Suleiman Condemns Distasteful Republican Post about Undocumented Immigrants

(GALLOWAY) Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman condemned the distasteful social media post by the Republican Party of Atlantic City.

"I don't get what it is about Atlantic County Republicans posting hurtful and inflammatory things on social media," said Chairman Suleiman. "Either they're really stupid, they purposefully spread xenophobic sentiments because they agree with it, or they are simply in the business of race-baiting in an attempt to win elections. Either way, they ought to be ashamed of themselves. The leaders of the Atlantic City Republican Club really have nothing else to do but to call children separated from their families 'crisis actors.' Ridiculous.

"The Republicans stayed silent on Trump, they stayed silent on Carman, and they stayed silent on Grossman. While I would usually urge Senator Brown, County Executive Levinson, and Atlantic County Republican leadership to denounce these posts, I know it's a waste of time and energy to do so. They never miss an opportunity to not stand up to their base."

Suleiman also urged the Atlantic County Freeholder Board to not consider a resolution that was discussed at the last Freeholder Board meeting to disparage undocumented immigrants and declare Atlantic County as a so-called "non-sanctuary county."

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Atlantic Democrats Host Successful 44th Convention

The Atlantic County Democratic Committee hosted a successful 44th Annual Atlantic County Democratic Convention at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City on Sunday, March 24, 2019. Over 330 elected officials, county committee members, and activists attended to officially endorse the 2019 Democratic ticket.
 
“Our ticket is made up of everyday Atlantic County residents,” said Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman. “We have small business owners in Vince Mazzeo & Susan Korngut, firefighters in John Armato & Nick Polito, a Union electrician in Steve Light and a community activist and public servant in Ernest Coursey. Our team will represent working folks in Atlantic County.”
 
Fifth District Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones (D – Camden/Gloucester) delivered the keynote address.
 
“Under Chairman Suleiman’s leadership, the Atlantic County Democrats have made considerable progress in making Atlantic County more competitive in off-year elections,” said Assemblywoman Egan Jones. “I appreciate the opportunity to address the convention and wish the Atlantic County Democrats the very best of luck this November.”
 
The Atlantic County Democratic Committee endorsed the following candidates:

  • State Senate District 1 – Senator Bob Andrzejczak

  • Assembly District 1 – Assemblymen Bruce Land & Matt Milam

  • Assembly District 2 – Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo & John Armato

  • Assembly District 8 – Mark Natale & Gina LaPlaca

  • Assembly District 9 – Wayne Lewis & Sarah Collins

  • County Executive – Northfield Councilwoman Susan Korngut

  • Freeholder-at-Large – Nick Polito

  • Freeholder District 1 – Freeholder Ernest Coursey

  • Freeholder District 4 – Absecon Councilman Steve Light


For more information on the Atlantic County Democratic Committee, go to info@atlanticdemocrats.com.

Fitzpatrick Measure to Adjust Freeholder Meeting Times to be Approved

Convenient Meeting Time Would Allow More Residents to Attend Freeholder Meetings

Freeholder-At-Large Caren Fitzpatrick won the confidence of the people of Atlantic County by promising transparency and accessibility to the people, and less than one year after taking on the role, she has once again delivered on these promises. Starting in February, the Freeholder Board has agreed to hold one meeting a month for the following six months at a start time of 6:00 p.m., allowing more people of the county to attend and get involved in the governing process. Currently, Freeholder Board meetings are at 4:00 p.m., an inconvenient time for most Atlantic County residents.

"I'm glad we were able to get a more convenient meeting time on the schedule. Atlantic County residents deserve access to their County governing body." Said Freeholder Fitzpatrick.

Freeholder Fitzpatrick has done copious amounts of research on this topic, researching the meetings times of all of the municipalities and examining the best practices of other counties within New Jersey. The Atlantic County Democratic Committee wholeheartedly supports the efforts of Freeholder Fitzpatrick in order to bring the county government to more people, including through changing the time and locations of the meetings.

