Hometown: Newark, NJ
Occupation: Service Industry & College Student
Top 3 Issues: Close the ICE concentration camp in Newark and across NJ; Equal Rights and Jobs; Free Public Services for All paid for by taxing the wealth and income of the top 1 percent
Free-time activity: “I make music, I do film, I’m a production assistant for a couple of indie directors that are located in Newark, New Jersey. Aside from working, I like to engage in the arts scene. The city of Newark has a film festival that they have every year, so I like to engage in that. So I spend most of my time doing a lot of filming, and production and directing.”
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My name is Nichelle Velazquez and I am, along with my running mate Yolanda Johnson, the Jobs and Equal Rights for All Campaign’s candidate for State Assembly in the 29th Legislative District that covers Newark and Belleville. I am a 25-year resident of Newark, a longtime community activist, and a student at Essex Community College. The campaign has democratically chosen me to run for the Assembly against Democratic-machine incumbents.
Our campaign comes out of the movement to shut down the ICE immigrant concentration camp run by Essex County -- indeed our opponent, Pintor Marin, helps administer the ICE contract as part of her job working for the Essex county executive.
But our campaign is not just fighting against the ICE contract. It is fighting for the world we want. Our campaign platform has three demands that we pledge to struggle for in the New Jersey assembly:
One: All who live here have equal rights: End all deportations, end all detentions, end all violations of due process rights, end all limits on the right to vote, to unionize, to organize and to strike. Freedom of movement for all.
Two: All who live here have the right to quality free education, health care, transportation, housing, and clean energy: We will not be pitted against each other to fight for a share of inadequate public services. The government can and must provide quality services for all, paid for by taxing the rich and corporations, slashing weapons spending and ending all US wars and occupations that force people to migrate.
Three: All who live here have the right to good jobs at good wages: We will not be pitted against each other to fight for a share of too few, underpaid jobs. Providing quality free education, health care, transportation, housing, and clean energy will also provide good jobs for all.
We are fighting for a program that goes way beyond New Jersey because we are mounting a “Movement-campaign”, which we see as an electoral effort of a new type. We see this campaign as contributing to building a national movement for these demands. This election will be a referendum on this platform.
We are running a democratic campaign. The platform and the decisions of the campaign are not decided by me, but by the activists in the campaign. Furthermore, if elected I will continue to make decisions that are democratically agreed by our movement.
Everyone who agrees with our platform –regardless of whether you live in Newark or are eligible to vote—are welcome to join our campaign. Join Us.