Essex Rising is an Essex County-based grassroots organization dedicated to progressive action from the local level to the federal level.
Find our principles below:
America is a society founded on equality under the law. Therefore, each person has a right to be valued equally, and represented equally. We combat discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation, identity, and disability, and we seek to mitigate harm inflicted by discrimination. We demand comprehensive gender equality, including equal pay for equal work.
America’s democracy depends on citizens engaging in the democratic process and shaping governmental policy; therefore, we oppose voter suppression, support compulsory voting, and encourage citizen engagement at all levels of decision-making. We support electoral reform to help make each vote count equally. Our system of government is designed to represent individuals, not corporations. We oppose the corrupting influence of money in politics, and support campaign-finance reform.
Freedom of Speech
Americans are constitutionally entitled to speak freely and to make their individual voices heard. Corporations, however, are not citizens, and their political contributions are not speech. We support unbiased reporting, the free flow of information, and net neutrality.
Environment and Education
Our nation prospers because of the ingenuity of its citizens and the abundance of its resources. Both must be protected. Because our people are our primary resource, public education enriches America and perpetuates us. Therefore, free public education should be provided from pre-K through college; educational loans should be federally backed within a self-sustaining, non-profit system. Our natural environment is an interdependent system that people must scientifically understand and work to preserve. We support environmental protections, the people’s ownership of public lands over corporate and federal interests, investment in alternatives to fossil fuels, and adherence to the Paris Accord.
Health and Public Safety
- Healthcare is a fundamental human right. We support a single-payer system with health security for all.
- We support controls on drug pricing and open markets that encourage competition and the importation of cheaper drugs.
- A “woman’s right to choose” is settled law, and we oppose any attempt to qualify or limit this right.
- Guns represent a significant threat to life in America today: we support gun controls.
Immigration and Refugees
Except for Native Americans, it is the work of immigrants to America—whether they came here voluntarily or involuntarily—and their descendants that made America great. Today, more recent immigrants still underpin much of America’s economy. Accordingly, we oppose the deportation of undocumented residents and favor a path to work permission and citizenship. America champions human rights, and accordingly we support asylum seekers and refugees, particularly from countries where American militarily intervention has occurred. We support sanctuary towns in Essex County, in New Jersey, and in other cities in the US, and we oppose any cooperation by local authorities with ICE, except in criminal matters.
Separation of Church and State
The “separation of church and state” enshrined in the Constitution is threatened by government initiatives to undermine secularism, to promote Christian Fundamentalist interpretations, and to demote Islam from a world religion to a political ideology. We oppose the intrusion of religious ideology in government. We support faith-based initiatives that accord with our mission and principles.
Financial Reform and Economic Justice
The current financial system is unfairly skewed toward the top 1%. To promote social stability, it is necessary to reduce income inequality, regulate the financial industry, and reform the tax system.