Hometown: Paterson, NJ
Occupation: Associate Vice President – Behavioral Sciences, Hackensack UMC Mountainside
Top 3 Issues: Social justice; healthcare; job creation/growth
Free-time activity: “I’m blessed with two children, a 19-year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter and a husband of 21 years. Family’s important to me. New Jersey has been that space where my family has been able to thrive and I’m hoping New Jersey will be that for generations to come.”
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My name is Shavonda Sumter and I am the Democratic candidate seeking re-election to the 35th Legislative District in the NJ General Assembly on November 5.
I have served in office since 2012, representing people in Passaic and Bergen County. I continue to run because: I have a heart for service; My voice has value, and there is work to be done.
As a legislator, I have had the privilege of serving people with a higher purpose. I am challenged daily by the demands of our collective constituency who are starved for good-paying jobs, affordable college tuition and access to healthcare. While at times these challenges appeared overwhelming during my tenure of election, I have highlighted the needs of people and today we are responding to those needs.
Some of the milestones of my success as a state legislator included the restoration of local control of the Paterson Public Schools; the building of schools, the designation of Opportunity and Innovation Zones, funding for healthcare, pay equity, and voter rights expansion.
In 2019, we raised the minimum wage that included tipped workers in a conscientious manner to allow for graduated adjustments for the low wage earner. Tipped workers who work in the service industry have been excluded from a base increase since the 1960s.
The work that I am doing in the legislature has purpose. Recently I worked with my colleagues to improve voter access by providing voters with information on locating their polling place. This will help boost participation to best represent NJ and its people at the polls. No one should feel they can’t vote because they’re unsure of where their polling place is located.
Reforms to maternal health to improve the mortality rates for mothers in our state, black mothers and infants have the highest rates of mortality. We are aiming for zero loss of life during delivery.
Next year we will be in the full throws of a census count. It is critical that we have maximum participation from New Jerseyans. Every person counts. I will be a lawmaker working to ensure a full count for our state.
I am a lifelong resident of the City of Paterson whose grandparents were a part of the migration north for a better opportunity for generations. I am committed to improving the quality of life for residents in the 35th district and the entire state.
This election will be the one to watch before we move into the 2020 races. We need every voter to participate.
Today I ask you to vote for me on November 5th so I continue this important work!