Court Decision a Victory for Mosquera’s Rightful 2011 Qualification & Election

(TRENTON) – Assembly Women & Children Committee Chairwoman Pamela Lampitt and Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman on Thursday praised the U.S. District Court decision that declared that the residency requirement in the debate over Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester)’s election was unconstitutional.

The District court rejected a previous decision by the state Supreme Court in the challenge to Mosquera’s 2011 election, where she overwhelmingly defeated her Republican opponent.

“The District Court’s decision is clear, rejecting a partisan sour-grapes effort to prevent Assemblywoman Mosquera from being seated, despite her overwhelming victory in November 2011.” said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington).  “The courts and the people of the 4th legislative district have spoken–vindicating Assemblywoman Mosquera’s qualification and election despite a partisan lawsuit.  Having been decisively and duly elected in 2011, Assemblywoman Mosquera is laser-focused on fighting for the middle-class.  It is a shame that a partisan lawsuit and partisan court decisions have caused the 4th district to hold an unnecessary election this November.”

“The only leverage that Assemblywoman Mosquera’s opponents had was the state Supreme Court decision that her residency was invalid.  Today a federal court judge declared that was not the case,” said Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “I think it’s time for her opponents to accept defeat and allow Assemblywoman Mosquera to focus on the needs of the people who overwhelmingly elected her to office. The taxpayers should not have to incur the cost of an unnecessary election, but unfortunately, partisan concerns mean they will have to foot the bill for it anyway.”

After the 2011 redistricting process and the ensuing legislative elections, Mosquera’s election was challenged by the losing candidate, who claimed Mosquera’s election was invalid because she had moved into the newly-configured district 10 months before the election. Despite a 10-year old federal precedent declaring the residency requirement unconstitutional in the election immediately following redistricting, state courts permitted Mosquera to be seated but required her to run in a special election in 2012.

Earlier this week, the United States District Court held that the failure to follow the federal court order was not proper.

The following Assembly Democratic women joined Lampitt and Watson Coleman’s call:

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver
Assemblywoman Celeste Riley
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano
Assemblywoman Linda Stender
Assemblywoman Mila Jasey
Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker
Assemblywoman Grace Spencer
Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez
Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter
Assemblywoman Marlene Caride
Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle
Assemblywoman Connie Wagner

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Tragedy and Outrage in New Brunswick Shooting ~ Kine Martinussen

New Brunswick, NJ–According to reports, New Brunswick resident Barry Deloatch, 47, was shot twice and killed by a New Brunswick Police officer on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, near the intersection of Throop Avenue and Handy Street in New Brunswick.

Reacting to this tragedy, nearly 150 people gathered Thursday in front of the New Brunswick City Hall in protest against police violence.  Most were friends of Mr. Deloatch, and identified the shooting as part of a long-term and ongoing attack on New Brunswick’s African American and Hispanic communities. I came by to see what was going on. Here is what I heard from members of the community affected by the tragedy, in their own words.

The sign reads: ASSASSINATED: Shawn Potts, Sissy Adams (Tanya Lanham’s drill team coach), Barry Deloatch, Silvia Parson and André Showell

Cedric Goodman, Middlesex Country Democratic Committee person, and friend of Mr. Deloatch, called for an independent and outside investigation into the matter. He claimed that the NBPD has a long history of racist and brutal behavior.

Nina Webb feels for the Deloatch family: “We went through the same thing. My brother got shot in the back seven times. He was twenty years old. I want justice for my mother, and I want justice for the Deloatch family.” Commenting on the New Brunswick Police, she said “You don’t have to draw your gun all the time. You’re trained to apprehend people by other means instead of deadly force. He was a nice man and I feel for his family.”