While some Republican members of the Freeholder Board dismissed the idea, the ACDC and Freeholder Fitzpatrick believe that Atlantic County citizens want to partake in their county government but lacked the time, as the meetings were previously held during times that most residents were at work. By pushing the meeting time back, and allowing municipalities to host the Freeholder Board, we believe this will encourage the people of Atlantic County to have their voice heard by their elected representatives.

Democratic Freeholder Candidates' Statement on Formica/Bertino Unsafe Workplace Report

Celeste Fernandez, Maureen Leidy, & Barbara Butterhof-Rheault, Democratic candidates for Atlantic County Freeholder, released the following statement after a published report about unsafe working conditions at Freeholder Chairman Frank Formica's business, of which Freeholder Jim Bertino is the plant manager:

"The claim by Formica, that somehow the victims of unsafe workplace conditions were directly responsible for the amputation of their limbs, is heartless and irresponsible. Employers have a duty and obligation to provide a safe work environment. Ultimately Mr. Formica and Jim Bertino, as Plant Manager, are responsible for ensuring worker safety - and in these two cases they failed. The amputation of a limb isn't something that a quick trip to UrgentCare or workman's comp makes right. I hope that the injured receive restitution befitting the losses that they suffered."

Atlantic County Democrats Stand In Favor of Sexual Assault Transparency Ordinance

Freeholder-At-Large Caren Fitzpatrick has introduced a proposed ordinance that will give the survivor of sexual harassment and assault the option to forgo the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) during any part of the investigation, settlement, or litigation process. The proposed ordinance has been referred to the County Code Review Committee.

“We want to create NDA policies that affirm survivors’ choices,” said Freeholder Fitzpatrick. “This ordinance will do just that.”

The Atlantic County Democratic Committee believes that Freeholder Fitzpatrick’s proposed ordinance allows for increased transparency for the taxpayers and citizens of Atlantic County. These NDAs are not only a barrier to eliminating sexual assault, but also stifle the public and survivor’s knowledge of these heinous actions. Empowering the survivor, and allowing them to claim back power that was taken from them if they so choose, ensures that perpetrators of sexual harassment are not allowed to hide behind NDAs and potentially commit such acts again. The people of Atlantic County should be holding their elected representatives to the highest of standards, and this is one simple way to do just that. 

The Atlantic County Democrats are also proud to endorse Assemblymen Vince Mazzeo and John Armato in their legislation, A-3608, which bars the use of campaign funds and NDAs from being used to settle sexual assault and harassment claims levied against state officials and other employees. We believe that these two acts will decrease the likelihood of sexual assault and harassment while also preventing taxpayer dollars from being used to hide these shameful and reprehensible acts from the public.

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Suleiman Calls on Atlantic GOP to Denounce Grossman

(Absecon) Today, Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman is calling on the Atlantic County Republicans, specifically incumbent Republican Freeholders Frank Formica, Maureen Kern, and James Bertino, who are seeking re-election, to denounce Republican congressional candidate Seth Grossman for his hateful comments.

 

"You would think that the Atlantic County Republicans learned their lesson after Freeholder John Carman, but unfortunately they never cease to amaze me," said Suleiman. "While some prominent Republicans have denounced Mr. Grossman's stupid comments, there's radio silence from the Republicans on the Freeholder Board. Are they more concerned with winning than doing the right thing?

 

Grossman has doubled- and tripled-down on his comments that diversity is "a bunch of crap and un-American." While the Chairman of the Republican State Committee and former Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno have both denounced Grossman, Formica, Kern, and Bertino have failed to do so. Even after Grossman's vile comments, the Atlantic County Republicans posted on social media that they are "strong and unified behind" their ticket.

Atlantic Democrats Announce Freeholder Candidates

(MARGATE) Today, three Democrats announced their candidacies for Atlantic County Freeholder.

Celeste Fernandez will run for Atlantic County Freeholder-at-Large. An immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Celeste came to this country with nothing but work ethic and the drive to succeed. Now, Celeste is a U.S. citizen and the owner of her own insurance business in Pleasantville, Fernandez Services LLC. She is an actively involved in advocating for Pleasantville’s Main Street business community and helps newly-naturalized citizens become acclimated in the Atlantic County community. She lives in Egg Harbor Township and is a proud grandmother.

