League of Women Voters Forum Tackles Government Corruption and Secrecy

LINCROFT, NJ - The League of Women Voters of New Jersey will hold an educational forum to discuss ways to restore trust in government, promote transparency, and explore avenues to ensure accountability. The forum will be held on Saturday, April 26 at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft.

“There is an assumption that New Jersey is a politically corrupt state and there are valid reasons to support that assumption,” said Toni Zimmer, president of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. “Confidence in New Jersey’s government has been severely compromised. When voters assume the system is rigged, they are less likely to participate. We need to change the climate and we need to do it now.”

Professor Paula Franzese, one of the country’s leading experts in government ethics, will be a panelist. She has spearheaded ethics reform initiatives on behalf of three governors, serving as Special Ethics Counsel to Governor Richard Codey, Chair of the State Ethics Commission, Vice-Chair of the Election Law Enforcement Commission, and as ethics advisor to state and local governments across the country.

Walter Luers and Jody Calendar will join Professor Franzese on the morning panel. Walter Luers is the President of the New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) and concentrates on rendering advice and handling litigation regarding the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).  Jody Calendar has been the Managing Editor of the Record of Hackensack and the Deputy Executive Editor of the Asbury Park Press. Ms. Calendar will offer her perspective on the crucial role the media plays in promoting transparency.

There is also an opportunity for youth to learn more about joining the League’s Youth Organizing Committee and change the conversation surrounding youth in politics. Lorraine Stone, acclaimed performance artist, will perform Sojourner Truth’s famous speech, “Aren’t I A Woman?”

There is a registration fee of $35 which includes all sessions, materials, and lunch. Scholarships are available for students interested in attending. Please visit http://www.lwvnj.org/" href="http://www.lwvnj.org/">www.lwvnj.org to register or call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at 609-394-3303 for more information.

This forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, the Libby Sharpe Memorial Fund, the Department of Political Science at Brookdale Community College, the History and Political Science Club, Brookdale Community College and Women’s and Gender Studies, Brookdale Community College.