Dear Editor,

Women on both sides of the fence are reacting to the judicial confirmation this week.  A very credible and accomplished woman was not believed.  A man with impressive qualifications but less-than-tempered comportment was believed.  And a complete investigation was not carried out.  This should be cause for concern for every citizen.  It certainly is for me.

As a woman living in the 4th Congressional District of New Jersey, I look to my local representative to uphold and protect my rights.  Chris Smith is my representative, but he surely doesn’t inspire my confidence. 

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994.  This Act provides funds for investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women and imposes restitution on those convicted.  The 2012 renewal was opposed by many in Congress, including Chris Smith, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples, Native Americans on reservations, and immigrants who are victims of domestic violence.  The bill was finally reauthorized after a long partisan battle.   But to me, this shouldn’t be partisan; violence against women (or men) is violence, and transcends gender, nationality, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. 

This important Act, VAWA was due to be renewed no later than September 30th of this year, but Its deadline was extended to December 7th, after the midterm elections.  Support of VAWA as a viable bill extension is far from a foregone conclusion. Voters need to send a clear message now that passage of the VAWA is critical. 

On November 6th I will vote for Josh Welle for my Congressional Representative.  He supports VAWA and he supports women’s rights. I believe in equal rights for all.  So does Josh Welle. 

It’s time for a change, a good change.  I urge you to join me in voting for Josh Welle.

Aliza Greenblatt