Several agreed that there needs to be an effort to include the police in the community. Protester Sarah Lee is tired of the police circumventing their own protocol: “Cops should be from here, from our community. They need to live here for three years in order to join NBPD but they keep faking their addresses and moving away as soon as they can.” Publisher and community activist Tanya Lanham is sad to see that the police make no effort to connect to youth from her area: “The police officers don’t visit the schools and the mayor doesn’t visit the schools. My son is 23 years old and he has never seen the people he is supposed to vote for.”

Her son has however had encounters with the police, having been searched twice, once when he was 13 and again last August.” According to Ms. Lanham, both searches were unlawful. She also says her sister’s husband has been pulled over with a frequency of “once a week” on Remsen Avenue for “the last five years.” She concludes, “I am scared to come outside.”

The family of Mr. Deloatch was also present at the protest, and could be singled out by that raw, dazed, and wounded aura that clings to those who have recently lost of someone dear. Mr. Deloatch’s brother, Bennie, is appalled that he never got a proper courtesy call from the police. “We were never notified,” he says. “I had a friend call me telling me he saw my brother get shot. I got out of bed and I rushed to the hospital as fast as I could, but he was already dead.” To him, the pieces don’t match up. Nate, his other brother, kept repeating “My brother should still be alive right now.”

This is not the first time the NBPD has faced criticism for its alleged use of excessive force, let alone the first time this year. One protester said his brother’s jaw was broken during an interrogation, and that frequent searches have become routine. Last February, Rutgers students Jake Kostman and Kareem Najjar sued for police violence after being beaten during a search on their Somerset student home (which can be seen here).

New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill had this to say: “It’s fully understandable that people want, demand answers to numerous questions that arise. I think that we need to be patient to make sure the answers that are given are accurate.”

Neither the Mayor nor the NBPD have commented further since…

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Photos by Ms. Kine Martinussen.

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From The Basement: Harpoon Forever and Fugue ~ Michael Del Priore

Finding a basement show in New Brunswick takes some couth. It’s like the line in Swingers “You tell a chick you’ve been some place, it’s like bragging that you know how to find it.” The speakeasy romanticism of the whole local scene is its exclusivity, the delightful feeling you’re getting away with something the outside world wouldn’t understand.  But you don’t need a password to get into underground venues like Funk Palace – just a facebook message with the address and a few bucks for the touring band. The building is typical nondescript off-campus housing. There‘s no indication that a show is happening except for a solitary porch light and a muffled warble coming from the basement.  Inside, the warble becomes a wail. The two guitarists in Harpoon Forever kick up their volume pedals unexpectedly mid-song and the crowd starts to rock a little harder. In the dim glow of dangling Christmas lights, 20 or so longhaired college kids with doo-wop eyeglasses are dancing and playing air guitar along with the band’s heavy, bluesy solos.

Original songs like “Summer Vacation” are what the band does best – a mixture of compelling chords and grungy breakdowns that’s reminiscent of garage rock revival bands like Cage the Elephant. But despite Harpoon Forever’s tendency to keep songs under 3 minutes, the quartet also has enough classic rock influence to dig into longer jams. Case in point: the epic show closer, “Paddle to the Sea”, which starts out with bouncy alt-country strumming but then dissolves into building repetitions of krautrock drumbeats structuring Sonic Youth-style guitar mayhem. Sure, you can’t hear the lyrics over the P.A. but the sweaty exuberance of the singer and his hipster cowboy style say enough.

After the show, I walk a few blocks to another house, Titan’s Rest, where southern Connecticut band Fugue is making a stop on their 2-week tour. Outside, people are sitting on the driveway peering into the basement windows like stray cats. It’s not a packed house but it’s so hot inside that the girl drummer Alexa remarks, “I’m gonna pass out” with a look like she means it.

