July 21, 2021
Dear Friends,
As the state continues to reopen, we look forward to a safe, healthy summer during which New Jerseyans can rebuild and recover together while tackling some of our most formidable challenges. We firmly believe that these social, environmental, and economic challenges can only be solved through comprehensive system thinking and broad collaboration. We hope you will join us! An immediate opportunity for participation is the upcoming Jersey Water Works 2021 Membership Meeting on July 28. The meeting will feature state leaders’ perspectives on New Jersey's most pressing water issues, highlights from the collaborative’s working committees, and more. And for those interested in responding to lead in our communities, please consider following or joining the efforts of the Lead-Free NJ collaborative, which held its second membership meeting earlier this week.

New Jersey is a racially and economically diverse and segregated state. Our most recent report, Creating Great Places to Age for Every Person in Every Neighborhood, illuminates not just how segregated we are at the municipal level, but how segregated we are within many of our municipalities. While this work was originally developed to target additional aging-friendly community engagement, it shines a spotlight on local disparities that are instructive to anyone looking to address racial and economic disparities and injustices. Take a look at the lists included in the report and see where your town ranks.   

Next, read our blog post in response to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Draft Climate Change Resilience Strategy. This piece discusses the importance of water infrastructure, its role in the NJDEP’s strategy, and recommended improvements to the Strategy’s treatment of stormwater. 

None of New Jersey Future’s work would be possible without the vision and dedication of its team members. We are currently hiring for three positions and hope that you share these opportunities with applicants who will support our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
New Jersey Future is committed to extending aging-friendly work into neighborhoods in which older residents may not feel that local leadership or advocacy groups are aware of their unique concerns. In particular, we are interested in identifying concentrations of older New Jerseyans who are people of color or lower-income in order to most effectively implement equitable aging-friendly strategies.
When thinking about climate change in New Jersey, it is easy to focus on the most obvious threat: coastal flooding from sea level rise. However, climate change will have a number of effects on New Jersey’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure as well. The NJDEP’s Draft Climate Change Resilience Strategy recognizes these issues and is an important first step toward adapting New Jersey’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure for an uncertain future.
The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the extent of the digital divide in New Jersey. As we come out of the orders to stay at home, an ongoing issue is incomplete data on internet access, speed, and prices. One suggested solution is to create an office at the state level to coordinate the data collection effort. Beyond this, state-level offices can also communicate, coordinate, plan, and fund broadband efforts in general.
The state is losing younger households to other states, and evidence points to high housing costs as one of the reasons. To create more of the kinds of homes that younger households are looking for—in the neighborhoods they want to live in—New Jersey should consider revising the zoning and parking requirements that determine what kind of housing gets built and where.
Legislative & Government updates
Coming Up
  • 2021 Jersey Water Works Membership MeetingJuly 28 1-3 pm. This is a pivotal moment for water infrastructure. Your work and passion for transforming New Jersey's water is essential to the conversation at the Membership Meeting. Register today to see how Jersey Water Works can serve as a platform for you to foster new opportunities, connections, and win-win solutions to New Jersey’s toughest water challenges.
Smart Growth for Everyone
Smart Growth is equitable growth. It is also restorative, as smart growth and redevelopment can help correct systemic racial and economic disparities. As New Jersey Future drives land use decision-making toward more equitable outcomes, we will be sharing useful resources and lessons in this monthly spotlight. Please give us your feedback and share with us any particularly insightful articles, talks, events, or videos that you come across.

As the negative impacts of climate change are felt hardest in communities that were redlined, it is essential to direct climate change mitigation efforts to those areas. Redlined areas did not receive the same infrastructure investments as other communities, including tree cover. Today, that translates to hotter temperatures, flooding, higher pollution levels, and resulting health, economic, and safety issues for low-income communities and communities of color. Areas with higher levels of tree cover exhibit cooler temperatures, less stormwater runoff, cleaner air, and even decreased stress for residents—all of which are essential as we observe the increasing effects of climate change. This article details local efforts in Cleveland to expand the city’s tree cover to reduce the effects of climate change and tackle historic economic and racial inequities.
Come Work with Us
  • Communications Director: New Jersey Future seeks an experienced communications director and strategic thinker to guide the organization’s communications strategy and oversee its expanding communications and marketing activities. Full job description.
  • Policy Director: New Jersey Future is seeking a highly-motivated and experienced policy advocate to direct its initiatives for pressing climate and public health challenges stemming from inadequate stormwater and drinking water infrastructure. Full job description.
  • Program Associate: New Jersey Future seeks a skilled, organized, and motivated individual to provide administrative and communications support to the program team involved with projects dedicated to improving the state’s water quality and infrastructure. Full job description.
New Jersey Future in the News
Featured Resources

New Jersey Future has prepared Creating Places To Age: A Community Guide to Implementing Aging-Friendly Land Use Decisions to provide communities with a step-by-step process to make designing for the needs of older residents easier.

The New Jersey Stormwater Utility Resource Center  is a one-stop shop housing technical, legal, and financial information, case studies, and helpful guidance on stormwater solutions, community process, and public engagement.

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0 breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision-makers more clearly understand green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.

This report from the Jersey Water Works Lead in Drinking Water Task Force outlines actions New Jersey can take to virtually eliminate lead in drinking water in 10 years. New Jersey Future is a member of the Jersey Water Works collaborative.
Social Media Highlight
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible and equitable growth, redevelopment, and infrastructure investments to foster healthy, strong, resilient communities; protect natural lands and waterways; increase transportation choices beyond cars; provide access to safe, affordable, and aging-friendly neighborhoods; and fuel a strong economy for everyone. New Jersey Future does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance. Embracing differences and advancing fairness is central to New Jersey Future’s mission and operations. New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursuing greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations, and external communications.