Hometown: Galloway Township, NJ
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Top 3 Issues: Public state bank for community wealth-building and renewable infrastructure; trimming the corporate fat from state spending; using additional revenue for property tax relief and public works spending
Free-time activity: “I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to understand the set of interactive crises we face as a species and as a planet. I dig into a wide variety of topics, with a view toward understanding the root causes – the cultural causes, the social causes, the economic causes, and the biophysical causes of, among other things, the climate crisis.”
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I'm Wayne Lewis, and I'm running for the General Assembly in New Jersey's 9th District. Since 2008, My wife Diane and I have raised our 3 daughters (one human and 2 furbabies) in Galloway. I really never thought. I’d be making a speech like this. I never dreamed of being a politician, but the crisis facing our state, our country, and our planet will not wait.
My only public speaking experience was teaching math at Penn State, but don’t worry -- we won’t be doing any math. And, no, there won’t be a quiz. For the last 15 years, I have made my living playing poker, an unorthodox background perhaps, but I have long earned a comfortable income making risk/reward decisions.
There is one thing I am sure of: the crises we face, ecological, social, political, and economic, and public health will only get worse if we stay the course. Take it from me, as a professional, inaction on the climate crisis is a losing bet.
I'm running one of the most progressive campaigns in the history of New Jersey – a campaign built on a fundamental message: compassion.
Compassion for the poor – including those working two, even three jobs – yet forced to choose which meal to skip.
Compassion for the sick, the homeless, the marginalized and structurally disadvantaged.
Compassion for our children – who will live the worst effects of climate change.
We are worthy of compassion.
For far too long, my opponents have held us back. They focus most of their efforts waging war on undocumented people, when instead – they might have fought to improve the lives of all – by concerning themselves with our crumbling infrastructure, housing crisis, decimated local economies, and collapsing ecosystems.
We deserve better.
Frankly – my opponents are swimming against the tide and we won’t be held back any longer.
I will advocate for the right to a clean, healthy environment and quality education for our youth. I will fight to make affordable housing a right– and to end the mass exodus from New Jersey. I will push to end the racist War on Drugs.
To my neighbors in the 9th Legislative District – to those fed up with politicians giving lip service to vital issues while lining the pockets of their wealthy sponsors. To those outraged by giant corporations destroying our local economies and raping our environments, hiding behind empty mission statements. To those living in despair as the worst effects of the ecological crisis become glaring – to those looking for compassionate, intelligent leadership in Trenton: you deserve better. We deserve better.
This isn’t about parties, it’s about people, what we value most deeply: equal opportunity to live a life you find meaningful: preservation of nature in all her glorious complexity, and the rights of our great-grandchildren to enjoy these same values.
Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I think we can all agree on what's really important: resilient local communities, vibrant local economies, and a healthy planet our children can thrive on.
This November, vote for community, not corporations. Vote for compassion.