Edison, NJ – May 31, 2023 – New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA), a statewide coalition and grassroots organization that fights for social, racial, and economic justice for all, held its 41st Annual Awards celebration today honoring former Executive Director Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, State Senator Troy Singleton (D-7), and advocates from labor unions, community organizations, and grassroots groups.
Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka was the keynote speaker, and discussed how the City of Newark, in partnership with groups like NJCA, is closing the racial wealth gap and ensuring all residents have opportunities to live and thrive with dignity, and build wealth and economic security.
For more than 35 years, Phyllis Salowe-Kaye served as Executive Director of NJCA, overseeing all its programs and services, and transitioning to President of NJCA in 2022. In recognition of her countless achievements with the organization that have positively impacted so many New Jerseyans, Phyllis was presented with the NJCA 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“As former Executive Director and current President, Phyllis has provided the strategic leadership, unmatched expertise, and passionate advocacy that made NJCA a force to be reckoned with in New Jersey and nationally,” said Dena Mottola Jaborska, NJCA Executive Director. “We are saddened that Phyllis will be moving on from NJCA after a lifetime of work dedicated to our organization and to championing New Jersey’s working families.”
For his strong and tireless leadership and advocacy on behalf of his constituents and all low- and moderate-income people across the state, championing prescription drug affordability reform, affordable housing policies, and exemplary public service, Senator Troy Singleton of the 7th Legislative District received NJCA’s 2023 Legislator of the Year Award.
For her expansive work advocating for health care access for all in New Jersey, Margarida Jorge, Executive Director of Health Care for America Now (HCAN) received NJCA’s 2023 Evanoff-Shuchter Award for Organizing.
The other 2023 Distinguished Honorees included labor union 32BJ SEIU accepted by Kevin Brown, the National Domestic Workers Alliance accepted by Evelyn Sanz, the NCRC Community Development Fund accepted by Marisa Calderon, and Sheila Reynertson of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and formerly of NJ Policy Perspective.
“Our deepest gratitude to all our awards recipients this year for their important contributions fighting for the interests of low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans,” added Mottola Jaborska. “The policy victories we celebrate would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of NJCA’s ally organizations and legislative champions. Only together can we make a more just and fair New Jersey for all.”
Since its inception in 1982, NJCA has been a convener of alliances, where diverse people of different faiths, races, concerns, and economic circumstances, come together to fight for justice and opportunity for all.