Breaking Jersey Dems Jinx’s second term as Biden crumbles
With just dozens of hours to go before the polls in New Jersey close, Gov. Phil Murphy looks likely to break the cap on a term that has haunted his Democratic predecessors since the 1960s. This could be great news for Jersey Democrats, but that needs to be tempered by the latest NBC poll that found President Biden’s presidency underwater, with a majority of Americans now disapproving of his performance at work.
Further, the survey finds that 7 in 10 adults, including almost half Democrats, believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction, along with nearly 60% who view Biden’s management of the economy negatively. just months after starting his presidency, âNBC reported.
On a planet in the throes of a pandemic and climate crisis, we cannot afford to be short-sighted about what matters politically. What good is Murphy being reelected, if at the same time his national party plunges and loses control of Congress?
Much of the COVID recovery that Murphy was able to run on, after our state recorded the highest per capita COVID death rate on earth, was due to the House-initiated multibillion-dollar infusion of Washington. Blanche Biden and adopted by a democratically controlled Congress.
The erosion of support for Biden within his own party can easily be attributed to the obstructionism of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-Az) who brought the Build Back Better agenda to its knees. of the 78-year-old president before the details could be presented to the American people.
Biden’s daring, potentially transformative $ 3.7 trillion program has been the victim of shiv work inside the Ring Road within the Democratic Party. While the coverage focused on personalities and dollar amounts, few Americans really knew what exactly the Build Back Better program was all about, even when lobbyists for pharmacy, Wall Street, and energy companies struggled to derail it.
Now, the widely released details include the long list of what Democrats had to cut: paid family leave; sick days; free community college; dental and vision; as well as a plan to lower prescription drug prices, all to satisfy the two-party “moderates” who could support a significantly reduced package of $ 1.7 trillion.
To say the Professional Democrats blew up the message about it doesn’t fully describe the full-screen political blunder. Now the story is about what the Democrats did NOT deliver. No wonder the wave of popular support for Biden is ebbing.
“Democrats have to meet the daily needs of the people,” said Larry Hamm, longtime member of the Newark community.
organizer and former candidate for the US Senate. âWhen you hear the conversation about reconciliation and Build Back Better, you hear numbers and not programs like child care or the expanded child tax credit. “
Hamm, chairman of the People’s Organization for Progress, said he saw the line between progressives and so-called moderates to be between “the people who want the working class to have more” and “those who want her to have less – that would be your moderates.
On October 27, thousands of poor and low-income Americans, along with their advocates, came from across the country to Washington, DC as part of a nationwide organizing effort led by Rev. William Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign to lobby Congress not to cut back on the original Biden Build Back Better program.
“The whole focus is just on the numbers, so many billions,” said Imam Saffet Abid Catovic, who is the Muslim marquee of Drew University in Madison, who made the trip to support the campaign of the poor. . âThe focus is not on people, like essential workers who are now disposable. It is a sad commentary on how our democracy works to see the whole process blocked by two senators. I thought it was “we the people”, but we are held hostage by these two senators.
For Murphy and New Jersey, there is still a long way to go, as the pre-pandemic lead pipe crisis in Newark has revealed. The loss of speed in Washington will have real consequences here in New Jersey. Generations of neglect of our basic infrastructure have wreaked havoc beyond the means of a single state’s treasury to repair.
The massive death toll from the pandemic and the disparate impact on people of color, who were often on the front lines as essential workers, revealed major gaps in our health and public health systems.
Just consider how many of the dozens of residents in our area who drowned in Ida’s floodwaters died in illegal basement apartments. When you run a state like ours where, according to the United Health Foundation, more than one in five families live with “serious housing issues,” you really need a willing partner in Washington if you are to deal with it. our chronic housing crisis while you are at the same time hardening our neighborhoods to the ravages of climate change.
According to health rankings from the United Health Foundation, 21% of housing units in our state have one or more of the following issues: they do not have full kitchens; lack of the necessary plumbing; are overcrowded and / or represent a “severe” cost to the families living there. Nationally, only 17.5 percent of the nation’s residential housing stock is similar.
Building back better must be more than a slogan, it must be an imperative.
As evidenced by the recent visit of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to the Rutgers University campus in New Brunswick to campaign for Murphy, our governor has successfully aligned himself with the progressive wing of his party.
In a glowing profile in the Nation, columnist John Nichols postulated that Murphy might be the “most progressive” governor of the United States, observing that “many who were once skeptical of the former banker of investment now admits that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s policies were compassionate. and avant-garde.
On Governor Murphy’s campaign website, there is a tab that points out affordable housing as an issue, but it is billed as “strengthening New Jersey’s position as the best place in America to raise a family” without no reference to the deplorable state of much of its housing stock where people pay far too much for far too little.
“When COVID-19 made it difficult for thousands of residents to pay their rent or mortgage, Phil took decisive action, signing an executive order preventing people from being removed from their homes through eviction proceedings or foreclosure, âMurphy’s website proclaims.
What’s missing from this story is that BEFORE the pandemic, according to United Way’s annual Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (ALICE) survey, nearly 40% of New Jersey households were struggling to make ends meet. and keep up to date with their rent or mortgage. In some of the poorest communities in the state, the majority of households were in this kind of monthly melting pot.
For years, long before COVID, New Jersey was one of the states with the highest rate of foreclosures and more than a decade after the Great Recession, thousands of zombie homes continue to weigh on real estate values. localities and constitute a clear and current danger for the neighborhoods. in places like Camden and Newark.
In 2018, NJ Advance Media reported that according to the U.S. Census, New Jersey had 391,428 vacant homes with the highest concentration in Newark.
“They are empty, they are often in poor condition and they weigh on your wallet,” wrote Disha Raychadhuri of NJ Advance Media. âVacant properties can hurt a region’s economic growth, adding scourge, discouraging investment and reducing the overall vibe of a neighborhood. Not to mention that they can be a real thorn in the side of your home’s value.
For Fredrica Bey, a Newark-based community activist, Governor Murphy and his administration have failed to meaningfully resolve the protracted state lockdown crisis that preceded the pandemic. As a result, she says that she will not vote for him, but that she will vote.
“The governor, who is from Wall Street, did not hold banks like Wells Fargo accountable for how they undermined black home ownership and decimated our” historic black wealth for our children and families in our neighborhoods, “she said.” I will do it on behalf of our beloved Maya Angelo who told us, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” Or I will write in the name of our beloved, Fannie Lou Hamer, like “We are sick and tired, to be sick and tired!”
She continued. âWhen it comes to ‘me and my house’, we will vote for the people of Trenton who continue to respect our lives and our property, like our Coven member Cleopatra Tucker, who fought with us and understands what we are doing. we need our elected officials when it comes to standing up against the big banks and Wall Street.
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