We, the undersigned elected officials from across New Jersey, are concerned about the health, prosperity, and resiliency of the communities we represent in the wake of the global pandemic and economic crisis. We urge you to continue New Jersey’s participation in the multistate Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) to bring needed investment dollars for sustainable infrastructure and reduce pollution in our communities; we hope New Jersey will strongly advocate for equity commitments from the other states to make the regional policy as strong as possible, and that you will sign the final MOU when it is released later this year.

Thank you for your leadership in addressing the climate emergency by signing our state’s landmark electric vehicle (EV) law, rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), joining the multistate agreement to advance zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, developing the first-of-its-kind New Jersey Wind Energy Port, supporting a vision for a 100% clean energy future articulated in the updated Energy Master Plan, and helping prepare New Jersey for climate impacts with the Coastal Resilience Plan. With the important state mandate of 80% carbon emission reductions by 2050, New Jersey is emerging as a national leader in transitioning away from harmful fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy.

To meet these ambitious goals, we must make substantial investments across New Jersey to modernize our transportation infrastructure and reduce harmful pollution that is worsening our public health and climate emergencies. 

The urgency for these investments has increased in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we know you are very aware, more than fourteen thousand people have lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of people lost full-time work.1,2  Pollution from our transportation sector has substantially worsened the pandemic’s impacts. According to a recent Harvard study, air pollution is a major contributor to deaths from COVID-19 and is greatly compounding the current crisis.3 With heightened exposure to pollution, people of color are more than twice as likely to die from COVID-19.4

The transportation sector makes up42 percent of New Jersey’s greenhouse gas pollution.5  Yet, pollution from transportation is clearly within our power to change. Global emissions fell by 17 percent during pandemic lockdowns, with 43 percent of the decrease coming from fewer cars, buses and trucks on the roads.6  As we rebuild our economy, we have an opportunity to reduce our pollution, increase economic opportunity, and help drive our recovery by investing in a clean, affordable, and efficient transportation sector. 

The draft policy the TCI states are discussing will generate as much as $750 million annually to invest in clean transportation projects in New Jersey. Building on and complementing RGGI, which has generated more than $155 million for our state, TCI will be a substantial new source of proceeds to support needed clean transportation projects in local communities, including transit, local bicycle and walkway projects, electric vehicle infrastructure, Safe Routes to School, and Safe Routes to Transit.7 TCI enables states to choose where proceeds are allocated, so not only do we have the ability to reinvest these sustainability projects at large, but we can tailor programs to specific community needs.

The program will reduce pollution and improve public health, and help make our communities cleaner and greener.  According to the Georgetown Climate Center, by joining the final TCI MOU, New Jersey can help reduce regional pollution by 25 percent, prevent more than 1,000 pollution-related deaths, and generate $10 billion in reduced health costs.8

New Jersey can choose to use the generated revenue to invest in projects that create multiple benefits for our communities, such as clean transit near affordable housing, safer routes to schools, and climate-resilient infrastructure. The proceeds from TCI can make this possible.

Strengthening health, prosperity, and resiliency in communities of color and economically marginalized communities must be central to any transportation investment program. We urge you to support a series of complementary policies to ensure that environmental justice principles are included in the implementation of TCI, including increased air monitoring in high-traffic areas, establishing an oversight committee of community leaders from frontline communities, and ensuring equitable investments that benefit all New Jerseyans. 

The need for bold, science-based action to address the climate emergency has never been clearer. Implementing a cap and invest program for the transportation sector will help New Jersey rebuild our economy, clean our air, and address the disproportionate impacts too many communities bear. 

We stand ready to work with you to build a cleaner, healthier, and more prosperous New Jersey for all.

