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A Message from Senator Cunningham

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends:

I want to wish you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

Unfortunately, we continue to struggle through a painful recession that has profoundly affected the way governments, businesses, and families go about their day to day lives here in New Jersey.  Though we are beginning to see early signs of recovery, we still have our work cut out for us in 2013.

This year, my primary focus will continue to be to support policies that create jobs and improve the economic health of our community.  I would like to take this opportunity to update you on my most recent legislative initiative along those lines.

I introduced legislation,S-2286, that would establish a “Banking Development District Program” within the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.  The goal of this program would be to encourage commercial banks to operate in under-served urban and rural communities throughout the state.

I decided to sponsor this bill after Bank of America shuttered its branch at the HUB on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the Greenville section of Jersey City. Without a bank branch, many residents of that community are forced to walk or take public transportation a significant distance to reputable financial institutions in other neighborhoods.  Worse, some residents are forced to rely on check cashing businesses, which charge exorbitant fees and interest rates.

Specifically, the bill, would create a “Banking Development District” in communities with few or no operating bank branches. The bill would allow banks in such districts to hold State funds.  Municipalities could, via resolution, select one or more branches within the district as a depository.  This small change could make these bank branches economically viable.  Successful branches will create several jobs in the short term while hopefully providing residents and local businesses access to essential banking services into the future.

The bill is scheduled for a vote by the full Senate today.  If passed , it will head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Gov Christie

On December 14th, School 20 parents and administrators gave Senator Cunningham and Governor Chris Christie a tour of their century-old facilities.  The tour was intended to demonstrate to the Governor the excellent work being done by students and teachers despite the poor condition of the school building and facilities.

The Governor observed severe water damage from a roof in need of repair, cracked walls, and peeling paint throughout the building.  In addition, the Governor got a first hand look at over-crowded class rooms, unsatisfactory bathrooms conditions, and a dismal basement multi-purpose room that serves as a cafeteria, gymnasium, and an assembly hall for young children.

Governor Christie, Senator Cunningham, and Assemblyman Charles Mainor also visited Public School 40 to visit with students and to tour that facility.  During the tour of School 40, the Governor made a special stop to appreciate intricate murals made of tile and glass, created by gifted student artists and their parents.
“I wanted the Governor to see the pride and hard work our young people bring to school each day despite the challenges of their environment” said Senator Cunningham, “It is truly an inspiration.”

Senator Cunningham asked the Governor to take part in the tour of Schools 20 and 40 to impress upon him the need for a new building and to encourage him to make school construction one of his highest priorities.  Governor Christie left Jersey City with a renewed promise to update our aging schools as soon as economically feasible.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Christie visit 2

Legislative Update
The BUZZ Around TrentonRight-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet. Senate Chambers

Bill number: S-1844

Establishing a

“Silver Alert System”

for missing elderly people

This bill establishes an emergency “Silver Alert System” to notify the public of a missing elderly person.  This emergency alert plan is based on the “Amber Plan” used by State Police to locate missing children.

Under the bill, the emergency alert plan would be a voluntary, cooperative effort between State and local law enforcement agencies and the broadcast media. Upon notice by the State Police, the participating broadcast media would transmit an emergency alert to inform the public of the disappearance of an elderly person in the area.

My Silver Alert Bill has now saved nine lives since 2009.
Upcoming Events:  

Constituent Services Day

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

(please schedule an appointment)

Expungement Seminar

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Booker T. Washington Apartments – 200 Colden Street


………………………………………………………………….Thank you for your continued support!
Please watch Senator Sandra B. Cunningham on The 31st Legislative District Report, shown every Saturday at 5:30 p.m., on Cablevision’s channel 18 and Comcast’s channel 190.
If you are a church or non-profit organization and would like your events announced on air, please send the information to:

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