After a short break and some water, Alexa nods her head and kicks off the next song with an aggressive prog rock beat that sounds like early The Mars Volta. When the three guitars begin to fade in with lyrical melodies and the singer triggers a sample of birdcalls, it’s only to lure the audience into a false sense of security. Songs like “What the Tortoise Said to Achilles” prove that this band is all about contrast: clean tones are juxtaposed with distorted ones, soft sections suddenly burst into raucous thrashing, and the lead lines play tug-of-war with the rhythm section. With a name like Fugue it’s no surprise that most of the band’s catalogue is instrumental, but some songs feature vocals that provide emotional context and sound like tribal yells laced with Portishead-style effects.

When the band finishes their set and I walk back out into the sultry night of late July, it feels like air conditioning compared to the sauna I was just in. Summer basement shows in New Brunswick are not for the faint hearted, but with bands like Fugue and Harpoon Forever on the scene it seems like things are only going to get hotter.

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Waving to Solidarity: An Art Event at coLAB Arts Gallery

This Thursday coLAB Arts is hosting an opening event for the month long show, “Waving to Solidarity,” featuring one of the Johnsonville’s former artist contributors, Dave Peters. Below you will find the Press Release for the event. We hope that you will attend the event, or visit the gallery during the month long showing in support of coLAB and the Johnsonville’s own, Dave Peters.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – coLAB Arts is pleased to present Waving to Solidarity, a one-month exhibition featuring the work of the emerging artists, Dave Peters and John Leschak, curated by Theresa Francisco. Our Opening and Second-Look Reception will take place on Thursday August 18th and September 15th from 7-10 PM at coLAB Arts (49 Bayard Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901). These free receptions will feature complimentary wine, food, and live music. Custom made, interior design elements added by kliasi style.

Waving to Solidarity offers the viewer a glance at both meditative solitude and painful alienation through the artists’ formal conflicts with and emotional connections to, their environment and community. Dave Peters and John Leschak both work in a similar vein but their individual messages are quite opposite.

Dave Peters focuses on serene, biomorphic forms and quiet landscapes that are cerebral, captivating, and dream-like. Peters opens his subconscious and paints what comes naturally. This method often conjures up the repetition of imagery, creating both common, visual elements and narratives in many of his paintings. Even though Peters is very detail oriented, he wishes to keep his paintings ambiguous and open for personal interpretations. Dave Peters graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Spanish Literature. Though colorblind, Peters is a self-taught painter and is working towards a full-time career in the arts.

John Leschak uses heavy symbolism to make a direct commentary on modern society. He contextualizes human passions, vices, and fears to illustrate their effects on relationships and the community at large. Though often depicting scenes of individual despair and powerlessness, Leschak believes his images can bring about a need for action and empowerment. John Leschak is a practicing labor law attorney at Weissman & Mintz and immigrant rights activist.

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CoLAB Arts is a non-profit organization located in New Brunswick, NJ, dedicated to the development and presentation of emerging local artists. coLAB Arts’ mission is to cultivate a hip, mindful, and inclusive Hub City community of artists, audiences, and critics, empowered to create inspired and inspiring art.

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The Rise of Local Arts in New Brunswick ~ Matia Guardabascio

Recently I sat down with Theresa Francisco of the coLAB Arts organization in New Brunswick to chat about the organization and the people involved. CoLAB Arts is a non-profit organization that seeks “to cultivate a hip, mindful, and inclusive community of artists, audiences, and critics” as they so eloquently say in their mission statement. The people involved in coLAB work there on a volunteer basis. They are a passionate group of people whose goal it is to promote the local arts so as to make them accessible to the widely diverse audience of the New Brunswick community. CoLAB offers a starting point for local artists who want to make a career out of their passions, or who simply want to make their work available to the masses.

CoLAB is representative of the kind of organization that is so valuable to the promotion of the arts in an area that to many would seem bereft of cultural pursuits. They are a beacon of hope that enables otherwise unknown or unheard artists to connect with a wide audience. Like the Johnsonville Press, the people who are involved in the organization do it because they want to, because they are passionate about the arts, and because they want to give local artists the chance to be known and to promote themselves. They are making an incredibly valuable contribution to the growing cultural scene in New Brunswick.

