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VOTE411 Voter Guide

24th District Assembly {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The NJ General Election will take place on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Voters will head to the polls to select a Governor, State Senator, and State Assembly Members, as well as a number of county and local elected officials.
CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
  • Kenny Collins (Grn)

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    Aaron Hyndman (Grn) PR & Communications Consultant

  • Kate Matteson (Dem)

  • F. Parker Space (Rep)

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    Gina Trish (Dem) 24th District State Assembly

  • Harold J. Wirths (Rep)

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Biographical Information

New Jersey has some of the highest property taxes in the nation. What, if anything, do you propose to lower property taxes?

New Jersey's state pension system has recently been named the worst-funded state retirement plan in the country and is arguably one of our largest financial problems. How do you propose to address our state's pension issues?

How can New Jersey meet our energy needs while protecting our environment? For example, would you support energy conservation, expansion of renewable energy projects, hydraulic fracturing, and pipelines, etc?

What would you do to promote job growth in our state?

Please indicate three additional state priority issues for you (not already listed in this questionnaire) and explain how you would address them.

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Website www.Green24th.US
Twitter @AaronHyndman
Qualifications/Experience B.A. Communication, Rutgers University; State Party Co-Chair, Green Party of New Jersey; Communications Coordinator, NJ Bike & Walk Coalition; At-large Member, Warren County Mental Health Advisory Board
There are two policy initiatives I would seek to advance in the legislature that would make property taxes much lower for residents of the 24th Legislative District and the State of New Jersey as a whole. The first is a completely reformed system of fair school funding that acquires its revenue through a progressive income tax, instead of property taxes. And the second is state-funded universal single-payer health care, which would save money for municipalities by eliminating costly premiums, reducing overhead, and stopping redundancy and waste. Consolidation of both school districts and municipalities is also an approach that should be considered, and legislative initiatives should be passed that encourage and streamline such options.
It is unacceptable to break promises made to state employees because corrupt New Jersey officials have made it a common practice to raid the pension fund in order to fund their pet projects or to balance the budget on the backs of state employees. Dedicated trust funds must remain just that. Constitutional protections must be strengthened to remove the ability of governors or any other public officials to divert money from the pension fund, or any other dedicated state trust accounts.
Renewable energy is the key and must be aggressively advanced. New Jersey needs to commit to phasing out fossil fuels and fully transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2035. This absolutely can be done, and through legislative action that allows for decentralization of the power grid, community choice aggregation, microgridding, and putting an end to restrictive net metering and interconnectivity regulations, renewable energy can properly emerge as a sustainable market-based alternative to the toxic status quo of pollution-generating power. Accordingly, fracking and pipeline construction should be halted immediately. Legislation that promotes conservation and fuel-efficient non-polluting vehicles can also help New Jersey achieve standards set forth in the 100% Clean Energy by 2035 Plan
The current "corporate welfare" approach is not the answer. Sustainable transportation policy is a forgotten piece of the puzzle for revitalizing economic growth and vitality. Our transportation system was constructed under the strategic error of building a network designed to draw people and wealth away from our towns, funneling them into cities beyond our borders. Local economies have thus suffered a “brain drain” that pulls money and investment away from our own municipalities. We need a transportation network that effectively connects our towns and cities within New Jersey. By doing so, our state can transform from a scattering of “bedroom communities” to a vibrant network of towns and cities where residents live, work, play, and most importantly, spend and invest their money locally.
ECOLOGICAL PROTECTION: My district is one of the few remaining pristine environments in New Jersey. It must remain so, not just because of the ecological need, but also because it will be a boon to our economy, properly carrying out the Highlands legislation and funding its TDR Program as originally intended to provide economic justice for our farmers and improvement of the economies in my district’s “Planning Area” towns.

EDUCATION: There has been excessive reliance on standardized testing due to state and federal overreach. Guidelines are necessary, but Individual authority over curriculum development must be returned to the local boards of education and especially to individual teachers.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: "De-carceration" and ending civil asset forfeiture must be prioritized.
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Twitter @kateandgina
Qualifications/Experience I'm a Professor of web technologies, an independent designer and a Mom. I have run for town committee once and serve as event director for an annual event benefitting the epilepsy Foundation of NJ.
When the Economic Development Administration sends tax credits to corporations in urban areas to the tune of 6 billion dollars over the course of 8 years under the christie administration and none of that comes to our District, that hurts us financially. As a legislator, I will fight for those dollars that could be used to encourage job growth and business development in our region helping to reduce our property taxes and stimulate job growth. Additionally, school funding needs to be more equitable and fair based on the School Funding Reform Act. While some areas are overfunded, our District has several underfunded schools, which increases our property taxes. If properly funded, the property taxes would be reduced in these towns resulting in a better education for our kids.
State workers and New Jersey's credit reputation have been hurt by unfunded pensions. Once again our diminishing middle class taxpayers are expected to bear the burden, as we ask them to pay for benefits they can't afford themselves. Right wing politicians say we can't fund pensions, but by taking a balanced approach we can move in the right direction. Unfunded liabilities can be reduced in a couple ways — by cutting $700 million in annual fees and bonuses we pay Wall Street investors, breaking pension payments down into quarterly installments instead of one payment a year, and cutting $5.5 billion that's given to larger companies in grants or corporate tax breaks will save billions over time. The super rich and corporations must pay their fair share.
New Jersey should be a leader in clean energy production and use. Clean energy production, including solar and wind should be on an upward swing. While other global leaders are moving away from fossil fuels and focusing on clean energy, we are putting people back in the mines. I will not support hydraulic fracturing or pipelines that pass through our watersheds, such as the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline in the Highlands. We must take the opportunity this election cycle to bring in Democratic leadership and make the environment a top priority, especially considering the Federal rollbacks we are experiencing. Supporting and expanding clean energy initiatives is not only the right thing to do at this point in history, but it will also create thousands of jobs for New Jersey.
Our district has experienced economic stagnation in a higher proportion than the rest of the state with an increasing need to commute farther. I question why over the past 8 years our State government has given away nearly $6 billion to large multi national companies but very little money comes back to our District to invest in us. These corporate tax breaks are not benefiting our people. As a legislator I will advocate for incentives for companies to come back to Northwest New Jersey which will directly benefit our workforce. I will also sponsor legislation that assists our towns in getting their infrastructure projects off the ground to support our commuting working class and work to dedicate environmental funds for promoting jobs in clean energy.
1. Schools need to help children be competitive in the job market. We must stop teaching to the tests and start teaching toward our kids getting jobs! I will support legislation that helps schools integrate STEAM technology in the classroom, expands alternate route vocational programs and pre-K programs that prepare our kids for the future. 2. Local governments are struggling to keep up with aging demands of our failing infrastructure. I will sponsor legislation that assists our towns in getting their projects off the ground and expands and improves transportation - including new bus routes and train stations. 3. Through a focused plan for economic development, I will legislate to create rural enterprise zones that revitalize abandoned assets and tap eco and agro tourism opportunities.
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