New Jersey Citizen Action Names Dena Mottola Jaborska as New Executive Director

January 4, 2022 — Newark — New Jersey Citizen Action’s (NJCA) named Dena Mottola Jaborska its new Executive Director. A Lawrence Township resident, Mottola Jaborska brings 27 years of social justice advocacy experience to her new leadership role. She has worked for NJCA for eight years, serving as the organization’s Director of Advocacy and Organizing and most recently as its Associate Director. Before joining NJCA, she served as Executive Director of New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) and its spinoff, Environment NJ.  

Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, NJCA’s Executive Director for the past 35 years, was appointed as the organization’s President. In this new senior advisory role, Salowe-Kaye will work on a variety of special projects and initiatives and provide transitional support as NJCA moves into its 40th year. 

“Dena has successfully led some of the toughest political fights against well-financed special interests by combining grassroots people power, coalition-building, and strategic messaging,” said David Weiner, NJCA Board of Directors Co-Chair. “Her leadership skills and policy and organizing experience make her the best and natural choice to build on NJCA’s many accomplishments and move forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century.” 

“We are very happy NJCA will continue to benefit from Phyllis’ vast experience and expertise,” said Paulette Eberle, NJCA Board of Directors Co-Chair. “She has dedicated her life’s work to the organization and has been a champion for working families for decades. We appreciate all that Phyllis has accomplished and the wide-ranging impact she has had on local, state, and national policies and programs” 

“New Jersey Citizen Action is the state’s most impactful organization fighting for working people,” said Mottola Jaborska.  “Our advocacy and direct services have transformed lives, giving working families throughout our state a more even playing field and the opportunities they need to prosper. I am honored to be given the opportunity to build on our incredible success. I look forward to growing our base of support, strengthening our impact in the electoral and advocacy space, and delivering more programs and services to those that need it.” 

“Dena will provide effective and impactful leadership for NJCA and I look forward to working closely with her as she continues to build upon our many achievements over the years,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, President of NJCA. “Dena’s leadership role is the next step in our strategic plan to bring on the next generation of organizers and social services staff, and to continue to strengthen both our policy and service program work. I’m also looking forward to my new role, in which I will focus on ensuring our continued success as NJCA enters its 40th year.” 

NJCA is a statewide coalition and grassroots organization that fights for social, racial, and economic justice for all. Founded in 1982, it combines political advocacy, electoral campaigns, public outreach, and social service programs to make a real difference in the lives of everyday New Jerseyans. With this comprehensive approach, the organization addresses systemic and institutional issues as well as the pressing needs and interests of low-and moderate-income people, working families, and communities of color across the state.  

Mottola Jaborksa said NJCA’s priorities would also include strategic planning around issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. This would start with cultivating more diversity among the organization’s staff, its board, membership, and its coalitions.  

New Jersey Citizen Action is a statewide advocacy and empowerment organization that advances social, racial and economic justice for all, while also meeting the pressing needs of low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans through education and direct services.