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.

 

National Voter Registration Day 2016

voter-registrationNational Voter Registration Day is a national effort to get as many people registered to vote as possible. The goal is not to advocate on behalf of a candidate or party, but to make sure that people have access to voting. Celebrate democracy! #CelebrateNVRD

Nearby Events:

  • Stop by the 35th District Legislative District Office
    181 Market Street, Paterson NJ 973-925-7061
  • Voter Registration at Union Public Library September 27, 2016 • 10:00 AM Union Public Library 1980 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083
  • Give Voice to Your Community September 27, 2016 • 6:00 PM Plainfield High School 950 Park Avenue Plainfield, NJ 07060 Get Details & RSVP

Register to Vote Online:
http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information.html

Print a Voter Application to Mail In:
http://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/form_pdf/voter-regis-forms/76-voter-registration-english-passaic.pdf

Paterson Press letter: Assembywoman condems school budget cuts

As seen on NorthJersey.com – (http://www.northjersey.com/news/paterson-press-letter-assembywoman-condems-school-budget-cuts-1.1652675)

Dear Editor,

At the beginning of a new school year, excitement should fill the atmosphere.  Over the past several years, Paterson Public School students, parents and teachers have mostly felt anxiety as a result of substantial administrative changes. This time these changes impact the safety of staff and students.

These latest rounds of cuts to security, transportation and custodial services announced in August are, truthfully, obscene.

There are many Paterson school buildings that have a demonstrated need for security.  The need was amplified last term when a person took refuge in a school building to avoid an attack.  Security locked down the school to protect teachers and students.  Yet, it’s security that made it on the budget chopping block.

Another overhaul of transportation will leave countless students in the Choice Schools and Academies programs without a bus to deliver them safely to school. The programs were encouraged by the superintendent and state in recent years; however, this year they are cutting transportation for these students.  In addition, our facilities are identified as some of the oldest buildings in the state, but custodial services for maintenance were slashed too.

It is unfathomable how these decisions were determined and how they fail to consider the security of our students and faculty.  The safety and well-being of our children must remain a priority in administrative decisions.  Paterson Public School administration should make a request for emergency funding from the State Department of Education immediately.

State control of Paterson school district has proven ineffective, detrimental and wasteful.  It is time for the return of local control which will allow our elected Board of Education commissioners, parents, faculty and students to lean in and create a healthy educational system for all.

Unfortunately, another school year has been branded with chaos before the school doors open.

Respectfully yours,

Shavonda Sumter