The Anti-Poverty Network of NJ Joins Forces with NJ Citizen Action

NEWARK, NJ – The Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey (APN) and New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) and are excited to announce that APN will be uniting with the NJCA family of organizations. After 21 successful years of ensuring a strong safety net for New Jerseyans in deep poverty, APN is proud to become a program within NJCA’s family of organizations and grow its advocacy and organizing capabilities.

Since its founding in 1999, APN has played a critical role in addressing the conditions surrounding and perpetuating poverty, focusing on hunger, housing and economic empowerment, working alongside NJCA and other advocates. Recently, APN has been a key partner among coalitions lead by NJCA and others to also enact a $15 state minimum wage, increase tax credits for working families, pass paid sick days for low-wage workers, expand paid family leave, and ensure affordable access to health coverage.

“Having often worked very closely and in tandem with NJCA, uniting our organization allows APN to continue the phenomenal work it has achieved over the last two decades,” said Cuqui Rivera, APN Board of Directors President. “With Renee as the Anti-Poverty Program Director under NJCA the transition will be seamless. Our communities and their needs change over time, but this important work remains. APN has and will continue to do great things in the formidable struggle to fight poverty in New Jersey.”

APN has been fighting poverty in New Jersey for over two decades by educating communities, empowering partners, and advocating for solutions. The Network has brought together diverse stakeholders across the state to address structural racism and systemic poverty. Their work has centered the voices of impacted people in devising and promoting anti-poverty policy change, such as the Garden State Leaders program for people with lived experiences of poverty and homelessness to build skills, take on influential roles and advocate for fundamental change.

NJCA provides direct supportive services to low- and moderate-income families, advocates for policies and programs that strengthen their economic security, and creates opportunities for these families to move into the middle class. By joining forces with APN, NJCA will expand its work and focus on the many issues affecting families living in deep poverty.

“APN and Director Renee Koubiadis have been working closely with NJCA for many years,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, NJCA Executive Director. “I am thrilled that we are formally combining our efforts, and I look forward to working with Renee and the rest of the staff to increase education and outreach, mobilize coalitions, and secure more victories for New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations.”

This spring, APN will be ringing in 21 years of advocacy celebrating meaningful progress on several landmark policy victories for very low-income New Jersey families. This includes expansions and improvements in the SNAP food assistance program, and the first increases in the TANF benefit level in 31 years of 32% in 2018 and 2019. In the past few years, APN worked to expand the Emergency Assistance program for people in or near homelessness, advocated for the state millionaires’ tax, and fought for multiple expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in conjunction with NJCA and other partners. Further back in its history, APN helped create the state rental assistance program and the state EITC.

APN’s past supporters will continue to meet regularly to discuss advocacy and public education opportunities on the needs of families in deep poverty, operating as a coalition led by NJCA. Renee Koubiadis, previously APN’s Executive Director, is joining NJCA’s Advocacy and Organizing Team as its new Anti-Poverty Program Director. She brings extensive experience in social justice advocacy and will be working closely with the team and Dena Mottola Jaborska, NJCA’s Associate Director who leads the organization’s advocacy work.

“I look forward to continuing to provide a framework for discourse on the causes, effects, and remedies for poverty in New Jersey as I join forces with NJCA to fight for social, economic, and racial justice,” said Renee Koubiadis, NJCA’s new Anti-Poverty Program Director.

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