In response to Governor Murphy’s FY 23 budget proposal, Rev. Dr. Charles F. Boyer, Founder and Director of Salvation and Social Justice, issued the following statement:
“Earlier today, Governor Murphy gave a hopeful address that spoke to the future potential of New Jersey, and our collective recovery as a state dealing with multiple crises. While we acknowledge New Jersey’s progress under the Governor’s leadership, we must simultaneously acknowledge the shortcomings of our state in addressing many of the issues that plague Black communities. The time is now for the Administration and Legislature to follow through on its commitments to Black New Jerseyans.
New Jersey continues to lead the nation in racial disparities, but it has an opportunity to lead the nation in advancing racial justice and equity. To accomplish this, the state must put its money where its proverbial mouth is, remembering that a state’s budget reflects its values.
It can start by making deep investments in 1) Universal Health Coverage for all ; (2) Black maternal health centers throughout the state; (3) services in Black communities through the funding of harm reduction efforts, restorative justice hubs and community spaces; (4) community response teams as an alternative to law enforcement responses for services that do not impact public safety; (5) community development, especially through the redevelopment of blighted properties owned by Black churches to house critical community programs; and (6) desegregating New Jersey’s public schools.
During today’s address, Governor Murphy said that ‘[the] budget is rooted in a renewed commitment to moving our state forward, [and] creating opportunity for every family.’ These goals cannot be accomplished at the expense of racial justice and must be grounded in a commitment to equity and justice. We look forward to examining the Governor’s budget and working closely with his administration, the Legislature and racial justice advocates to bring about the New Jersey that has been promised and the one that New Jerseyans deserve.