WHO IS NJ21UNITED?
IT SURE LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER DARK MONEY SUPER PAC IN THE SERVICE OF THE NJEA.
Introduction: The NJEA’s Network of Allies
The Sunlight Policy Center of New Jersey (SPCNJ) strives to bring transparency to New Jersey’s special-interest-dominated political system. This requires shining a light on the political activities of New Jersey’s most powerful special interest, the New Jersey Education Association, (NJEA). As detailed in SPCNJ’s report “A Spider Web of Political Power and Influence,” the NJEA tries to keep New Jersey citizens in the dark about the extent of its influence by using secret funding and behind-the-scenes support for its vast network of allies. SPCNJ’s goal is to shed light on this network of allies and reveal the true sources of its funding and support.
NJ21United Is Portrayed as a Grassroots Group of Parents and Teachers
This past week, an advocacy group named NJ21United made it into the headlines. NJ21United is the group behind a “Week of Action” in support of its #OnlyWhenItsSafe campaign to delay the re-opening of schools due to COVID concerns. The Week of Action included calling superintendents, occupying bridges, and a social media day, and culminated in a “motor march” on Trenton on August 3.
To be clear, there are certainly good reasons why both teachers and parents would be nervous about a re-opening of New Jersey’s public schools, and SPCNJ respects the right of all New Jersey citizens to express their views, including the NJEA and its members.
Yet newspaper accounts uniformly presented NJ21United as a grassroots, parent-and-teacher movement. NorthJersey.com’s headline was: “Teachers, parents kick off week of action to oppose school reopening in New Jersey.”