September 17, 2020
Dear Friends,
With the school year off to a shaky start, some parents have become digitally dependent surrogate homeschool teachers. At the same time, many of us continue to work remotely, relying on the internet to communicate with our colleagues, attend virtual conferences, and gather and transfer important work products. What if we didn’t have access to the internet or couldn’t afford it? Thousands of people in New Jersey are faced with this dilemma and, not surprisingly, those with the lowest incomes are hit the hardest. We wouldn’t tolerate this lack of access to other essential services like water and electricity, why allow this with broadband? Kim Irby on our staff provides a brief glimpse into the problem of broadband access in “The Geography of Digital Equity in New Jersey.” While this initial research highlights some important issues, it still leaves many questions to be answered about how we will permanently close the digital divide in New Jersey.

Access to broadband is just another symptom of federal and state policies that continue to segregate New Jerseyans by race and income. As we continue to work toward a geography of equity and inclusion, Tim Evans explores another related issue: Black and white home ownership rates across the state. The disparities may not surprise you, but they should trouble you, and seeing where the disparities are greatest is instructive.

In today’s newsletter we also highlight a new resource to help towns understand the importance of creating a stormwater utility and how to make it happen. Please take a few minutes to explore this new first-of-its kind web resource; pass the link along to a friend, and encourage your local officials to explore stormwater utilities as a new mechanism for funding and managing stormwater more effectively. Even without a stormwater utility in place, towns can take steps to protect themselves from flooding. One tool that we highlight below is Green Streets. Green Streets allow towns to use their existing streets to capture more stormwater, while at the same time creating public green amenities.

Toward equity and inclusion,

Peter Kasabach
Executive Director
For New Jersey’s recovery from the pandemic to be successful, everyone should have the ability to access the internet at reasonable speeds with affordable prices regardless of their geography or income.
Where we build our housing, the type of housing we build, and for whom we build it affects our environment, our quality of life, and how segregated a state we will live in.
Green streets aren’t just for big cities like Philadelphia. They can help smaller cities like Camden and Hoboken and towns like Highland Park to meet flooding and stormwater challenges while providing community benefits.
New Jersey Future developed a new one-of-a-kind tool to help localities determine if a stormwater utility is right for their communities. Attend the New Jersey Future hosted webinar on Sep. 29 to learn stormwater utility basics, how to get started investigating whether a stormwater utility is right for your community, and key features of the new web-based Stormwater Utility Resource Center.
New Jersey Future’s internship program is developing the next generation of thinkers in smart growth. We offer graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to assist us with various projects, including research, writing, communications, and administration. Read what this summer’s interns worked on, in their own words.
Legislative Updates
  • New Jersey Future submitted the following budget requests to the Senate and Assembly budget committee:
  • $60M for the State Revolving Fund to provide grants and loans for ensuring modern, safe water infrastructure with a priority for lead service line removal. 
  • $10m for the Lead Paint Fund. 
  • $1M for the Department of Education Preschool Lead Remediation.
  • $1.5M for the Department of Health Childhood Lead Outreach.
Coming Up
Come Work With Us
New Jersey Future is hiring. Come work with us!

  • Lead-Free New Jersey Manager. New Jersey Future is looking for a skilled, organized, motivated individual to launch and manage the day-to-day operations of Lead-Free New Jersey, a new collaborative forming to ensure lead-free children through changes to state and local policies. The successful candidate must be committed to environmental and social justice, be skilled in policy advocacy, and understand community organizing. Full description.
Featured Resources

The Developers Green Infrastructure Guide 2.0 breaks down New Jersey’s Stormwater Rule amendments and helps developers and decision-makers understand more clearly green infrastructure options and advantages, compare alternatives, and evaluate costs and benefits.

The New Jersey Stormwater Utilities Resource Center is a one-stop shop, housing technical legal and financial information, case studies, and helpful guidance on stormwater solutions, community process, and public engagement. 

This report from the Jersey Water Works Lead in Drinking Water Task Force outlines actions New Jersey can take to virtually eliminate lead in drinking water in 10 years. New Jersey Future is a member of the Jersey Water Works collaborative.
Social Media Highlight
New Jersey Future in the News
Visit us and subscribe to our YouTube channel, where you can find videos about our Smart Growth Award winners, some of our media appearances, and various aspects of our work. Visit our channel.
Founded in 1987, New Jersey Future is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sensible growth, redevelopment and infrastructure investments to foster vibrant cities and towns, protect natural lands and waterways, enhance transportation choices, provide access to safe, affordable and aging-friendly neighborhoods and fuel a strong economy. New Jersey Future does this through original research, innovative policy development, coalition-building, advocacy, and hands-on strategic assistance. Embracing differences and advancing fairness is central to New Jersey Future’s mission and operations. To effectively advance its mission, New Jersey Future is firmly committed to pursue a culture of greater justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion through its programs, internal operations and external communications.