Violence Via Water

This past weekend America saw on display the ugliness of a most despicable and heinous aspect of our country. White supremacist movements, movements that largely supported Donald Trump for President, feel they have a license to push the kind of agenda that is anti-black, anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, anti-anybody who is not like them. It was horrible to see these groups displaying their twisted beliefs through flags and chants from past times of global and national horror.

But there is another form of violence occurring during these first weeks of August—right here in New Jersey. it is violence through SILENCE. It is violence through governmental silence about poison in our drinking water. 

This violence, like the violence in Charlottesville, is not new violence, but here’s what I’m most concerned about right now.

On July 30th, over two weeks ago, the Water test results for a number of municipalities were published by NJ's Department of Environmental Protection. In those reports it is clear that two municipalities, Newark and Milltown, have lead levels higher than the lead levels of Flint, Michigan. Flint’s water situation drew the attention of the nation—it’s government was publicly shamed for its failure to inform its citizens of the damage occurring, especially to children and those most vulnerable, every time they took a drink from the tap. 

That information was published two weeks ago. At the very least the DEP should have immediately informed the public, on the day of publication, through various forms of home notices, and with high level media campaigns, about the dangers of the water coming from the tap. 

But further, the tests that revealed the information about high lead levels were carried out some time ago. It seems to me that AS SOON AS high lead levels are found in drinking water something out to be done about it. We don’t need to wait for publication days to start with remedies to high dangers!

With lead levels being as high as they are in Milltown and Newark they are bound to be high in other places too. What are we doing to dramatically increase testing—to make sure that we are not poisoning the public in towns that just haven't been tested in a while? 

And after high lead levels are found, what are we doing as a state to lay out a plan for correcting the problem? 

High levels of lead in drinking water is a public health matter. Poisoning our children damages that child’s life, but, also, it damages our shared life. An ounce of prevention, a commitment to protection, a commitment to prioritize the safety and wellness of all of us, through water, the very fabric of our existence, seems to me to be a proper state function. 

We call on Governor Christie, and the Senate and Assembly, and the DEP, to immediately address the lead crisis in our drinking water in NJ. 

But my campaign won’t wait for a response from the current government. We, the Kaper-Dale for Governor Campaign, will take immediately steps, through our campaign, to education the public about the crisis, and we will demand, and organize the public to demand, that there be immediate distribution of water filters in Milltown and in Newark. 

The Kaper-Dale administration has plans for far reaching solutions to the Lead Crisis in NJ. We will have a DEP that puts water protection, and water safety, at the forefront of our work. We will utilize our public bank to finance a major infrastructure overhaul of our water pipes and water system. And, we will push a major public media campaign to give people the tools they need to test their own water, and the support they need to remediate problems they find in their own homes and in those of their neighbors. 

Silence about lead in water in a form of violence. More people will die, more people will suffer, from this act of violence than from many of the most horrific displays of violence that we’ll see blitzed across our TV screens from white supremacists. We cannot allow government apathy, or ineptitude, or penny-pinching or whatever it is…to continue. 

Water is life—Government, stop doing violence through your silence. Step up to the plate and take care of our water!

Peace, Seth

Kaperdaleforgovernor.com

#thelastarefirst
#ourvoiceourchoice
#onlyprogressivesrunning

Reflections For Gay Pride Month

For my entire professional career (16 years) I have been a pastor of a church in what is called a mainline protestant denomination of Christianity. My denomination, for the past 40 years or so, have been wrestling with what they call “the question of homosexuality and Christian faithfulness.” 

24 years ago, as a first semester freshman in college, I woke up to the reality that the binary gender/sexual reality into which we force human beings is cruel. People fall along a spectrum when it comes to sexual identity and gender identity. It took personally getting to know people who were Gay, and taking the time to listen to someone else’s story, for me to be able to read my sacred texts through new eyes and see how abusively 7 little misunderstood texts had been used.

