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Why I’m Running

I’m running for the State Senate, and I’m taking my case — and my cause — directly to the thousands of voters of the 37th District. I’m running against the status quo to fight for real, long-lasting, and progressive change.

Those benefiting from the insider’s game and the old boy’s club think the choice of who should run for office should be decided by a privileged few, behind shut doors.

It’s a closed process where the deck is stacked and the deals are cut.

Here’s the cold, hard truth: Far too often, the passion, the drive, and the grit of women who want to use their voice to make a difference is dismissed with an “it’s not your turn,” or “we’re just more comfortable with John or Jim.” If I walked away every time the men in power told me to back off, I never would have been elected in the first place.

Here’s What Valerie’s Done

Valerie’s record is more than voting the right way – her record is about leading the way.

Standing up for Women’s Rights

Valerie has always been at the forefront of fighting for women’s rights. A champion for New Jersey’s landmark pay equity law, Valerie has fought for the rights of women in the workplace. As District 37’s Assemblywoman, Valerie has also led the charge to prevent sexual assault on New Jersey’s college campuses, and she helped to fight for the passage of legislation to expand the civil statute of limitations, giving survivors more time to pursue justice. Under Valerie’s leadership, New Jersey also passed landmark laws to protect female inmates at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility from abuse and sexual assault. Valerie also serves as New Jersey’s foremost champion for reproductive rights, she authored historic laws to expand access to birth control and stood on the frontlines with advocates to reinstate family planning funding to the State budget. Valerie is now sponsoring New Jersey’s landmark Reproductive Freedom Act, ensuring access to reproductive healthcare for all New Jerseyans, regardless of income or immigration status.

Leading the Fight Against Climate Change

In her first year as District 37’s Assemblywoman, Valerie led the charge to pass the nation’s strongest law to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, she has championed the passage of legislation to conserve our public lands and to prohibit the use of single-use plastics. Recently, Valerie was proud to sponsor New Jersey’s landmark Environmental Justice law, ensuring that communities of color are protected from pollution. Valerie has also served as a leader in fighting for a green economy, working to expand opportunities for green jobs in New Jersey.

Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

Valerie is New Jersey’s foremost champion for disability rights. As Chair of the Assembly Human Services Committee, she led the charge to pass the Stephen Komninos’ Law to protect adults with disabilities from abuse and neglect. Under Valerie’s leadership, New Jersey also created the Office of the Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families, where families can go to report concerns about abuse and neglect or to receive support with navigating State resources. Valerie also authored landmark legislation to protect children with developmental disabilities living in foster homes from abuse and neglect.

Paving the Way for LGBTQ Equality

Valerie is lauded as one of New Jersey’s foremost champions for LGBTQ equality. Valerie was proud to champion the passage of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in New Jersey. Under Valerie’s leadership, New Jersey passed the strongest anti-bullying law in the nation as well as a historic law to require LGBTQ history to be taught in schools. She also authored New Jersey’s landmark law on transgender civil rights. Recently, Valerie authored New Jersey’s law to streamline the adoption process for same-sex couples, making it easier for them to start or expand their families.

Supporting Seniors

As Chair of the Assembly on the Aging and Senior Services Committee, Valerie led the legislature in investigating and assessing the impact of COVID-19 on our seniors, especially those living in nursing homes. As Chair, Valerie championed the passage of landmark laws to improve New Jersey’s long-term care system, keeping our loved ones safe and cared for by ensuring staff have access to PPE and that proper infection control protocols are being followed. Valerie also authored New Jersey’s law to ensure that nursing home residents have the ability to connect with loved ones, even if visitation is restricted.

Combating Human Trafficking

In 2013, Valerie authored New Jersey’s landmark law – the Human Trafficking Prevention, Protection and Treatment Act. Under Valerie’s leadership, New Jersey increased penalties for traffickers and expanded access to services for survivors. Valerie understands that human trafficking isn’t something that just happens in a far-away country, it happens in our own backyards and it disproportionately impacts young girls of color.

Fighting for Working Families

Valerie has been a critical voice in advocating for New Jersey’s working families. As District 37’s Assemblywoman, Valerie authored New Jersey’s law to provide pay increases to frontline healthcare workers in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation helped to provide much needed support to workers who risked their health and safety for our loved ones in nursing homes. As a leader in the fight for pay equity, earned sick leave and paid family leave, Valerie has always been at the forefront of fighting for working families.

Preventing Gun Violence

Valerie was proud to serve as a leading sponsor of Alyssa’s Law, legislation that requires the installation of silent panic alarms in schools. This law was named in honor of Alyssa Alhadeff, a former Bergen County resident who died in the Parkland shooting. Valerie has always been out front on gun control, sponsoring landmark legislation to prevent domestic abusers from owning firearms, reducing the maximum capacity of ammunition magazines and requiring background checks for gun sales. Valerie is currently championing the passage of her legislation to close loopholes in the State around domestic abusers who have their guns returned to them, ensuring that potential victims are made aware that they may be in danger.