A stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family – that’s Phil’s pledge. From getting tough on gun violence to fully funding our public schools, and from growing our economy to protecting health care, Phil and Sheila are committed to turning New Jersey around; and, I’m here to support their agenda to help ensure they succeed.
As First Lady, there are many issues close to my heart – infant and maternal mortality, environmental protection, women’s rights and many others. In support of families and residents throughout our great state, I look forward to working with all of you to inspire and educate those around us.
I often think back to when I first held each of my children: Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam. Those first few moments of motherhood were the culmination of months of anticipation and excitement as well as the beginning of an indescribable journey for Phil, our children and me.
But in New Jersey, too many mothers don’t have that chance. On average, our mothers are dying at a faster rate than the rest of the nation. 37 women die for every 100,000 live births in New Jersey, compared with 20 nationally, earning our state one of the worst ratings in the United States.
For mothers and babies of color, the issue is even more dire. Within the first year of giving birth, black women in New Jersey are five times more likely to die from maternity-related complications. Similarly, and even though New Jersey’s infant mortality rate is among the lowest, black babies are three times more likely to die in the first 365 days of their life than white babies. This is the widest racial disparity in the nation.
This is unacceptable. And, it is up to us to make a change.
Up to 60% of maternal complications are estimated to be preventable. Although New Jersey is limited in how it can repair centuries of imbedded, institutional discrimination and racism, we know the factors that contribute to the disparity: access to healthcare, housing, transportation, substance abuse, education, and more.
The health of one community affects the health of others. While we have a long road ahead in dismantling the systemic racism that has led to this abhorrent discrepancy, I will continue working to help close this gap.
Climate change is real and it is happening now. We must redouble our efforts to tackle our climate crisis in a way that will benefit not just our environment, but every New Jerseyan.
Time and time again, Phil has proven his commitment to a clean and sustainable economy—enabling our state’s reentry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, protecting the Jersey Shore from the danger of offshore drilling and welcoming offshore wind energy development, setting ambitious but entirely attainable goals of 100 percent clean energy by 2050, and much more.
As a charter member of former Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Action Fund, I have long sought to galvanize support to fight climate change. Now in a state that is making its mark as a national leader in clean energy, I am determined to help Phil ensure New Jersey’s place at the top.
Our state can only move forward by creating a clean and sustainable economy that provides thousands of jobs with a resilient infrastructure. We are rejecting the false rhetoric that we can either have clean air and water, or jobs, but not both. New Jersey’s future rests in our ability to both do good and do well. We owe it to not only ourselves, but to the next generation as well.
As we have seen through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements and the Women’s March, our country is in an era of defining change. We are demanding equal pay for equal work. We are speaking for the silenced victims of sexual violence. We are rallying for the right to control our own healthcare. We are advocating for better gun laws to protect our communities and especially our children. We are fighting for a better life for our women of color, diverse faiths, abilities, ages, and more. We are not defined by our gender; we are the ones who are defining it.
I am constantly inspired by the brave women—and men—who are challenging the status quo. I am proud to have added my voice to the #MeToo movement by sharing my own personal story. As women, we must continue to support and encourage one another.
Since 1981, Drumthwacket has served as the Governor’s residence, but the story of the estate has been written for over 300 years. Its inhabitants have played important roles in pivotal moments throughout history, including William Penn, William Olden, Governor Charles Smith Olden, Moses Taylor Pyne, and Abram Nathaniel Spanel.
The storied history of the residence represents the resiliency of our state, and as President of the Drumthwacket Foundation, I want to continue to honor that history so Drumthwacket can live up to its moniker as “the people’s house.”
In the absence of the State House, which is undergoing extensive restoration until 2022, Drumthwacket is now more than ever being called upon to represent the state as a symbol of pride. To that end, we plan to work to restore the home and grounds, while expanding access to educational and cultural programming.
Since the start of the administration, Phil and I have hosted multiple dinners and receptions, gathering thought leaders, activists, and residents from across our state to experience the centuries of history and culture that are held within the residence’s walls.
Drumthwacket is a symbol of New Jersey, a state that is a great tapestry of different cultures, faiths, and backgrounds. We pride ourselves on diversity and inclusion and I want all New Jerseyans to feel welcome in this beautiful and historic home.