Social Justice must be improved in New Jersey, as in the rest of the United States. My administration would actively work towards achieving social justice, a requirement for bringing about the changes we need to see in New Jersey and around the country.
As your Governor, I will to the fullest extent of state law make it difficult for ICE to operate in New Jersey. I will push for reparations for African-Americans and the Native Americans this state has historically ignored. I will push for comprehensive reforms to the justice system, including a complete ban on contracts between ICE and local/state governments, a move towards transformative justice to make state facilities places of rehabilitation and not incarceration. I will also move toward ending youth incarceration, by supporting a ban on police in schools, decriminalizing all drugs, and enhancing our education system with funding for counselors, school psychologists, and other staff dedicated to the wellbeing of our children. Perhaps most crucially, New Jersey would see a massive cut under my administration to State Police and Prisons. The money from defunding the police would be reallocated to our most vulnerable communities, and serve to empower their youth to become the leaders of not tomorrow, but today.
ICE has terrorized New Jersey’s immigrant communities for far too long. Abolition is the only solution. While New Jersey alone cannot abolish ICE, New Jersey can choose to not work with ICE, and make their job of operating in the state more difficult. There is no way to reform anti-immigrant terrorism, and so reformist measures shouldn’t be taken. Immediately, all facilities detaining migrants in New Jersey would be ordered by my administration to stop doing so. Additionally, there would be a thorough investigation and review of the conditions of the facilities, and all those responsible for poor conditions in the jails will be held accountable. Lastly, all governments and businesses operating in the state of New Jersey would be ordered to cut any and all contracts they have with ICE, including ones not designated for incarceration purposes. These actions were needed prior to COVID-19, but are even more urgent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reparations for African-Americans and Native Americans won’t bring justice to the years of injustice faced by Black and Brown communities, but what it will do is publicly acknowledge that the United States government has wronged these groups throughout its history and into the modern day. Real reparations for these communities look like direct investments into those communities. It means that the US Government can no longer forget about those communities. These communities would be invited into my administration to help define what reparations looks like to them. At the very least, I imagine this looks like investments directly into these communities, a constitutional amendment declaring involuntary servitude as the punishment for a crime unconstitutional, divestments from bodies that criminalize Black and Brown youth, the release and pardoning of all Black Panthers and other Black Political Prisoners held in State Facilities, and the establishment of a Department of Indigenous Affairs in New Jersey to begin to return land to the recognized tribes of New Jersey including the Powhatan, Ramapough, and Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape.
The justice system in New Jersey currently preserves a cycle of poverty, violence, and disenfranchisement in our state’s marginalized communities. As Governor, I will call for the end of privately operated prisons, the end of migrant detention, and programs to end the school-to-prison pipeline that have hurt New Jersey’s communities.
On the issue of marijuana, Madelyn Hoffman would push further than Governor Murphy to get home-grow legalized, and lessen regulations on the industry in order to promote local, small cannabis businesses instead of corporately owned businesses that hurt the communities marijuana legalization is supposed to help.
Under a Hoffman administration, people of all Queer identities would be welcomed and invited to the table to help us radically change gendered language in our state laws and foster greater diversity. Especially important, a commission would be created to specifically research and combat violence that disproportionately impacts Black Transgender Women. The education system in New Jersey would also be required to actively teach the Black, Indigenous, and Queer history of New Jersey as part of the curriculum. Grants would be given to encourage schools to do gender inclusive renovations to their restrooms, and to encourage LGBTQ+ students to engage in the healthy lifestyles that our current sports education programs discourage them from engaging in. The further implementation and design of Queer sex education will also develop under my administration to make sure that all relationships are represented in the classroom.
New Jersey’s Disabled Community would see more improvements, as the state would more strictly require public facilities comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Accommodations for the disabled community must not be thrown into urban planning as an afterthought. Only by planning for all of New Jersey’s residents from the start will we create safe and welcoming communities for all. The Hoffman Administration would also embrace wholeheartedly neurodiversity, and work with schools to promote it instead of hide it.
Digital Equity, would be something a Hoffman Administration would seek out to bridge the divide between poor and wealthy schools. The Hoffman Administration would support the consolidation of regional school districts in order to lessen economic disparities, and the state would make grants to guarantee computer and internet access to all New Jersey students both in and out of school. In this process of consolidation, it is essential that existing inequities between communities be erased, not reinforced. Lastly, New Jersey would do more to encourage bilingualism. New Jersey is among the most diverse states in the US, and home to many dozens of languages spoken. Bilingual education and dual immersion would be incentivized with grants, and a commission would be put together to reanalyze English as a Second Language programs in schools, and redesign them as to not segregate and single out migrant students.