Tell N.J. Lawmakers to Fully Fund the Civic Info Consortium
Great news: The pressure is working! After weeks of New Jersey residents speaking out, Gov. Murphy has decided to include $1 million for the Civic Info Consortium in his proposed FY 2020 budget.
Though this is a positive first step, $1 million is far short of the $5 million Murphy committed to last year before he subsequently pulled the funding. And it’s far short of what’s needed to invest in innovative local projects meant to better inform our communities.
But this fight is far from over. It’s up to lawmakers to craft and pass the budget, and we’ve heard that they’re listening to people like you and are considering dedicating the full $5 million for this landmark project.
It’s needed now more than ever. New Jersey’s media crisis is harming our communities. Studies have shown that when local news disappears, fewer people vote, fewer people volunteer, political polarization increases and people feel disconnected from their communities.1
The threat of a barren media landscape is why New Jersey lawmakers — Republicans and Democrats alike — passed the Civic Info Bill in 2018 to establish the consortium. It’s why thousands of New Jerseyans supported the bill by participating in public forums and lobbying their elected officials.
Urge legislative leaders to finish what they started last year and dedicate $5 million to the Civic Info Consortium.
1. “The Death of Local News Is Making Us Dumber and More Divided,” Motherboard, Feb. 21, 2019: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/panqb8/the-death-of-local-news-is-making-us-dumber-and-more-divided