Here’s why we enthusiastically endorse Valerie Vainieri Huttle for LD37 Assembly:
The “County Line” in primary election ballots: Being placed in a preferential ballot position unfairly benefits some candidates and disadvantages others. Recognizing the outsize influence of the “county line” primary election ballots on the outcomes of elections, and the considerable voter confusion that they cause, I will support changing the NJ primary ballot to an “Office Bloc” design as is used in every other state and in some counties in NJ (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more information).
Comment: In the face of voter suppression efforts around the country, New Jersey can and should be a leader in expanding pathways to democracy, not limiting them. New Jersey’s county-line system is simply not democratic and it disproportionately impacts candidates who are women and people of color. I am proud to be joining my colleagues in standing up for meaningful change to improve transparency and democracy in New Jersey.
Ballot Order: Following best practices in 16 states, I will support implementing a rotational ballot order system that ensures to the greatest extent possible that all candidates running for the same office receive the first and subsequent ballot positions in an equal number of election districts and no candidate is advantaged over other candidates on the basis of their ballot placement (see http://ggcnj.org/resolution for more details).
Voter access: I support adopting parts of H.R.1 in New Jersey in order to increase voter participation, ensure access to the ballot box, and strengthen elections, including specifically same day registration, early voting and a paper trail for machine voting that enables verification.
Ethics reform: I support ethics reforms that would require broader disclosure of financial information and the release of income taxes by candidates for county-level and state-level public office, as a means of transparency.
Campaign funding: I support the public funding of campaigns for all state-level elected offices (i.e., the state legislature and gubernatorial elections).
Redistricting: I support placing a nonpartisan commission in charge of the legislative redistricting process.
Public Advocate: I support passing legislation to reinstate the statewide Office of the Public Advocate that was eliminated in 2010.
Posting of bills: I support requiring bills to be posted a minimum of 72hrs prior to voting in the legislature, to allow legislators to read bills thoroughly and obtain feedback from the public.
Comment: This should be dependent on if a bill has been thoroughly vetted through committee.
Legislative meetings: I support making all committee meetings accessible to the public for attendance and testimony by online means (e.g., via zoom) and streaming of voting sessions even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, to increase availability and transparency of government.
Full time legislature: I support making the state legislature full-time and prohibiting the simultaneous holding of other paid positions, so as to eliminate conflicts of interest and sources of influence and pressure on state legislators.
Comment: Yes, full time unless a legislator is working in a profession that poses no conflicts of interest.
More information about Valerie Vainieri Huttle:
Campaign website: https://www.valerieforsenate.com
Social media: Twitter: @VVHforSenate Facebook: ValerieforSenate
Party affiliation: Democratic party
Current Occupation: Funeral Director, Assemblywoman
Education: Bachelors in English from Fairleigh Dickinson University
Public/party service: I have served in the General Assembly since 2006. Previously, I served on the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, also serving as the county’s first female chair.