Hometown: Newark, NJ
Occupation: College Student & Mother
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: “In my free time I enjoy assisting parents and caregivers advocate and navigate through the educational system. They’ll see me, usually, sitting with a parent or caregiver and helping them to understand the language that’s being used throughout the public school district.”
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My name is Yolanda Johnson and I am, along with my running mate Nichelle Velazquez, 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 native of Newark, and Education advocate for over 20 years, a mother of six, and student at Ashford University. 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!