From the Executive Director's Desk

April is my favorite time of the year. The flowers are starting to bloom, legislature is on break, and we get to highlight two important issues for WEC - sustainability and health and safety.

On April 22, Earth Day, WEC participated in an Electric Vehicle Ride and Drive in Glassboro. Jersey Renews and Environment New Jersey partnered with the City of Glassboro to host an electric vehicle ride and drive. Mayor John Wallace III welcomed the crowd to his city and pledged to support initiatives, like S2252/A4819, the electric vehicle omnibus bill.

Since a majority of greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector in NJ, electrifying it is an important step to mitigate the effects of climate change and improve public health by reducing air pollution. A good step for mother earth.

And, on April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day we held our annual Workers’ Memorial Day march and rally, with approximately 300 workers and advocates in attendance, demanding not one more workplace death! A big thank you to our partner New Labor for helping make the event a success.

I hope one day we will no longer have to take the streets. Read more about the march below

And finally, if you haven’t seen it, National COSH released their annual report, The Dirty Dozen, highlighting employers that put their workers and communities at risk.

In Solidarity,

Debra Coyle McFadden
Executive Director

P.S. Save The Date! November 22, WEC’s Annual Award Dinner, The College of New Jersey 6 pm.

Aldeen Leeds Chlorine Fire
This past weekend a chlorine fire broke out at Alden Leeds plant in South Kearny that shut down the Pulaski Skyway and alerts were issued to residents to remain indoors from cities and towns such as Bayonne, Jersey City and Staten Island. Alden Leeds manufactures chlorine tablets that are used in pools and spas. This was not the first chlorine fire at Alden Leeds. To date, no injuries or fatalities have been reported.

New Jersey has one of the highest ratios of toxic facilities per square mile in the nation. The threat of a catastrophic chemical release remains a major vulnerability for New Jersey. That's why WEC continues to advocate for policies such as safer chemical processes and inherently safer technologies to reduce the use of toxic chemicals and reduce the risk of toxic exposure to workers and our communities.

Not One More Death: Workers' Memorial Day Recap

Approximately 300 people gathered at Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple on Sunday, April 28 to celebrate Workers’ Memorial Day. We took to the streets and demanded “Not One More Death.”

"This year in New Jersey 28 workers went to work and never returned home to their loved ones. We will continue to march and call attention for safe workplaces until the fatality rate in New Jersey and the nation is zero,” said Debra Coyle McFadden, executive director of the New Jersey Work Environment Council.

Participants renewed their commitment to fight for safe jobs for all, cognizant of the rash of gun violence in our schools and sacred spaces, as well as the very real impact climate change is already having on workers and communities. The event, organized by New Labor and the New Jersey Work Environment Council, brought together a diverse group of workers, immigrants, environmentalists, educators, and health professionals to march and rally for worker and climate justice. View more photos to the event.

Cancer-Free Economy Training Recap

On Saturday, May 4 WEC, GreenFaith and Wind of the Spirit co-sponsored a training examining the connections between toxic chemicals in the workplace and in everyday products that are making us sick. Twenty participants attended as we discussed the pervasiveness of toxic chemicals in our workplaces and in products ranging from building materials to personal care products to our everyday clothes. We discussed building a collective power base to work together in reducing toxic chemicals and switching to safer alternatives, ultimately achieving a cancer-free economy.
June 6: Workplace Violence Prevention Training

You’re invited to the NJ Work Environment Council Workplace Violence Prevention Program on June 6, 9 am - 1 pm, Rutgers Labor Education Center, New Brunswick. This program will include workplace violence prevention strategies, identifying safety system failures in the workplace and OSHA and NJ state regulations that address workplace violence.

Following the training, there will be an update from an OSHA representative with ample time for discussion and questions.

Pre-registration is required. For more information, contact Cecelia Leto, Project Director, WEC at (609) 882-6100 ext. 308 or email:

Call for nominations: WEC Rising Star Award

WEC is soliciting nominations for the Rising Star Award! The award is intended to recognize outstanding new leaders from labor, environmental and community organizations and will be awarded at our annual awards dinner on Friday, November 22 at the College of New Jersey.  Nominations are open through Friday, June 21.

University Hospital: New Leadership, Same Financial Challenges
State Health Commissioner Shereef Elnahal will leave the Murphy administration to become president and CEO of University Hospital in Newark, the last public hospital in New Jersey: a glimmer of hope at a hospital that has been plagued with problems for too long.

Last December a report was issued by the state-appointed monitor identifying several issues at University Hospital from lack of accountability and oversight by the Board and leadership to major budgetary concerns.

“As Commissioner, he has worked with First Lady Tammy Murphy to raise awareness and reduce infant mortality rates in New Jersey, especially in communities of color,” said Debbie White, President of Health Professionals and Allied Employees. As President and CEO, we are hopeful that the Commissioner will take similar steps to understand the history of the hospital and the community surrounding the hospital, a predominantly black and Latino community which already faces health challenges due to inherent racial disparities in our nation’s health system.”

As the hospital is taking steps to institute change at the top, it is crucial that state funding for University Hospital is a priority so it can fulfill its’ mission to care for the most vulnerable while ensuring a safe and healthy environment for both workers and patients.

