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Hearings on Economic Justice and Equal Opportunity Will Highlight African American-Owned Businesses Being Disadvantaged in New Jersey

For Immediate Release

Dec. 3, 2020

NEWARK, NJ – With national attention focused on racial justice in the aftermath of the high-profile killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, leaders in New Jersey are focused on the impact of economic injustice on women, African Americans and other people of color in the state. Prodded by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., Senator Ronald Rice, Senator Chris Brown and Assemblyman Jamel Holley the  reconstituted New Jersey’s Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity will host a public hearing on economic justice today December 3rd at 11:00 a.m. ET. You may watch here https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ by following these instructions:

1.Click the button Live Proceedings Red button

2.You will see Unavailable, Pending, Listen, Or View

3. Once you see Listen or View you click on it and it will take you to the video.  If the meeting has not started it will say unavailable or pending.

Today’s hearing comes as countless people of color voice concerns over New Jersey’s entrenched political and economic structure which lacks inclusion and has produced embarrassingly wide economic disparities. The most pronounced example is the racial discrimination, racketeering and fraud lawsuit brought by Blueprint Capital Advisors, a Black-owned firm, against Governor Phil Murphy and the State of New Jersey Division of Investment, BlackRock Alternative Advisors, Owl Rock Capital Corp. and Cliffwater LLC. The suit alleges that Murphy and his aides ran a quid pro quo system and systematically discriminated against Blueprint, the only Black-owned asset management company in the state.  While the Blueprint lawsuit is damning, it is symbolic of the broader challenges facing Black business owners in New Jersey.

“New Jersey provides too few opportunities for minority-owned businesses,” said Attorney and Pastor David Jefferson Sr. “Rather than clearing pathways to economic fairness, this administration unfairly erects them. I applaud Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin who understand the challenges and are creating an avenue for disrupting the status quo.”

The hearing occurs against a backdrop of skyrocketing unemployment and rising poverty levels in New Jersey, a state that has some of the widest income and wealth disparities in the nation despite being among the nation’s highest per capita income states.

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Contact: Jennifer R. Farmer, jenniferr@spotlightpr.org

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