I am proud of what they are doing for this community. It is my hope that they continue to gain support so that they, in turn, can continue to promote the arts with the same vigor and enthusiasm that I have already witnessed from them. I encourage the reader to visit their website to learn more about the organization and their mission. And please continue to check in with the Johnsonville Press for announcements of upcoming events. To the folks over at coLAB: keep up the good work! Cheers to you guys!

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Discernment of Spirits by Robert Addessi at coLAB Arts

Discernment of Spirits
Robert Adessi

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – coLAB Arts is pleased to present Discernment of Spirits, a one-month exhibition featuring the photography of Robert Addessi, curated by Theresa Francisco. Our Opening and Second-Look Reception will take place on Friday July 8th and July 15th from 7-10 PM at coLAB Arts, 49 Bayard Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. These free receptions will feature complimentary wine, food, and a live band. 

Discernment of Spirits is a collection of photographs that emphasizes the incredible variety of subjects in Addessi’s work ranging from landscapes, to portraiture, to abstraction. The images stir up feelings of warmth and nostalgia as they project the idea of a much slower and tranquil time in life. Along with these recollections and feelings of nostalgia, come a demand for solemn self-analysis and reflection on one’s relationship with nature and community. Although some images evoke communal memories, others consist of spaces and patterns of confusion that are dissociated from our understanding of reality. Discernment of Spirits asks the viewer to reassess and heighten his or her level of awareness to self and environment, challenging our ability to distinguish or discover what is visually new, beautiful, or important.

Robert Addessi was introduced to film photography in 1995 at Brookdale Community College. Shortly after, he was invited to join a workshop led by New York photographer Ralph Weiss and has been attending monthly sessions there for the past fifteen years perfecting his technique and developing his identity as an artist. He has chosen to capture each scene with film and transfer the image as purely as possible to reflect the subject as originally seen. The challenge, Addessi believes, is to find new in the ordinary. His creativity lies in his ability to approach his subject with levity and an open mind. He shoots what he finds interesting or entertaining as he
documents his day. In doing so, Addessi has discovered the surreal, the spiritual, and the novel in what most people consider to be the familiar.
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coLAB Arts is a non-profit organization located in New Brunswick, NJ, dedicated to the development and presentation of emerging local artists. coLAB Arts’ mission is to cultivate a hip, mindful, and inclusive Hub City community of artists, audiences, and critics, empowered to create inspired and inspiring art.

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Alfa Art Gallery’s New Brunswick Salon ~ Call for Artists

New Brunswick Art Salon, Fall 2011 – Call for Artists

About the Exhibition

In the 18th and 19th century, Art Salons were the greatest annual or biannual art events in the Western world, celebrating the farthest advances in academia and the arts. The Alfa Art Gallery, in order to bridge talented and highly esteemed artists with the New Brunswick public, holds its own Art Salon exhibition biannually in the spring and fall.

Call for Entries

The Alfa Art Gallery would like to invite artists to submit work for the New Brunswick Art Salon, Fall ’11. There are two artist categories: newly emerging artists and professional artists. All submissions must be in by September 25. Artists will be notified if their work is accepted by September 30. The exhibition opening will be held on Friday, October 21.

Theme

For this exhibition, artists must submit works celebrating diversity or unity in a community.

Submission Requirements

All applicants must be associated with New Brunswick as a resident or as an artist who exhibits in New Jersey. Students and faculty members of Rutgers University and neighboring schools may enter. You must at least be pursuing an undergraduate career to participate. Degree does not need to be related to art.  There is no limit to the number of works entered.

To enter for consideration, please email the following to info@alfaart.org:

  • Images with title/dimensions
  • Resume/CV
  • Statement about your work
Or contact:
Jewel Lim, Event coordinator,

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Alfa Art Gallery ~ 2011 Spring Art Salon

New Brunswick Art Salon, Spring 2011: Part I

Exhibition duration: April 22 – May 12, 2011
Opening Reception: Friday, April 22  @ 6:30-10:30pm
Curator: 
Jewel Lim
Multiciplinary Event: The New World Order

The Alfa Art Gallery is proud to present “The Double-Edged Search for the Truth & the Ideal,” the first of two spring exhibitions of the New Brunswick Art Salon 2011.