There are few things more cruel in all the world than for a system of government or religion to attempt to control an individual's gender or sexual identity. 

Since I’ve become a minister I’ve pushed hard for the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community within the life of my denomination—publicly defying the rules when the rules were unjust. I have written strong public statements that have gained hundreds of signatures, as we’ve pushed our denomination to publicly ask forgiveness for past judgement and to profess a new and open position.

I have married more LGBTQ couples than straight couples over the years. I have offered support and encouragement to transgender individuals within my town and region. My congregation called a married Lesbian woman with children to be our co-pastor back in 2008, at a time when we weren’t allowed to do that. 

I am thankful for major strides made in America under President Obama, in regards to LGBTQ rights. I am thankful, too, for what felt like an opening in society, in terms of acceptability of LGBTQ marriage and adoption and other things that felt obvious to me, but that were still unresolved societally. 

This Pride Month, 2017, I just want to say to everyone in NJ, I am committed to fighting for the LGBT community. 

With the current President and Congress that we have we cannot let up. We need to defend gay marriage and health care access that is related to sex reassignment surgeries and hormone prescriptions. We need to create supportive housing for LGBTQ homeless youth and create curriculum for schools and work places that help educate the public about the reality of sexual and gender identity related topics. We need to also seriously address youth suicide as it relates to sexual and gender identity societal trauma. We need a steady voice in Trenton--but more than a voice--we need someone with ears to hear. We need a governor who will listen to the unfolding 'new asks' of a community that is just finding some level of societal freedom and that is working out, together, what its particular needs will look like. 

The last shall be first. 

For far too long the LGBTQ community has been last. Last, I’m ashamed to say, largely because of the abuses of organized religion. 

This November vote for a Governor who has boldly fought the fight for LGBTQ rights within organized religion. I’m proud to bring this commitment to fight, and to protect, to state government as well. 

Peace Seth
#Onlyprogressiverunning
kaperdaleforgovernor.com

Thank you for the incredible ways you've hit the streets

Friends, I want to thank you for the incredible ways you've hit the streets since June 15th, when we launched 900 Events in 90 Days. Being at multiple events myself this weekend I was taken by the fervor of those campaigning alongside me. You really believe it's time for 'the last to be first!' You really believe I'm the #onlyprogressiverunning!

If you haven't been part of 900 in 90 go to kaperdaleforgovernor.com to learn how to join. This campaign will win if we motivate those who haven't gone to the polls in recent elections to come out in support to try something new! Go green!

In order to reach enough voters to win this thing, however, we need to both win in the streets and with traditional forms of mass media. It's going to take dollars for us to get our message out there widely.

Can you go to kaperdaleforgovernor.com and give $1. Better yet, give $1 and then send a facebook post to all your friends saying that you've just done this. Ask them to give a new FIRST PARTY--the Greens--a chance to compete as an equal with the old parties of Red and Blue.

Peace, Seth

Close Youth Prisons Now

There comes a time in society when we become enlightened about something and we know that some previously acceptable practice needs to end.

A few years ago I joined a coalition working to bring an end to solitary confinement. My eyes were opened, through that process, to the fact that it was religious people, believing that being alone for long periods of time with God was redemptive, that created solitary as a prison practice.

The intention was right, but in time the facts revealed that the practice was wrong. Soon after its usage the Quakers (who dreamt up the idea) publicly renounced the practice of solitary confinement, recognizing that being forced into solitude actually led people to ‘lose their minds.’

It was not effective at all for rehabilitation, and it was cruel. We rightly call it torture today. I’m thankful that the legislature in NJ agrees. As governor I will sign into law a bill to end of solitary confinement in NJ.

There are questions that come up when you end a system like solitary. How do you deal with people in prison who cannot be in the general population if you don’t have solitary? New creative answers are stymied as long as a well-funded solitary confinement system exists.

Ending solitary confinement closely resembles ending the incarceration of youth. It must end in order for us to launch a new day of youth corrections.