Healthy Schools Demonstration
On April 10, Healthy Schools Now (HSN) held a demonstration prior to the Assembly Budget Committee meeting with the NJ Schools Development Authority (SDA) and the Department of Education (DOE) calling for the need to invest in our crumbling schools. Participants held up photographs of unhealthy or unsafe school condition in an attempt to shed light on some of the deplorable conditions affecting our students and school staff members in SDA districts, formerly Abbott Districts, across the state.

Currently, the SDA, the government authority tasked with fixing our broken school buildings, is woefully underfunded, with no money for new projects. Because of this, in a recent sign-on letter, HSN urged Governor Murphy to increase funding for school construction. It is critical that the state invest in the SDA, so we can continue to build and repair the schools in the 31 districts they are legally obligated to manage.

HSN will continue to draw attention to for the need to repair our dilapidated schools at monthly SDA board meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 9 am at SDA Headquarters, 33 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ 08825. If you’d like more information or would like to join us, please contact Heather Sorge at

Jersey Renews Leads Mayors in Call to Pass EV Bill

New Jersey’s transportation system is responsible for nearly half of our state’s greenhouse gas emissions, a major contributor to climate change and air pollution.

Building a movement of local elected leaders that support the electrification of New Jersey’s transportation system and understand the daily impact of reduced emissions for their communities is key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving our planet!

To raise awareness of the urgency of this issue, and how S2252/A4819, a bill which addresses pollution from cars, trucks, and other buses in New Jersey via investment in electric vehicle infrastructure can help, Jersey Renews partnered with mayors and coalition members to host electric vehicle ride and drives across the state.

Kicking it off on Earth Day, Jersey Renews and Environment New Jersey partnered with the City of Glassboro to host an electric vehicle ride and drive. Mayor John Wallace III welcomed the crowd to his city and pledged to support initiatives which address pollution from transportation, like S2252/A4819.

The next day, Jersey Renews and Environment New Jersey joined Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop with a call to state legislators to pass the EV bill currently making its way through the assembly, that invest in electrification infrastructure. Councilman James Solomon, Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey, and Councilwoman Denise Ridley along with campaign partners Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Greenfaith, New Jersey Sierra Club, Isles, and Clean Water Action urged state leaders to follow Jersey City’s lead to electrify transportation.

On Wednesday, May 8, GreenFaith organized an EV Blessing with Mayor André Sayegh and Councilman Luis Velez, who stood together with community and faith leaders at the Calvary Baptist Church in Paterson to champion the proposed legislation for its health, environmental and economic benefits.

This event came on the heels of an op-ed written by GreenFaith partners in support of the electric vehicle bill.

Jersey Renews will continue to work with our allies in office to reduce emissions and increase electric vehicle use across the state. Our environment depends on it!

Want to host a ride and drive or EV blessing in your town? Reach out to Norah Langweiler at for more information.

WEC, NJPP, & ATNJ: Educating & Organizing for Tax Fairness!
This past Sunday, May 19th, The Work Environment Council teamed up with New Jersey Policy Perspective and Action Together NJ to deliver a workshop tracing the historical relationship between the devastating economic inequality we experience in this country and tax policy, and how organizing for a millionaires’ tax right now is a critical step towards reclaiming our economy.

We are grateful to have worked with the 20 brilliant workers and advocates who joined us, and are looking forward to organizing with them in our demand for a fairer economy which works for all of us - not the ultra-rich who have robbed New Jersey blind.

To contact your legislator to let them know you want a millionaires’ tax in NJ, and that you oppose cuts to public worker pensions, call this number and enter your zip code: 855-620-8460.

To help us fight for a millionaires’ tax, contact Brandon Castro at and, like and follow  

Become a Member
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Take Action
Wed, June 5: SDA Monthly Board Meeting, 9 am, SDA Headquarters, 32 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ 08825. For more information, contact Heather Sorge, WEC Campaign Organizer for Healthy Schools,

Thurs, June 6, Violence Prevention Training Program, 9 am - 1 pm, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, 50 Labor Center Way, New Brunswick, NJ. For more information, please contact Cecelia Leto, WEC Project Director, at

Wed, June 12: Healthy Schools Now Coalition Meeting, 10 am - 12 pm, NJEA Headquarters, 180 West State Street, Trenton, NJ. For more information, contact Heather Sorge, WEC Campaign Organizer for Healthy Schools,

Thursday, June 13: Rally for a Budget That NJ Deserves, 12 pm - 1 pm, State House Annex, 131-137 W State St, Trenton, NJ 08608. Stand with public sector workers in demanding a progressive budget in FY2020. For more information, contact Brandon Castro, WEC Campaign Organizer for Public Need,

WEC Awards Dinner
6 pm on November 22, 2019
The College of New Jersey

Job Opportunities!

Our friends at Isles, a 37-year-old, Trenton-based organization that works to build self-reliant families and healthy communities, are hiring for multiple positions.
Click here to learn more!
Also, our friends at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a non-profit policy advocacy organization dedicated to mobility, accessibility and livability in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are looking to hire a Campaign Organizer. Click here to learn more! 

Our colleagues at New Jersey Policy Perspective, the premier progressive think tank in New Jersey, are hiring a Research Director.
Click here to learn more!
Individuals and organizations can join WEC & you may 
pay for your membership online.

New year, new membership. 
Please consider joining in 2019!
Whistleblower PSA
Newsletter May 2019
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