Reproductive Justice Fight Continues

–  (As seen in The Trentonian)

Recent threats by President Trump to once again strip the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which provides healthcare to millions of Americans and over 900,000 children and adults in New Jersey, exacerbates the disparities in healthcare for women, especially women of color.

Losing access to affordable health insurance undermines the very strides we are making in NJ to reduce the mortality rates for women and infants. The Medicaid program is a primary insurance used by many women for better access to prenatal services, screenings, medications and mental health services. Any change to ACA destabilizes this critical federal government program and has life-threatening, irreparable damages.

A critical component to combating the disparities in maternal health, where African American women have the highest maternal mortality rates, is access to services and professionals to deliver care. The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid to make sure that a reimbursement source covers the cost of services for women and their families.

I will continue to do my part in partnership with the Legislature to bring awareness to this issue, and fight for those precious matching dollars that the federal government owes to support the health of women in our state and throughout the country.

Healthcare is not a luxury but a right for all.

— Shavonda Sumter, Assembly representative for the 35th Legislative District encompassing parts of Bergen and Passaic counties.

Keep Families Together

Cruel family separation as a course of Presidential preference versus a morally humane effort to keep children under the safety and protection of their parents is unacceptable and un-American.

Idle banter on the pros and cons of this course of action is not enough to change the forever scarring imparted on these children as a result of “separation anxiety.”

The American Psychiatric Association defines separation anxiety as a disorder that refers to excessive fear or anxiety about separation from home or an attachment figure. The impact on 1,995 children and counting who have been separated from their families within the past six weeks will emotionally scar these children for life.

As a mother of two children, I know the panic of losing sight of my children in the store for one moment too long. Only to be relieved when my children would pop out and yell, “Here I am,” just before I started a frantic search.

I mourn the reality that President Trump implemented a zero tolerance policy in April to allow an agent to separate children and relocate them to detention centers or elsewhere without their parents.

A parental decision to flee the unsafe realities of their native land and brave the treacherous journey to the United States or nearby border should not end with the moral brutality of family separation.

Now is the time to reach out to congressional representatives and urge them to support Senator Feinstein’s “Keep Families Together Act.” This bill would prohibit an agency at the border from removing a child from a parent or legal parent.

Let’s all join together to call for an end to this practice. Together we can resist this cruel policy and call for the President to stop the family separation and child detainment being enforced at our borders.

Shavonda Sumter

Assemblywoman Representing 35th Legislative District

EARLY VOTING DAYS FOR 2017 PRIMARY ELECTION

Paterson, NJ – The 2017 Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 with polling hours from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Registered voters from Passaic County who can’t get to the poll son Election Day mey get their paper Vote by Mail Ballot before Election Day in the Passaic County Clerk’s Office.

The County Clerk, Kristin M. Corrado, Esq., is offering extended hours at the County Clerk’s offices located at 401 Grand Street, Room 130, in Paterson and at 1237 Ringwood Avenue, Haskell (Wanaque), New Jersey on Saturday, June 3, 2017 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Office hours for in-person early voting by the paper Vote by Mail Ballot at the County Clerk’s Offices are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The deadline to apply for a Vote by Mail Ballot in person is Monday, June 5, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. Voters are responsible for returning their voted ballot to the Passaic County Board of Elections office also located at 401 Grand Street, Room 130, in Paterson, N.J. by 8:00 p.m. Election Day.

If you need further information, please call the Passaic County Clerk’s Election Division at (973)-881-4127.

Meet The Leaders: NJ 2017

Watch my interview on Meet the Leaders with host Alfred Bundy discussing pay equity, the disparity of healthcare delivery, affordable healthcare and other important topics facing the NJ legislature this year: Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter on Meet The Leaders

Meet the leaders

State Rental Assistance Program Application Accepting Applications on March 6th

The Department of Community Affairs will accept pre-applications online for the State Rental Assistance Program from Monday, March 6th at 10 am through Friday, March 10th at 5 pm. This application is for the waiting list.

Pre-applications will be accepted online at www.WaitlistCheck.com/NJ559.

Full information in English and Spanish is available here: http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/srap_vouchers.htm

DCA will accept pre-applications to the lottery for the SRAP program State-wide for the following categories:

Elderly: The Head of household is 62 years of age or over.

Family: The Head of household is 18 years of age or an emancipated minor; with or without children.

Disabled: The Head of household or Spouse is permanently disabled.