After an entire year in office, we must reflect on what has been achieved on behalf of the people of New Jersey. During this time, we have worked tirelessly to meet with numerous individuals and organizations passionate about making a positive difference in their communities and the lives of those living there. Their dedication and insights led us to sponsor several initiatives, including food and clothing drives which have provided valuable aid to local food banks and charitable organizations. It has been a privilege to meet with and work closely with those that have made such a positive impact. We express our profound gratitude for their commitment to their respective causes.
As first-term Assemblywomen, we have made it our mission to be readily available and willing to fight for you and your family 365 days a year. With the help of our incredible staff, we successfully introduced 90 pieces of legislation in our first year alone, had 17 co-sponsored bills signed by Governor Murphy, brought mobile office hours to 12 municipalities and counting, secured assistance for constituents in need across the district, and so much more. We hope we have lived up to the expectations and trust you have bestowed upon us as your dutifully elected representatives. But this is just the beginning.
From day one, we have spent considerable time and attention on securing funding for our schools and meeting with stakeholders in this sector. As a result, we spearheaded multiple legislative initiatives to expand funding for mental health programming, safety and security measures, the improvement of school facilities, and so much more. Of note was the successful campaign imploring Governor Murphy to reverse his administration's decision to eliminate the School Based Youth Services Program across the state. We take pride in knowing that even in challenging times, we have not neglected our schools but have chosen to fight for them, their programs, and our children's future.
We hope other legislative members equally commit to continuing these conversations about ensuring our children receive the highest quality education possible and that our education institutions receive the funding they deserve. The collective work done by parents, teachers, board members, superintendents, local officials, legislators, and many others has resulted in fundamental changes in students' lives everywhere, and their work should be noticed. As such, with increased access to educational resources comes better student outcomes that will ripple outwards into society for years to come—making this investment invaluable for future generations.
Additionally, we recognize the immense importance of ensuring that all individuals in New Jersey remain safe and secure; this includes ensuring their property remains secure. We have been tireless advocates for reforms that would improve your quality of life and ensure the safety and security you deserve. Taking immediate action on car theft prevention is necessary now more than ever before and will ultimately serve us all well in the long run.
At its heart, protecting New Jersey residents from crime should be a top priority for legislators. By ensuring individuals’ property is safe from theft, communities become more secure and thriving spaces to live in. Therefore, it is essential to act on this issue with all deliberate speed to ensure public safety and guarantee the well-being of everyone living within the state borders. We will continue to advocate for our five bills combatting motor vehicle thefts and other similar crimes and the well-being of our residents.
We are also incredibly passionate about protecting and defending our veterans. As we strive to be better stewards for those who serve and protect us, we are responsible for creating practical solutions that provide necessary aid for our veterans and military members in need. The effort required to build an adequate system of resources must start with raising awareness among local politicians and business leaders, who have the power to make a significant change in this regard.
This begins with strong conversations and passionate advocacy so that the legislature can take meaningful action. Fortunately, many veteran-related organizations throughout the state offer dedicated programs and initiatives that strive to provide aid for military members and their families in times of need. What’s more, we have had the pleasure of meeting with countless veterans-related organizations, each dedicated to the health and well-being of our state's bravest current and former men and women in uniform.
Through the mobilization of community partners, healthcare providers, governmental bodies, and private corporations –– we are committed to raising awareness about various veterans-related issues among local politicians and business leaders, including the provision of access to mental healthcare and other supportive services and connecting military members and their families with various health, housing, or social services resources. Doing so ensures that all current or former armed forces members receive the respect and treatment they deserve.
We have also worked hard to make New Jersey more affordable, advocating for reforms to improve residents’ quality of life. However, we must remember that fighting for the rights and freedoms of every individual in our state does not end with one year's accomplishments. It is an ongoing priority for everyone involved. Therefore, in addition to continuing our efforts towards ensuring affordable living conditions in New Jersey, we must also remain alert to any other issues that might arise that could further threaten its citizens' well-being.
By standing together and working as a team towards a common goal – providing residents with improved access to essential resources – we can create positive change in our community that lasts for years. Moreover, we urge all citizens to be active in their communities and speak out about issues that matter to them most so that their voices may be heard and considered when making future decisions about the direction of our great state. Finally, should you, a loved one, or anyone else you know require assistance or have ideas that would help the district, county, or state, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (732) 268-8968.
Yours in service,
Kim and Marilyn