept. 8 with its first workshop 'The Price of Education, Reducing Student Loan Debt.' The hybrid session served 83 people both virtually and in person at Clinton Hill Community Action’s Early Learning Center on Demarest Street in Newark. Clinton Hill Community Action’s Laura Cole and New Jersey Citizen Action’s Beverly Brown Ruggia and Paula Mirk conducted the first workshop."

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Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Barbara E. Milton, Jr.

Dr. Barbara Milton is a former canvass director of NJCA, and a retired activist and clinical social worker who for 40 years worked on behalf of at-risk children and families. Her political activism spans racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, holding elected officials accountable, and workplace protections and equity for social workers.

She lives in New Jersey with her wife, Kay, where she is busy writing several books about her life, her beloved mother, her social work career and her research examining the content of the Slave Narratives. Barbara's latest book, "Heeding the Caregiver Call", tells the story of her journey as her mother’s caregiver and shares insights into the physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual impacts of caregiving while fighting cancer.

Learn more about Dr. Milton's work

Join the NJCA Team!

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Do you or does someone you know have a passion for social, racial, or economic justice? Are you looking for a fulfilling career supporting the needs and interests of NJ working families? NJCA is hiring for multiple open positions, including:

Learn more and apply

For more information on NJCA, visit our website

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