N.J. Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers endorse Murphy, Oliver for re-election

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Governor Phil Murphy and Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver were endorsed for re-election by the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers, led by some Hudson County clergy members, at a presser in Newark this afternoon.

By Daniel Ulloa/Hudson County View

Murphy said the pandemic “did not create inequities we see in our state and society but it has laid them bare.”

He said recent bills implemented with a heavy impact on Latino communities include a $15 an hour minimum wage, earned sick leave, equal pay for equal work, funding women’s health, gun safety laws, and the millionaire’s tax increase.

Murphy also cited the bill allowing undocumented immigrants the ability to obtain driver’s licenses, and in-state tuition and financial aid for undocumented college students as actions helping the Latino populations in New Jersey.

He also cited the work they’ve done for convicted criminals to successfully reenter society as accomplishments that greatly benefit Latino communities, noting the work Jersey City’s Rev. Bolivar Flores, the vice president of the NJCLPM, has done on the issue.

“The net worth disparities in our state are shocking, shocking, between white families on the one hand and either African American or Latino families on the other hand,” he said.

The governor continued that the wealth disparity between White families and minorities families is 40 to 50 times higher.

“In our state today. It’s shocking. That to me is the one that jumps out off the page. We have more work to do. As proud as we are of the diversity in our cabinet and our administration, we could be even more diverse,” he said.

Murphy also said he is also committed to electing more Latinos in New Jersey, as well as aiding undocumented residents.

“We found some money for our immigrant brothers and sisters who were left out of a lot of the prior programs from the federal government. We want to find more,” he began.

“If we could get legislation from the legislature, we would support that as well,” Murphy said about providing further aid to the undocumented to cope with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He thanked them for their endorsement and ended, stating to the religious leaders “Que Dios De Bendiga,” which means “May God Bless you.”

Flores, the founder of Ministerio El Sol Sale Para Todos Internacional in West New York, noted the great strains that COVID-19 produced and the work Murphy’s administration did to combat it.

He also said that the Holy Spirit is with Murphy because he signed the bill giving undocumented immigrants the ability to secure driver’s licenses and he restored the right to vote for those with criminal records.

Rev. Raul Ruiz, the president of the NJCLPM and the pastor at the Spanish American Baptist Church of Union City, noted that Murphy and Oliver have worked together to make sure no New Jersey resident is left behind.

“The lieutenant governor has been an equal partner in ensuring no New Jersey resident is left behind and the promise of opportunities for all is delivered from building an economy that works for everyone to create affordable housing options for working families and providing relief to renters impacted by COVID-19,” he said.

“Political empowerment happened in New Jersey because of a conference that was held. It was called the Black and Latino conference. It was held at a Newark school and it was the first time leaders from the Latino and African American communities came together,” Oliver noted.

“The urban communities in New Jersey would not be what they are if not for the Latino community. No doubt about it. Cities that we thought long ago we would never see recovery, cities that people threw their hands up and wanted to forget about.”

Oliver explained that in the latest census, the majority of those 18 to 34 in New Jersey are Latinos.

Ruiz added that they will work hard to re-elect Murphy and Oliver by hosting them at their respective churches, having churches register people to vote, and an aggressive social media campaign.

Murphy noted there is now in-person early voting now in New Jersey so they want to encourage people to vote before Election Day.

“We need to keep working together,” emphasized Bishop Joshua Rodriguez, of the Cityline Church, in Jersey City, stat that the coalition will work hard to re-elect Murphy and Oliver.

“I’m honored to have earned the endorsement of the New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers, and share their deep passion for empowering New Jersey’s Latino families and communities to ensure they can live up to their fullest potential,” the governor said in a statement after the event.

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