About  Alfa’s New Brunswick Art Salon

In the 18th and 19th century, Art Salons were the greatest annual or biannual art events in the Western world, celebrating the farthest advances in academia and the arts. The Alfa Art Gallery, in order to bridge talented and highly esteemed artists with the New Brunswick public, holds its own Art Salon exhibitions biannually in the Spring and Fall.

About this Exhibition

This exhibition “The Double-Edged Search for the Truth & the Ideal” features Carlos Frias, Dara Alter, Peter Arakawa and Rita Herzfeld, four talented painters from different backgrounds.  True to its title, this first part of the spring exhibitions for the New Brunswick Art Salon 2011 explores the individual’s search for the truth and the ideal in a larger community. The colors of the paintings in this collection are optimistic and vibrant; however, each piece contains an underlying narrative of the struggle to attain knowledge or to illustrate a desire in the bigger scheme of Life. Dara Alter creates multi-perspective, aerial landscapes without a fixed viewpoint as a response to her yearning for an ideal Israel. Peter Arakawa paints his works in only clusters of twos or threes in an attempt to avoid repetition: his works, created from observations of daily life, serve as voyages, combining patterns and shapes that are unlikely together, in search for an order that fits. In his paintings, Carlos Frias, with his intriguing Kandinsky-like palette, attempts to analyze and capture the essence of human beings as organic and spiritual forms with their ability to grow and self-destruct. Rita Herzfeld, acting and reacting in a cycle to each step in her creative process, attacks her canvases with ardent, moving paint strokes to actively demonstrate the gap and interactions between instinct, ideas, self-exploration and, ultimately, truth in a stilled image.

About the Artists

Carlos Frias received his BFA in Painting from the Parsons School of Design. His recent works aims to highlight our humanity , creativity, relationships and  urges to grow and self-destruct while, at the same time, strip us of our spirituality and culture, representing humans as organic forms bound to decompose and regenerate. Additionally, his work visually demonstrates the parallel between what art is able to represent of the evolution of humankind and how much we want to preserve and manipulate art to represent the history of our species. He has exhibited in Japan, the Dominican Republic, Spain, and the United States.

Dara Alter obtained her degree in Studio Art from the University of Guelph.  Heavily influenced by her cultural ties, she paints her memories of Israel in order to examine the North American Jewish nostalgia for an idealized nation.  In the last five years, she travelled to South America, North America, Asia, and the Middle East, which additionally influenced her works. Alter is most interested exploring location and place as it relates to her personal experiences and uses a specific palette that corresponds to the scenery in a particular region. She has exhibited in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey in the United States as well as in Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

Peter Arakawa obtained his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He became an artist through the influences of creative family members.  Arakawa has been a professional artist for over twenty-five years. His works are held in many institutions and museums, including the Zimmerli Art Museum, Newark Public Library, Jersey City Museum, the State Museum, Hunterdon Art Museum and Johnson & Johnson Corporation.

Rita Herzfeld attended the School of Visual Arts and City College of N.Y. and obtained her BA from Rutgers University.  Inspired by her artistic mother, Herzfeld became an artist who grew up believing in the power that comes with creation and its processes from simple tools such as pencil and paper. Her works are held in the Hurterdon Museum of Art, the Zimmerli Art Museum and various private collections.

Best Artists of New Brunswick Art Salon’ 2010

First Place: Wes Sherman
Second Place: Marsha Goldberg
Third Place: Larry McKim

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JVP Speaks: Are you going to vote?

