Since my last editorial, we have had a mass shooting. This one in Parkland, Florida, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Seventeen people were killed, and more than 45 were injured. The young people that experienced this tragedy have done what my friends and I did in past years: they have taken matters into their own hands and are marching for their lives.
This new generation of activists know they will get nowhere fast if they stay quiet and complacent about gun control. Like all of us in the NJ LGBT community know fighting for our rights, and our lives is an ongoing battle.
We still are battling a White House that removed “LGBT” from WhiteHouse.gov immediately after the inauguration. And we have a president that at every turn tries to remove transgender people from the military. This is the same person who took deferments from the military because his feet hurt.
America is in crisis. Employees of the president are making a mass exodus out of the White House. There are 245 positions that need to be filled, but no one seems to want them, and the president doesn’t seem to want to fill them. And then we have a gun control crisis, an opioid crisis, and a president whose administration and marriage seems to always be in crisis.
But have no fear because, like Oprah said in her Golden Globes speech, “A new day is on the horizon!” In New Jersey, our horizon is close, we have a democratic primary election coming up on June 5, 2018. The 2018 United States House of Representatives election will take place November 6, 2018. New Jersey voters will elect 12 candidates to the House.
Not only do we have young activists who are taking to the streets in droves to create change on the NRA level, in New Jersey it seems we have a governor who is finally working for the people. Immediately after taking office, Gov. Phil Murphy enacted an executive order — an audit of $8 billion worth of tax incentives that former Gov. Chris Christie’s administration doled out in his eight years in office. If that doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, I don’t know what will.
“We deserve to know what we have gotten in return for the $8 billion in tax breaks. Tax incentives play a role in smart economic development,” Murphy said.
“But they have to be the icing on the cake and not the cake itself.” Murphy added: “For the past eight years, that’s all they’ve been.”
With this new day on the horizon, spring is here. Spring brings hope and LGBT Pride events. This year, if you would like to be involved in helping at Jersey Pride in Asbury Park, read Laura Pople’s article online at outinjersey.net, and go from there.
All LGBT Prides are fun events. You’ll be filled with pride, while having fun, and being of service to your community.