Jun 5, 2010

New Jersey Parents and Educators - NOW's The Time to Raise Your Voice.

Many of your families and schools have taken advantage of the unique educational and historical experience the Old Barracks provides. My high school history teacher,Ms.Beinstein, used to say the two greatest dangers to our democracy are ignorance and indifference. Prior to our involvement with the Barracks, very few people, even in the reenactment community, knew of the military contributions of African-Americans in the American Revolution. Knowledge about our historical heritage helps define us, and binds us. When our public institutions stop supporting places which teach us about our past, we are all in peril. To preserve this living heritage we need to raise our voices in its support. We need to reinstate funding for the Old Barracks. We've known for some months the funds have been cut, but we need to act NOW. The following excerpt of an urgent message from Richard Patterson, Director of the Old Barracks, tells how to make your voice heard. Remember some things are worth preserving, even in tough times.

Cpl Leon Brooks 6th Regiment Infantry USCT

Subject: Need to send e-mails to Assembly NOW

I still think almost no one is writing to any legislators – and I DO mean almost NO ONE. A writing/e-mail campaign to the Assembly will be the most effective.

There are several members of the assembly Budget Committee that are leaning in favor of finding some money to help the Barracks. Joan Quigley (D- Jersey City) really held the Lt. Governor’s feet to the fire specifically about the Barracks fate during the budget hearings for Dept. of State (see the video on our website or the Old Barracks You Tube Channel). Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-Edison) actually visited the Barracks after the budget hearings two days ago, by himself, to take a tour and was blown away. He even went home, went online to our website, and donated $50. Gary Schaer (D- Passaic) was extremely sympathetic questioning me during my testimony to the Committee. Assemblyman Wolfe (R-Brick) asked useful questions of me during my testimony (in one he got the dates of the F&I wrong which made for some good natured exchanges and an opportunity to invite him back to see our French & Indian exhibit) and said he’d visited the Barracks several times. I shook his hand in the hall afterward and he said they’d try to do something.

The imperative need now is to nail down all of them with an intensive e-mail campaign. Remember, no matter how sympathetic they are, they are overwhelmed by the crush of all of this and are being intentionally bombarded with even more curve balls thrown by the governor everyday. They need to be reminded and impressed.

We need a LOT of the individuals to write. Go to our website: www.barracks.org, and click the “Alert” banner. Pick out a few good talking points (maybe from the FAQs?) and compose one decent, brief letter, then click on each of the contacts below, paste your letter in, and hit send. Do it for EACH of the assembly committee members below. Then, while you’re already in the “Alert” section of our website, click “find your legislator”, click it, type in your zip code, and up will come the contact info for both of your assembly persons and your State senator. Send them the same letter. This will take maybe 20 minutes. I’ve practically distilled all this down into baby food for everybody, I can’t do any more. They have to pick up the ball and run with it.

Time for everyone to act, IMMEDIATELY!




Pou, Nellie - Chair AswPou@njleg.org
Ramos, Ruben J. - Vice-Chair AsmRamos@njleg.org

Addiego, Dawn Marie
Barnes, Peter J. ADemOffice@njleg.org
Chivukula, Upendra J. AsmChivukula@njleg.org
Conaway, Herb AsmConaway@njleg.org
DiMaio, John

Greenwald, Louis D. AsmGreenwald@njleg.org

McKeon, John F.
Peterson, Erik
Stender, Linda AswStender@njleg.org
Thompson, Samuel D.

Budget Committee

Greenwald, Louis D. - Chair AsmGreenwald@njleg.org
Schaer, Gary S. - Vice-Chair AsmSchaer@njleg.org
Barnes, Peter J. ADemOffice@njleg.org
Burzichelli, John J. AsmBurzichelli@njleg.org

Coutinho, Albert
Johnson, Gordon M. AsmJohnson@njleg.org

Malone, Joseph R.
O'Scanlon, Declan J.

Pou, Nellie AswPou@njleg.org

Quigley, Joan M. AswQuigley@njleg.org
Webber, Jay

Wolfe, David W.

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