Hello and welcome to JVP Speaks! In this soon-to-be-a-recurring-feature, contributors will kick-off a discussion on a particular topic by writing on a single prompt. This week the JVP asked itself: are you voting? Why or why not? Feel free to answer the question yourself, comment on any of our answers, and to generally get the ball rolling on this important topic! Here’s what we had to say: Jhoany Benetiz: I believe that this upcoming election is crucial. People are losing trust in our president and the Democratic Party, which I find very upsetting. I think that people need to learn to be patient and not expect drastic changes overnight. My family and I have been affected by the recession, so I totally understand why people are growing desperate and need things to improve. But, still, people should not lose hope like that. Obama’s doing what he can. I know that not everyone agrees with this. I constantly hear my professors urge us to vote on Tuesday and make a difference. But, unfortunately, I will not be voting. Why? Because I’m a permanent resident and only American citizens can vote. Isn’t that something? But I would vote if I could. Believe me! Brendan Kaplan: Yes, I will be voting. I’m more concerned with keeping my pulse on the local state of things rather than any of the other races. Also, I’m going to be voting in Princeton, my hometown community. I’ve heard a lot over the past few years about students needing to make a bigger difference in the political landscape of New Brunswick. I think that that is great, as long as one plans on staying in (or owning property in) this city. Aside from that, I think a more genuine way to give back to the community that more or less graciously provides us a place to study is through local community action rather that local community politics. True service can’t be put on a resume and should be undertaken as a means to an end, in this case hopefully a healthier community. Additionally, there are a number of issues that are important to me in good old P-town. My parents still live and own property there. There are also a number of changes happening downtown there, especially with the construction of the new hospital getting closer and closer to completion. I’m going to follow the progress there with a watchful eye, and hope everyone takes the time to lend their own personal expertise to their hometown races. We grew up there, we know the issues. Bilal Ahmed: This question does not entirely pertain to me because I am a Canadian citizen. However, I would advise people to register their dissent. I understand that voting sometimes appears to be a means of enabling a broken system, but I have watched enough news programs in the United States to know that most statistics are based on registered voters rather than eligible ones. The only way for your decision not to vote to have any effect on how party politics are conducted is to register before staying home on Election Day. I realize that some will argue that both parties are fundamentally flawed, but I have noticed that most objections to the American political process in this area of the country come from frustrations with the Democrat Party. They are labeled as spineless, cowardly, and unable to take a firm stance on issues such as Afghanistan. If I were able to vote in the 2010 election, I would register as a Democrat and remain at home in protest because of President Obama’s decision to escalate the war. I’d register in protest of the Afghan troop surge, as I believe it to be a political compromise that relegates bloodshed to an international theater rather than risking it in Congress. President Obama has decided to place life and human morality below American party politics, and in response I would register my disapproval. Matia Guardabascio: Yes. I will be voting in the election. I am voting because it is my civic duty to do so. I am voting because I want to make sure I did my part to help the country avoid the wrath of incompetent politicians. Voting in a state—Massachusetts— that is historically Democratic (except for Scott Brown), my voting day is less of a hot spot than most. Still, the gubernatorial race up here has been heated and I am anxious to cast my vote for a man who has done a good job as governor for the last four years. I am also anxious to remind Barney Frank that he will always win his district back home, in spite of the lies and propaganda spewing from the other side. And given the issues on the ballot this year (particularly the lowering of taxes), I feel obligated to go out and vote to make sure that the reasonable and responsible decision is made. Mike Stuzynski: I’m voting because, even though I have honestly lost faith in politics, a right un-exercised is a right lost. And my faith in politics will be restored only when everyone who voted for the bailout is no longer in office. Ask Alex G if he remembers how exciting it was last year when we found out that the House of Reps rejected it the first time. We had quite the celebration, and that was honestly the last time I really thought that the government was paying attention to my interests and wishes. The current health care law is a joke, but you’d only find that out if you read the entire thing (hint: it’s long). Listen