Police Reforms

December 2020 Progress Update from NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

What We’ve Done:

  • After the murder of George Floyd we decided to take action by working to change law enforcement practices around the state. 

  • New Jersey High School Democrats (with help from NJ Teenage Republicans) crafted a series of bi-partisan law enforcement reforms that can be implemented statewide. 

    • The proposals were created with input from Political Science and Constitutional Law Professors. 

    • The full list can be found here. New proposals with making civic education mandatory for public schools and regulating police presence in public schools are also in the works.

  • After finalizing the proposals, we created a database of contact info for mayors across the state and emailed every single one of them. This has resulted in:

    • Endorsements from mayors.

    • Dozens of municipalities statewide are formally reviewing the proposals.

    • Meetings with Police Chiefs from across the state.

    • Future increased civics education in the Trenton Public Library.

  • After contacting mayors, we reached out to state legislators via email (all State Senators and Assembly-People). We are still awaiting responses from many.


Where We Go From Here:

  • We will begin advocating for these proposals in both houses of the NJ State Legislature.

  • This means that we will meet with individual legislators and assess the general attitude of the body in regards to our proposals.

  • After meetings and initial correspondence, we will work to implement the proposals via legislation in the New Jersey Government. There are two approaches that we may take:

    • If any legislators are keen on authoring legislation encompassing these reforms, we will work with them to write and hopefully pass the legislation.

    • If legislators seem hesitant to actually do the work of writing legislation, we will author legislation and introduce it to the NJ State Legislature during the summer.


What You and Your Chapter Can Do:

  • Your support is crucial to our success, we are working with public officials and need to utilize public pressure. 

  • Every week, we are making calls to NJ state representatives to advocate for the proposals. If you would like to join, sign up here.

  • Make Calls and Emails:

    • Organize chapter phone-banking sessions or make individual calls. 

    • Call and email your Mayor, Chief-of-Police, and other leaders in your municipal government (Administrators, Council-Members, etc). Demand that they review the Bi-Partisan Law Enforcement Reforms created by the NJHSDems and NJTARs, demand that they implement the policies that they have the jurisdiction to implement. Demand that they endorse the policies.

    • Call and email your State Representatives (Senators and Assembly-People). Demand that they review the Bi-Partisan Law Enforcement Reforms created by the NJHSDems and NJTARs. Demand that they work to implement proposals via the NJ Legislature. Demand that they endorse the policies. 

    • *If you are a member or leader of a county-wide chapter* contact Municipalities and Legislators throughout your county. 

  • Engage with your community:

    • Write Letters-to-Editors (LTEs) that explain the reforms and call on your Municipality’s Government and State Representatives to support and implement them. 

    • Send the proposals to local Facebook Groups (or other social media) and ask members of the group to demand that they be implemented. 

  • Keep your eyes peeled for updates from us.

    • Later in the summer we will have specific legislation and will be organizing statewide advocacy centered around it. 

New Jersey High School Democrats