Maureen Leidy will run for District 2 Freeholder, which is mostly made up of the downbeach communities of Chelsea, Chelsea Heights, Ventnor, Margate, and Longport as well as the mainland communities of Northfield, Linwood, and Somers Point. A former domestic violence counselor, Maureen has a long history of working in the nonprofit sector, including the Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation. She currently works in the administrative offices of the Inspira Health Network and lives in Ventnor.

Barbara Butterhof-Rheault will run for District 5 Freeholder, which is the western end of Atlantic County, including Hammonton, Buena Vista Township, Mullica Township, Egg Harbor City, and roughly half of Hamilton Township. Barbara is a STEM teacher in the Mullica Township School District and leads the Mullica Township Education Association. Barbara is also a Mullica Township Committeewoman, where she serves as the Director of Public Safety. During her time on Township Committee, Barbara has fought to maintain services and hold the line on tax increases.

“The people of Atlantic County want public servants who will roll up their sleeves and make Atlantic County a better place to live and work,” said Fernandez, Leidy, and Butterhof-Rheault. “As Freeholders, we’ll work to increase educational and employment opportunities for our residents as well as make Atlantic County a more affordable place to live for middle-class families and seniors.”

Fernandez, Leidy, and Butterhof-Rheault will seek the endorsement of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee at its nominating convention this Sunday, March 18. Any members of the media wishing to attend the convention must RSVP by emailing info@atlanticdemocrats.com.

InsiderNJ Op-ed: Turning the Trump Presidency to Greater Democratic Advantage

When I was elected Chairman of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee in the summer of 2016, I spent the next few weeks and months meeting with fellow chairs, community activists, and volunteers from across the state to gather ideas on how to reinvigorate the Democratic Party in Atlantic County, a county where we have historically performed well in presidential years but have gotten clobbered in the off-years. My goal was to get us in a position to hit the ground running for the 2017 elections, which would see much lower turnout for us than the presidential election.

My meetings and discussions yielded two common threads for a successful organization: candidate recruitment coupled with strengthening local Democratic clubs. Fortunately, timing was on our side, for after the election of President Trump many people wanted to get involved in politics and even run for office.

Capitalizing on the groundswell of activism, we decided to publicly advertise for candidates for elected office, something we’ve never done but has proven quite successful in other counties. It turned into a very labor-intensive process, with our team spending long hours poring over resumes and interviewing candidates. However, our efforts were well worth it. We were able to recruit top-notch, quality candidates to run for office. Our efforts produced two new Freeholders and a new Sheriff, as well as playing a small role in electing a new Assemblyman. Locally, Democrats took control of Absecon and Atlantic City as well as achieved upsets in Northfield and Galloway Township. While having Governor-elect Murphy on the ballot undoubtedly helped us, our candidates outperformed the top of the ticket in many of our precincts, exemplifying the results that can be had when great candidates localize elections.

Recognizing that growth starts from the bottom-up, we doubled-down on our efforts to support our local Democratic organizations, recruiting about 5 new municipal chairs over the past year and a half and instituting a municipal chairs training program to educate municipal leaders on best practices as well as how we can help them grow. We’ve also been much more active in municipal races, providing local clubs and candidates with financial and logistical assistance to achieve victory. Just in the way that Howard Dean pioneered a 50-state strategy, we firmly believe that our long-term growth relies on a 23-town strategy.

Let’s not kid ourselves: the Democratic Party in Atlantic County has a long way to go. Republicans still control county government and a majority of municipalities. However, the takeaways from our story are twofold. First, if the Democratic Party can be revived in Atlantic County, it can happen anywhere. When we localize elections and recruit great candidates, our message can resonate with the broader electorate. Second, the strategies that we’ve implemented in Atlantic County are nothing new. They were passed on to me by brilliant women and men who know how to win elections and get people involved. As the Democratic Party begins to rebuild all across the country, we shouldn’t overthink things. Quality candidate recruitment and local organizing are two straightforward ways that we as Democrats can survive and thrive during the Trump presidency and beyond.