113 Signatories
from
19 Counties

  • Paul Anzano
    Mayor
    Hopewell Borough
    Mercer County
  • Stefan Armington
    Councilmember
    Morristown Town
    Morris County
  • Derek Armstead
    Mayor
    Linden City
    Union County
  • Robert Artis
    Councilmember
    Prospect Park Borough
    Passaic County
  • William Baig
    Councilmember
    Pompton Lakes Borough
    Passaic County
  • Ashley Bennett
    Freeholder
    Atlantic County
  • Brandon Bernier
    Councilmember
    Roselle Borough
    Union County
  • Ravi Bhalla
    Mayor
    Hoboken City
    Hudson County
  • Colleen Bianco Bezich
    Commissioner
    Haddonfield Township
    Camden County
  • Jerell Blakeley
    Councilmember
    Trenton City
    Mercer County
  • Christian Bollwage
    Mayor
    Elizabeth City
    Union County
  • John Brodowski
    Deputy Mayor
    Bordentown City
    Burlington County
  • Marge Caldwell-Wilson
    Councilmember
    Trenton City
    Mercer County
  • Gian-Paolo Caminiti
    Councilmember
    Peapack-Gladstone Borough
    Somerset County
  • Eileen Chapman
    Councilmember
    Asbury Park City
    Monmouth County
  • Karen Chew
    Councilmember
    Chesilhurst Borough
    Camden County
  • Dan Chiariello
    Councilmember Member
    Sparta City
    Sussex County
  • Raymond Cipollini
    Councilmember 
    Stanhope Town
    Sussex County
  • Walter Clarke
    Trustee
    South Orange Village Township
    Essex County
  • Brittany Claybrooks
    Councilmember
    East Orange City
    Essex County
  • Sheena Collum
    Village President
    South Orange Village Township
    Essex County
  • Herb Conaway
    State Representative
    Legislative District 7 State House
    Burlington County
  • Robert Conley
    Mayor
    Madison Borough
    Morris County
  • Sarah Cruz
    Councilmember
    Bloomfield Township
    Essex County
  • Dean Dafis
    Deputy Mayor
    Maplewood Township
    Essex County
  • Victor De Luca
    Councilmember
    Maplewood Township
    Essex County
  • Jason Delia
    Councilmember
    Metuchen Borough
    Middlesex County
  • Timothy Dougherty
    Mayor
    Morristown Township
    Morris County
  • John Ducey
    Mayor
    Brick Township
    Ocean County
  • Terry Duffy
    Freeholder
    Passaic County
  • Sharon Earley
    Councilmember
    Woodlynne Borough
    Camden County
  • Tency Eason
    Council President
    Orange City
    Essex County
  • Rachel Ehrlich
    Councilmember
    Madison Borough
    Morris County
  • Mayor Rudy Fernandez
    Mayor
    Livingston Township
    Essex County
  • Tiffanie Fisher
    Councilmember
    Hoboken City
    Hudson County
  • Eileen Fishman
    Councilmember
    Roseland Borough
    Essex County
  • Caren Fitzpatrick
    Freeholder
    Atlantic County
  • David Flaherty
    Councilmember
    Swedesboro Borough
    Gloucester County
  • Bernadette Flaim
    Councilmember
    Leonia Borough
    Bergen County
  • Charnette Frederic
    Councilmember
    Irvington Township
    Essex County
  • Gail Friedberg
    Deputy Mayor
    Fair Lawn Borough
    Bergen County
  • Earl Gage
    Council President
    Salem City
    Salem County
  • Alfonso Giampola
    Councilmember
    Paulsboro Borough
    Gloucester County
  • Edward “Ted” Giblin
    Councilmember
    Verona Township
    Essex County
  • Brendan Gill
    Freeholder President
    Essex County
  • Patrick Gilligan
    Councilmember
    Stratford Township
    Camden County
  • Casim Gomez
    Councilmember
    East Orange City
    Essex County
  • Russell Graham
    Councilmember
    Garwood Borough
    Union County
  • W. Reed Gusciora
    Mayor
    Trenton City
    Mercer County
  • Lori Hohenleitner
    Councilmember
    Atlantic Highlands Borough
    Monmouth County
  • Peter Hughes
    Councilmember
    Glen Ridge Borough
    Essex County
  • Curtis Jenkins
    Council President
    Camden City
    Camden County
  • Nicholas Joanow
    Councilmember
    Bloomfield Township
    Essex County
  • Linda Karlovitch
    Mayor
    Kenilworth Borough
    Union County
  • John Kelley
    Mayor
    Caldwell Borough
    Essex County
  • Paul Kennedy
    Mayor
    Ocean Gate Borough
    Ocean County
  • Shawn R. Klein, MD
    Deputy Mayor
    Livingston Township
    Essex County
  • Andrew Koontz
    Freeholder
    Mercer County
  • Jonathan Lace
    Councilmember
    Caldwell Borough
    Essex County
  • Gerry Laudati
    Councilmember
    Kenilworth Borough
    Union County
  • Marc Lazarow
    Councilmember
    Garwood Borough
    Union County
  • Cassandra Lazzara
    Freeholder Deputy Director
    Passaic County
  • Liz Lempert
    Mayor
    Princeton Borough
    Mercer County
  • Pat Lepore
    Freeholder Deputy Director
    Passaic County
  • Evelyn Leverett
    Councilmember
    Winslow Township
    Camden County
  • Robert Lewandowski
    Commissioner
    Collingswood Borough
    Camden County
  • Paul Lisovicz
    Councilmember
    Glen Ridge Borough
    Essex County
  • Jeremy Long
    Councilmember
    Flemington Borough
    Hunterdon County
  • Shawn Ludwig
    Councilmember
    Barrington Borough
    Camden County
  • James “Jim” Maley Jr.
    Mayor
    Collingswood Borough
    Camden County
  • Betsy McBride
    Councilmember
    Pennsauken Township
    Camden County
  • Janice McCarthy
    Councilmember
    Parsippany Township
    Morris County
  • Jack McEvoy
    Mayor
    Verona Township
    Essex County
  • Christine McGrath
    Councilmember
    Verona Township
    Essex County
  • John Moor
    Mayor
    Asbury Park City
    Monmouth County
  • Ann Marie Morrow
    Councilmember
    Glen Ridge Borough
    Essex County
  • Tom Mullahey
    Council President
    Rutherford Borough
    Bergen County
  • Sharon Nadrowski
    Council President
    Bayonne City
    Hudson County
  • John Napolitani
    Deputy Mayor
    Ocean Township
    Monmouth County
  • Josephine Noone
    Councilmember
    Washington Borough
    Warren County
  • Tom Ottoson
    Councilmember
    Haddon Heights Borough
    Camden County
  • Victoria Pacheco
    Councilmember
    Keyport Borough
    Monmouth County
  • Daniel Park
    Councilmember
    Tenafly Borough
    Bergen County
  • Patricia Perkins-Auguste
    Councilmember
    Elizabeth City
    Union County
  • Steve Pollard
    Council President
    Lawnside Borough
    Camden County
  • John Ranieri
    Councilmember
    Runnemede Borough
    Camden County
  • Anthony Riccardi
    Councilmember
    Stanhope Borough
    Sussex County
  • Jermaine Robinson
    Councilmember
    Jersey City
    Hudson County
  • Richard Rockwell
    Councilmember
    Bloomfield Township
    Essex County
  • Frank Rodgers
    Councilmember
    Caldwell Borough
    Essex County
  • John Roth
    Mayor
    Mahwah Township
    Bergen County
  • Kevin Ryan
    Councilmember
    Verona Township
    Essex County
  • Steve Schnall
    Trustee
    South Orange Village Township
    Essex County
  • George Schnurr
    Councilmember
    Freehold Borough
    Monmouth County
  • Kaleem Shabazz
    Councilmember
    Atlantic City
    Atlantic County
  • David Sims
    Deputy Mayor
    Hackensack City
    Bergen County
  • Balvir Singh
    County Commissioner
    Burlington County
  • Michael Soriano
    Mayor
    Parsippany Township
    Morris County
  • Bert Steinmann
    Mayor
    Ewing Township
    Mercer County
  • John Stillo
    Councilmember
    Pohatcong Township
    Warren County
  • Patricia Tartaglia Passio
    Councilmember
    Runnemede Borough
    Camden County
  • Rick Tighe
    Council President
    Hamilton Township
    Mercer County
  • Marc Vojnich
    Councilmember
    Rochelle Park Township
    Bergen County
  • Anita Voogt
    Councilmember
    Long Branch City
    Monmouth County
  • Jenn Walsh
    Councilmember
    Rocky Hill Borough
    Somerset County
  • Joyce Watterman
    Council President
    Jersey City
    Hudson County
  • Laurence White
    Mayor
    Mantoloking Borough
    Ocean County
  • Nicholas Williams
    Committeeperson
    Neptune Township
    Monmouth County
  • Dolores Witko
    Councilmember
    Closter Borough
    Bergen County
  • Suzanne Woodard
    Councilmember
    Burlington City
    Burlington County
  • Adrienne Wooten
    Councilmember
    Orange City
    Essex County
  • Michele Yamakaitis
    Council President
    Linden City
    Union County
  • Ed Zipprich
    Councilmember
    Red Bank Borough
    Monmouth County

