OPINION: In their second-ever candidate endorsement, South Jersey Women for Progressive Change chooses Andy Kim for NJ-03

A letter to the editor by Jennifer Lyke, founding member of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change

Dear Editor,

South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, a grassroots, all volunteer group with over 8,000 members, is pleased to endorse Andy Kim as candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District. We have reviewed his positions on the environment, economy, transportation infrastructure, healthcare, and abortion rights, and we are confident that he is the best candidate to represent his constituents’ interests on these issues.

Andy Kim has pledged to vote no on offshore drilling along the Jersey shore and will work to respond to climate change, treating it as a national security crisis. He will help fix the regressive GOP tax law, passed by the current House, that dramatically hurts New Jersey’s middle class citizens and their families. He will create jobs and stimulate our state’s economy by voting to rebuild roads, bridges, tunnels and ports. He will vote to make healthcare affordable and accessible for all, and he recognizes the right of women to make decisions about their own reproductive concerns. These are issues important to those of us who live in this district, and Andy Kim will represent our best interests in Congress.

SJWPC is also impressed with Andy Kim’s background as a Rhodes Scholar and advisor to the State Department under the command of General Petraeus. We expect his prior experience in the federal government will provide a firm foundation for navigating the roles and responsibilities of congressional office. At the State Department, he said, “We didn’t look at problems as Democrats or Republicans. We looked at how to save lives and do what was best for the American people,” and it is clear he continues to hold those values.

We believe Kim is the right choice to begin reviving productive discourse within government and repairing fractured relationships in American society. He has pledged to hold at least one meeting a month with his constituents, which starkly contrasts our current representative, and we support his recognition that government officials need to lead in the areas transparency and accountability. The historical threat to democracy we are witnessing at this moment can only be rectified by electing representatives willing to fulfill their oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Once elected, we know that Andy Kim will fulfill his obligation to the 3rd District and become a role model for other elected officials in New Jersey and beyond.

Finally, Andy Kim has demonstrated that he will work for ordinary citizens, not millionaires and corporate interests. He has built a grassroots campaign and pledged not accept money from corporate PACs. So far, his campaign has an average donation of $57 and received support from all 50 states. Now more than ever, New Jersey’s 3rd needs a representative unbeholden to big money. Now more than ever, our citizens need assurance their representative will protect them from the agendas of corporations and wealthy individuals with increasing influence in the federal system.

Andy Kim presents a refreshingly principled alternative to the status quo and we are happy to endorse him.

Jennifer Lyke, founding member of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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