wage disparity

State Wealth Disparity Task Force Established

Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday signed Executive Order No. 262, establishing the Wealth Disparity Task Force. Previously announced on Juneteenth of this year, the Task Force will advise the Murphy administration on strategies aimed at addressing the various causes and effects of wealth disparity in New Jersey.

The Task Force, which will consist of working groups on the economy, housing, criminal justice, education, and health, will prioritize efforts towards equity among all members of the New Jersey community by studying the causes of the inequality that has prevented the state from reaching its full potential in the past. By working to achieve inclusion of groups and individuals who have previously been marginalized, the Task Force will create comprehensive strategies and solutions to achieve a fairer distribution of wealth in New Jersey.

The task force will be co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor and Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, Sheila Y. Oliver, Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride, Rutgers University President Dr. Jonathan Holloway, and Council of New Jersey Grantmakers President and CEO Maria Vizcarrondo. Members of the task force will include:

  • Judith M. Persichilli, R.N., B.S.N., M.A.– Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health
  • Robert Asaro-Angelo – Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan – Acting Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Education
  • Andrew J. Bruck – Acting Attorney General, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
  • Dr. Brian Bridges – secretary, Office of the Secretary of Higher Education
  • Rachel Wainer Apter – director, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights
  • Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis – chief policy advisor, Office of Governor Phil Murphy
  • Michellene Davis, Esq. – president & CEO, National Medial Fellowships
  • Hon. Jeannine Frisby LaRue – senior vice president, Kaufman Zita Group
  • Cid Wilson – president & CEO, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
  • Raymond Lamboy – president & CEO, Latin American Economic Development Inc.
  • Cuqui Rivera – program coordinator, Latino Action Network Foundation
  • Rev. Bolivar Flores – pastoral outreach director, NJ Reentry Corporation
  • Rev. Eric Dobson – deputy director, Fair Share Housing Center
  • Carlos Valentin – executive director, ASPIRAInc., of New Jersey
  • Gary Melton – manager, Office of Human and Civil Rights, Equity, and Governance, NJEA Executive Office
  • Dr. Diane Hill – assistant chancellor for University-Community Partnerships, Rutgers University-Newark
  • Dr. Jubril Oyeyemi – medical director of Care Management Initiatives, Camden Coalition
  • Brandon McKoy – president, New Jersey Policy Perspective

“Income inequality is one of the preeminent and far-reaching issues in today’s society,” said Governor Murphy. “We cannot have a stronger and fairer New Jersey without examining the causes of our wealth gaps and without establishing strategies to combat this long-standing problem. I look forward to working with the Wealth Disparity Task Force and continuing our administration’s efforts to create an economy that works for every New Jerseyan.”

“I want to thank Governor Murphy for taking action to respond to the racial wealth disparities that have been plaguing our Black and Hispanic or Latino residents since New Jersey gained statehood in 1787. The root causes of these disparities have taken centuries to establish within our system and they will not be fixed overnight. This taskforce and the working groups established within it will work to address the economic, housing, criminal justice, and health inequities that exist,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.

“I am honored to serve as one of the four co-chairs on the Governor’s Wealth Disparity Task Force,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride. “I want to thank the Governor for addressing this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues to examine the underlying causes and effects of the wealth disparity gap. As one of the most diverse states in the nation, we must ensure that residents of all New Jersey communities are positioned for success.”

“I look forward to beginning the critical work of taking a broad multi-disciplinary approach to the complicated causes of the racial wealth gap,” said Rutgers University President Dr. Jonathan Holloway. “I am honored to join my co-chairs as we consider and put forward realistic solutions to close that gap.”

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