References

    1. Communicable Disease Service. “New Jersey Covid-19 Dashboard.” Department of Health, Communicable Disease Service, New Jersey COVID-19 Dashboard, State of New Jersey Department of Health, 9 July 2020, www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_dashboard.shtml 
    2. “New Jersey Economy at a Glance.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 July 2020, www.bls.gov/eag/eag.nj.htm 
    3. Wu, Xiao, et al. COVID-19 PM2.5, Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, 24 Apr. 2020, www.projects.iq.harvard.edu/covid-pm   
    4. Ford, Tiffany, et al. “Race Gaps in COVID-19 Deaths Are Even Bigger than They Appear.” Brookings, Brookings, 17 June 2020, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/06/16/race-gaps-in-covid-19-deaths-are-even-bigger-than-they-appear/
    5. “Statewide Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory.” NJ Emissions Profile, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, 29 Oct. 2019, www.state.nj.us/dep/aqes/oce-ghgei.html 
    6. Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R.B., Jones, M.W. et al. Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nat. Clim. Chang. 10, 647–653 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0797-x 
    7. “TCI’s Regional Policy Design Process.” Transportation and Climate Initiative, Transportation and Climate Initiative of Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, 17 Dec. 2019, www.transportationandclimate.org/main-menu/tcis-regional-policy-design-process-2019 
    8. “TCI Modeling Results Summary”, Georgetown Climate Center, Georgetown University,  17 Dec. 2019, https://www.transportationandclimate.org/sites/default/files/TCI%20Modeling-Results-Summary_12.17.2019.pdf