Michael Suleiman is the Chairman of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee.

Maria's Women United Announces Candidate Endorsements

Maria’s Women United endorses 20 candidates for the upcoming 2017 election

Maria’s Women United proudly announces the endorsement of the following female candidates running for office in the November general election:

  • Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Fifth Legislative District
  • Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera, Fourth Legislative District
  • Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones, Fifth Legislative District
  • Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, Sixth Legislative District
  • Carol Murphy, Candidate for Assembly in the Seventh Legislative District
  • Maryann Merlino, Candidate for Assembly in the Eighth Legislative District
  • Joann Schwartz, Candidate for Assembly in the Eighth Legislative District
  • Assemblywoman Joann Downey, 11th Legislative District
  • Laura Poppe, Candidate for Assembly in the 16th Legislative District
  • Lacey Rzeszowski, Candidate for Assembly in the 21st Legislative District
  • Freeholder Carol Musso, Cumberland County
  • Surrogate Helene Reed, Gloucester County
  • Freeholder Heather Simmons, Gloucester County
  • Dr. Thelma Witherspoon, Atlantic County Freeholder Candidate
  • Caren Fitzpatrick, Atlantic County Freeholder Candidate
  • Ashley Bennett, Atlantic County Freeholder Candidate
  • Danielle Davis, Cape May County Freeholder Candidate
  • Gina Marie Santore, Woolwhich Council Candidate
  • Stephanie Madden, Haddon Heights Council Candidate
  • Angela Bardoe, Pittsgrove Council Candidate

“The mission of Maria’s Women United has always been to support female candidates in the lower seven counties and those who value South Jersey, at all levels of government, building a bench of strong Democratic women. These women embody the spirit and legacy of Maria Barnaby Greenwald, a trailblazer for women throughout our region. Our board is proud to support these women and invest over $21,000 in their respective races,” said Amy Swan, Chair of Maria’s Women United. “We strongly urge all New Jerseyans to come out and vote on November 7th for these highly qualified candidates up and down the ballot.”
 
Maria’s Women United is dedicated to preserving and fostering the Maria Barnaby Greenwald legacy of uniting, promoting, mentoring and empowering Democratic women of South Jersey
 
and those who support the region. Maria’s impact on the political landscape of our state was a lasting one, breaking down barriers and extending a hand to others who needed it. It is our goal to honor her commitment to limitless achievements and possibility for all women.
 
The following is a list of members of the board of Maria’s Women United:
Amy Swan, Chair; Melissa Pollitt, Vice Chair; Donna Marie Robinson Taylor, Treasurer; Leana Crowther, Secretary; Beth Schroeder-Buonsante, Mary Cruz, Alexis Degan, Karin Elkis, Stephanie Fisher, Karen Kominsky, Jeannie LaRue, Jennifer Lehman, Tricia Mueller, Allison Murphy, Jessica Stewart and Jennifer Taylor.

Democrats Condemn Carman's Embrace of Confederate Flag

(Egg Harbor Township) Today, the Atlantic County Democrats condemned Freeholder John Carman’s embrace of the Confederate flag. In various pictures on Facebook over the years, including one from just last month, Carman is shown wearing a Confederate flag patch on his vest.

“The Confederate flag is a symbol of hate and bigotry, pure and simple. For many of our friends in the African-American community, the sight of it puts knots in their stomachs," said Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Michael Suleiman. “After posting misogynist memes on Facebook in the winter, I thought I’d seen it all, but Freeholder Carman never ceases to amaze me.”

Race historian and Brown University professor Matthew Guterl once said in an interview, "Wearing the flag or celebrating it, putting it on your car window or coffee table in your house, it's a reminder to everyone, to every guest, to every person who sees it, black or white, that you are a stakeholder in the Confederate history of the South, and therefore the defense of slavery and racial prejudice. No one is immune to this."

This isn't the first time John Carman has gotten himself in trouble. In January, he posted two misogynist memes on Facebook the day of the Women's March in Washington and then waited four days to offer a tepid apology.