Press Release: Jim Johnson Has a Plan to Make New Jersey a Leader in Economic Mobility, Not Economic Inequality
NJPAC Forum #2: Jim Johnson Has a Plan to Make New Jersey a Leader in Economic Mobility, Not Economic Inequality
NEWARK — For far too long in New Jersey, the deck has been stacked in favor of wealthy insiders and special interests and against the hard-working residents of our state. New Jersey has the nation’s seventh highest income gap between rich and poor residents. With so much inequality and so little upward mobility, too many New Jerseyans are struggling to make ends meet. In 2014, more than one in three New Jersey families couldn’t afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, health care and transportation.
As the income gap continues to widen in New Jersey, racial and gender disparities in wealth have grown exponentially. New Jersey women make 82 cents for every dollar a man earns and New Jersey ranks highest among states with the largest pay disparities for women of color. Black women and Latinas in New Jersey make 53 cents and 43 cents, respectively, for every dollar a man earns. That’s unacceptable.
A fourth-generation New Jerseyan, Jim understands that our state cannot reach its fullest potential until we address the economic disparities that too many of our residents face. Jim is running for Governor to provide all New Jerseyans, not just a privileged few, with economic opportunity and an equal chance at success.
Jim’s parents had the core belief that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you would be able to move up the economic ladder. But for Jim’s family and many others like them, it didn’t always work that way. While Jim’s parents struggled to make ends meet, they did everything they could to ensure that their children had a bright economic future — they held numerous jobs and worked six to seven days a week.
Jim is the product of parents that sacrificed day in and day out, so that their children could receive a good education and a better chance to succeed. With family support, part-time jobs, and student loans (that were paid off at 35 years old), Jim earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.
As Governor, Jim would ensure that people not only have good jobs, but can get to their jobs and are prepared to do them. Jim’s plan to tackle the economic inequality that plagues New Jersey includes investing in businesses that would create good-paying jobs, such as emerging industries and green energy, funding New Jersey’s infrastructure and transportation, raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, passing equal pay and earned sick leave legislation, implementing universal pre-K, and making college more affordable. He would also ensure that investments are made in underserved and disadvantaged areas by creating innovation incubators that increase access to mentorship and capital in those areas.