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Latest News from The Citizens Campaign

The Citizens Campaign gives people the tools and training to take charge and get results on issues they care about. Tues. June 7, 2011 Issue 47 Join Donate   

Celebration of Leadership Event a Huge Success

Bea Daggett, Executive Director, The Citizens CampaignThe Citizens Campaign's May 16th Celebration of Leadership event was a great success!  Over 250 supporters (see event photos or upload yours to our group album) turned out to honor former Governors Brendan Byrne and Tom Kean for their civic leadership and their extraordinary support of The Citizens Campaign's Call to Service.  

Bea Daggett, The Citizens Campaign's Executive Director, welcomed the audience, "I cannot think of a more important organization or movement I can be apart of. I am absolutely convinced that teaching citizens how to become effective leaders in their communities and thereby expanding our country's  pool of problem solvers is the only way we can ensure the survival of our democracy," Bea said. 

In honoring these two distinguished New Jersey citizens, Republican Minority Senate Leader Tom Kean Jr., underscored the numerous accomplishments of Governor Byrne and Tom Byrne recapped the extraordinary achievements of Governor Kean.  

Click to watch 4 min. video of Gov. Byrne's speechBoth Governors addressed the audience and explained why the Citizens Campaign's Call to Service is critically  needed. Take the time to watch and share the videos of their commentary. Help spread the word. 
Gov. Byrne, in a very humorous address, talked about "the ability to disagree" and the Citizens Campaign's  no blame approach, as important leadership skills that need to be promoted (watch and share video.)  



Click to watch 6 minute video

Gov. Kean complimented Bea Daggett and Harry Pozycki, Chairman of the Citizens Campaign, saying that their strengths combined leading the Call to Service were "Perfect Together." Gov. Kean reminded the audience that "Democracy is beneath no one" and discussed  the seriousness of the mission of the Call to Service, expanding the participation of citizens, as critical to the future of our democracy (watch and share video.) "The future is in our hands," Gov. Kean said. Wins Two Major Journalism Awards

Joe Malinconico, award winning editor,, the hyperlocal news site founded eight months ago by The Citizens Campaign, was recognized by the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists (read story) with two first place awards for Best Online Independent News Organization and Best Online Public Service. Joe Malinconico, editor of, was recognized for his coverage of Paterson's municipal budget process, "Malinconico made coverage of the city's budget woes ongoing and it's lucky for the citizens of Paterson that he did. While full of financial details and information, the reporter presents them in a direct way that the average reader can understand. Good job of keeping the community informed of a subject that affects them all." To engage citizens in politics and government, also features a Civics Corner, with articles drafted by the Citizens Campaign and special guests. Civics Corner articles are now available to all members of the New Jersey Hyperlocal News Association.

Newark Citizen Leaders Complete Reform Marathon
Newark City Council passes Redevelopment Pay to Play ReformShortly after Mayor Booker was first elected, Newark residents, with the support of the Citizens Campaign, stepped up and took charge and pushed for a major reform overhaul of the city and succeeded in passing 6 out of 7 reform ordinances. The initial round of reforms included pay to play reform, developer disclosure of political contributions, open appointments to boards and commissions, a ban on fundraising on public property, creation of the position of inspector general and a ban on mayoral campaigns accepting employee contributions. Ibrahim Sharif, Citizen LeaderThe New York Times wrote Erika Key, Newark Citizen Leaderan article calling these sweeping reforms the most far reaching of any city in the nation. Nevertheless, one reform victory remained elusive, a ban on developers making major political contributions while seeking redevelopment approvals. Due to state law requirements, this measure required approval by the Newark City Council (pictured). On May 4th, under the leadership of Councilman Ron Rice Jr, Councilman Augie Amador, and Council President Donald Payne Jr, the measure passed unanimously, capping a complete victory.   Ibrahim Sharif, Erika Key,  and several other Newark residents had pushed for this measure over the years. A great interview with Erika Key appeared in the Newark hyperlocal news site WestWardPatch. Read her story.
Citizens Leaders Move Insurance Reform Forward
The Citizens Campaign put Pay to Play Reform of government contracting on the map in New Jersey and the Nation, and now its doing the same with government insurance purchasing. You can learn about the new waste cutting movement in the article  Move Toward 'Best Price' Insurance Contracting Model, by the Citizens Campaign Chairman Harry Pozycki. The article was published statewide in the Asbury Park Press, Courier Post, Times of Trenton, and the Daily Journal. Citizens, without being elected officials, are transforming the corrupt and costly practice of weak insurance contracting competition, and saving their communities millions of dollars. The new Best Price Insurance Contracting Reform Presentation Kit makes it easy for any citizen to take charge and pass this cost saver (Download it now). Citizen leaders in Camden, Paul Smith and Elton Citizen leader from Camden presented a cost savings proposalCustis, who learned about the waste cutting tool at the Camden Call to Service Summit, presented the Best Price Insurance Contracting Model to the Camden School Board. Paul SmithAnd in Paterson, citizen leader Quincy Battis urged adoption by the city's school district.   Best Price Insurance initiatives have already been passed in Cherry Hill, Toms River, Perth Amboy, and Morristown and generated savings of over $10 million. You can present the Best Price Insurance Contracting Model in your community.  Contact Lauren for support in making your presentation at or 732-548-9798 x2.
NJHNA Meeting Topics: Going Green and Political Parties
Sign up for the New Jersey Hyperlocal News AssociationThe New Jersey Hyperlocal News Association (NJHNA) invites reporters, editors, citizen journalists, and concerned citizens to a discussion on citizen efforts to help municipalities "go green" and to gain insider knowledge on how local political parties can be democratized.  The meeting will feature Sustainable NJ co-founder, Randall Solomon who will explain the Sustainable NJ program and discuss the challenges and opportunities for the movement. 335 municipalities are in the Sustainable NJ program. Learn how to better inform your community of sustainable next steps and how obstacles can be overcome as these communities move to be certified and "go green." RSVP Now.

The meeting will also feature an informative panel on party politics.  The Municipal and County Political Parties are the kingmakers in Jersey politics. Learn insider tips on how these "hidden power centers" operate and how party members can democratize the political parties. The Primary Election is June 7th and the party reorganization meetings will be less than a week later -- when it comes to the political parties, knowledge is power, which makes the role of a local reporter even more important.

Location: Rutgers-New Brunswick, Graduate Student Lounge, 126 College Avenue

When: Wed. June 8 10:30 am (Refreshments and registration begin at 10am) RSVP Now.



Upcoming Event
Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones will speak at the Call to Service SummitPaterson Call to Service Summit
Friday June 17th, 6pm
Paterson Mayor Jeffery Jones will be giving the Keynote Speech
St. Joseph's Hospital - Auditorium,
703 Main Street, Paterson, NJ


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