to the media and they either criticize it for the wrong reasons (the asinine–but possibly true–notion that it’s an unconstitutional use of the commerce clause) or emphasize one or two talking points again and again. The bill failed to establish the goal of government run health care, but also did little to change the already highly structured and monopolistic private health insurance industry. Instead of using the natural force of private competition to drive costs of care down, the law allows insurance providers to divide up the market and keep prices artificially high. Because of all this, the law just does more harm than good. It’s like you sent your buddies out for beer, and they come back with a keg of O’Douls, and you still have to pay for it! Alex Draine: It was my intention to vote, but I will not be voting because the great state of New Jersey has failed to send me my absentee ballot in a timely fashion. Either that or the US postal service lost my application for an absentee ballot in its journey to Trenton. Dave Imbriaco: I plan on voting today and in every future election. Why? Because it’s the LEAST that a responsible citizen can do in a democracy. I know it’s a trite expression, but democracy is not a spectator sport. You can’t expect to have your interests represented in government if you don’t take the time one day a year to cast a ballot, and that is really the barest minimum that someone who considers themselves a responsible citizen can do. I would never expect for people to get as involved in politics as I do (doing what I do requires a bit of insanity), but I truly don’t understand why people don’t vote (well I do, I just tend to think their reasons for not doing so are stupid). It doesn’t matter if your choice is between a giant douche and a turd sandwich (credit: South Park), you still have a choice to make. If voting was always an easy thing to do, it wouldn’t be called a civic DUTY. You are lucky enough to be born in a country where you have the fucking chance to shape your own government, anyone who puts that down is an unappreciative asshole in my book. Moreso, it’s ESPECIALLY important that us young people get out to the polls. Do you all really expect our parents’ and grandparents’ to solve all the problems that they created? If the American youth doesn’t step up and assert themselves and demand their place in American politics, no one will give it to them and we’re fucked as a generation and a county. The day that I’m convinced that my vote doesn’t mean anything, you’ll find me on the front lines of the second revolution. Marlana Moore: I am going home to vote on Tuesday. My dad is running for council in my very small town, and he needs every vote he can get. I should have just voted by mail, but I forgot to get the ballot. I am not sure if my vote will matter all too much. In fact, I haven’t yet looked up the other candidates. The last two elections have been pretty big ones, and I guess I have seen the most aggressive campaigning in other states that are voting on senators. As a culture, we stress the gubernatorial and senatorial candidates so much more than local county positions even though that is the sphere where your vote has the most direct impact. But does anyone know who is on the Board of Freeholders, or even what they do? How about the County Sheriff? I don’t, and I think that I should. In Merchantville, I know that my vote will count, at least personally. I will probably continue to vote, just because I can. Rebecca Zandstein: I will be voting in the elections on November 2nd. I do not think I can complain about certain local legislation and actions being taken by our House representative if I did not at least vote. Voting is the minimum that is asked of us to do as out civic duty [as citizens]; voting is an easy way to go out and show that I care about what happens within my district. I do not approve of those who complain about budgets and taxes (cuts and increases) and free markets versus extensive restrictions on businesses when they did not even vote for a candidate who abides by their ideology. Furthermore, voting encourages education: one needs to know the core values behind each candidate and many times research is required for values that are not understood in depth. Educating oneself within society for the benefit of self and others is, in my opinion, a primary benefit to voting. Ben Kharakh: While I’m currently of the opinion that voting is less than the least that one can do, I also recognize that the government exists. A lot of times people get caught up in criticizing and theorizing without admitting that, hey, the world is a particular way right now. If you’re going to try to change anything in anyway, you’re better off taking the current state-of-affairs into consideration. So, I will vote. At first I was going to pick the candidates who seemed like they’d come closest to voting in the manner that I would vote, but they all fell short of that standard. And that’s based on websites designed with the purpose of making the candidates look good! So, rather than voting based on who I think will do the most good, I will vote based on who I think will do the least damage.

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