Insider NJ

Monmouth's Democratic Freeholder Candidates Racking Up Endorsements

Monmouth County's Democratic Candidates for Freeholder, Michael Penna & Moira Nelson, have received endorsements from SEIU 32BJ, CWA, and New Jersey Working Families among others

Insider NJ — October 9, 2020

Monmouth County, NJ — October 10, 2020 — Monmouth County Freeholder candidates, Michael Penna and Moira Nelson, are racking up endorsements from leading labor unions and other organizations as the official Vote-By-Mail ballots are dropping in mailboxes all across the county this week. The duo is being recognized for their support of union labor and working families.

Nelson said, "As champions of working families, union labor, the working poor & every facet of our local economy, we're honored and frankly, humbled, to be endorsed by SEIU 32BJ, CWA, and New Jersey Working Families." Penna added, "I am not a career politician. I am an educator and full-time worker here in Monmouth County. I'm running to represent everyday working-class people like myself. We need a new vision and direction for Monmouth. I am ready to lead that vision and to be the voice for working and middle-class residents at the county level."

SEIU 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country representing 175,000 essential building service workers up and down the East Coast. Communication Workers of America (CWA) represents 700,000 workers in private and public sector employment in telecommunications and information technology, the airline industry, news media, broadcast and cable television, education, health care, public service and education, law enforcement, manufacturing and other fields. And, New Jersey Working Families is a grassroots independent political organization fighting for a government that represents the needs and values of working families. They organize campaigns to advance progressive policies. All three organizations are building a movement of working families to build a New Jersey that works for the many; not the few.

Penna & Nelson were also recently endorsed by Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE). HPAE recognizes the candidates' commitment to union labor, and specifically, their commitment to essential workers in healthcare, other healthcare industry workers, and patient safety. It's noteworthy that they are receiving this recognition during the first global pandemic in over a century. And earlier this week, New Jersey Citizen Action endorsed only two down-ballot races in the entire state. Penna & Nelson are truly grateful to be among those two endorsements.

All of these recent endorsements are a testament to the Democratic candidates' commitment to representing every resident of Monmouth County, including union labor, working families, the vulnerable, and marginalized communities.

Other endorsements include Monmouth County Education Association (NJEA) and The Victory Fund as well as the Monmouth County Democratic Organization.

Penna is an educator teaching Drama and English to at-risk and special needs children at Collier High School in Marlboro, NJ and he is a PhD candidate. He is dedicated to social justice and equality for all residents, he is a lifelong advocate for the disabled, and is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Nelson was born & raised in Monmouth County, is a long-time fashion industry executive, and is a former small business owner. Advocacy is in her DNA. She is a long-time drug policy reform advocate, she's fought for racial & social justice for years, and she has mentored women in recovery, underprivileged teens, and young professionals throughout her adult life.

As they campaign across Monmouth County, Penna and Nelson, are prioritizing local, non-partisan issues that involve education, the environment, access to services, and ensuring transparency and accountability. A few examples include long-term, regional environmental planning including flood mitigation, shoreline erosion, and storm water strategies for municipalities, addressing concerns with the Monmouth County Reclamation Center and proposing long-term, "green" waste management solutions, allocating funding to support educators and support staff, funding social services appropriately so that no one is left behind, keeping families safe by championing common sense gun safety laws and responsible gun ownership, advocating for county-level policing reforms, and promoting diversity and inclusion in county departments, on boards and commissions.


Michael and Moira envision a County government that is representative of ALL resident s— women, people of color, children, seniors, veterans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, the homeless, those suffering from substance use disorders, the working class and small business owners — EVERYONE. Michael and Moira are committed to listening, to focusing on solutions, and if elected, they would be honored to represent your concerns on the Freeholder Board.

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