What is unique about protecting New Jersey’s resources?
NJ is one of, if not the most the most densely populated states — we have a responsibility to protect and be the stewards of natural areas as well as farmlands. As a former member of the Highlands Council we were charged with oversight of historic and natural resources, threatened and endangered species, farmland preservation while managing development requirements of the municipalities, counties and the state. It is a fine balance that requires careful consideration. NJ is not only diverse in population but in our geography and topography. From the Pinelands to the Highlands, the Jersey Shore to the farmlands and mountains of the northwestern part of the state. nd of course the urban and suburban communities in between. We take what makes NJ unique for granted and expect that will always be here. Unfortunately, unless we become responsible stewards of the resources what we leave for future generations may be much different.
As a parent are you worried about the effects of climate change on your children and the children of New Jersey?
I am definitely worried. Everything I do, every decision I make is based on the impact it will have on my family. As a mayor, I have experienced the extreme weather conditions of the last several years, and as a mother I wonder what my children will have to look forward to if we continue to do nothing.
Why is a bipartisan effort so important and how can these efforts be achieved in our politically polarizing culture?
If we don’t move away from the polarization of political parties we are going to continue to see gridlock — we will watch our economy and infrastructure crumble and our environment destroyed. I know that sounds extreme but I have watched for the last 8 years + our elected officials stall or stop smart legislation because it came from “the other side.” I am done with both sides and focus on issues important to me, my family and my community. I have taken Democrats to task as much as I have taken Republicans to task for not focusing on the right issues and fixing what is broken. I have watched it become so much easier for politicians to get people angry and mobilized because of a soundbite. If we changed direction and channeled that energy into something positive we might see true progress.
Is there anything you would like to share that is important for Moms Clean Air Force members to know?
We all have a responsibility — we have to hold our representatives accountable for the work that is not getting done. We need to show them the faces of our children, families and communities and tell them the stories of how their lack of progress is having a negative impact on our children — how what they don’t do now will insure that our children and grandchildren may not have much of a future to look forward to. I don’t care if someone is a Republican or Democrat — I vote based on the values and the work ethic of the individual running. That is our responsibility to make sure we vote for those that will protect the future of our families and communities.