We have known for a long time that incarcerating children is a bad idea. The developing brain, shaped by prison, is channeled not for beauty but for negativity. Locking kids up doesn’t make them better. In fact, it makes them worse.

In New Jersey we’ve seriously reduced the number of young people in prison—bringing the total down below 300 kids…but we haven’t dismantled the system completely.

In some ways the vestige of youth incarceration looks even crueler than the system looked when more kids were locked inside. Now, more than ever, the racial disparities are striking.

The fact is that white kids and black kids commit crimes at a similar rate—but white kids are offered alternative corrective measures and black, economically disadvantaged kids, go to jail.

As long as we have an expensive prison-complex in place that is funded by incarcerating youth there will be a temptation to fill that system. Right now this system is filled with black and brown bodies and this is unacceptable.

Let’s end youth incarceration now. Surely there will need to be conversations about ‘what’s next,’ —because there are some youth who will need to be in secured settings. But, as long as there is this well-funded, accepted system in place called youth incarceration we won’t really do the work of shaping an alternative.

Shut them down. Shut them all down. With a blank slate maybe we can dream a new alternative for NJ youth.

I hope the other gubernatorial candidates join me in this clarion call for justice.

Peace, Seth Kaper-Dale
#OnlyProgressiveRunning

Why Black Lives Matter More Than My White Life

In the wake of the acquittal of Officer Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile, I would like to share with the electorate my thoughts on Black Lives Matter. I wrote the reflection below 6 months ago and published it at that time.

First, though, let me share some new thoughts that I hadn't fully developed in December.

If given the chance to be your governor, New Jersey, a central part of my governing would be to challenge the racism in our state that leads to incarceration, to poverty, to police violence and to so many other disadvantages faced by Black people here.

I would push for the implementation of the Racial Impact Statement that advocates have developed and have moved through both the Assembly and Senate. I would want to see it applied to new legislation and to past legislation.

I would only select an Attorney General for this state who will not only support racial, immigrant and economic justice, but who will push against the chaos coming out of Washington, led by AG Jeff Sessions.

I would push for the closure of youth prisons--with their incredible racial disparities that embarrass us to the core and set black youth up for a future shaped by time-in-prison while letting white youth 'off the hook' for the same crimes.

I would insist on independent investigations for any police violence.

Peace, Seth
#OnlyProgressiveRunning
The Last Are First
kaperdaleforgovernor.com

Reflections by Seth Kaper-Dale at the end of 2016

Since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and especially since the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014, Black Lives Matter has been arguably the most important new movement in America.

Black Lives Matter has, of course, mobilized the black community, especially younger people, but it has also mobilized white young people, especially on college campuses, to look white privilege squarely in the face.

Black Lives Matter was launched in response to a few specific moments of violence and brutality, but its agenda is wide—as wide as the horizon of violence against black bodies. Those killer cops, those gun-toting neighbors who killed black men, they are just the obvious abusers—representatives of a nation that has perpetuated injustice against black people since the nation’s foundation.

This nation has robbed black people from the moment they were ripped, against their will, from Africa, and the nation continues to create a world where that robbery goes on, in covert ways most of the time. White people who have taken Black Lives Matter seriously have been embarrassed and ashamed by what has been exposed so plainly now.

As I run for governor in the state of New Jersey I am very aware of the ways that black lives continue to be undervalued and mistreated in our state. Whether we talk about economic development, education, public safety, social safety nets, criminal justice, education, housing, transportation, community development…blackness=disadvantage.

No. Disadvantage is way too soft a word.

Being black in New Jersey means that your body, your personhood, is of less value than others. No. Maybe it’s worse than that. To be black in New Jersey (and America) means that you are valued firstly in the ways that you can be a commodity to help more valuable people advance. You are worth something as a prisoner, you are worth something as an underpaid laborer, you are worth something as a criminal—paid next-to-nothing so that white owners make money off your body while your family waits for your return.

There are, of course, gentle ways to talk about race-related issues in New Jersey. It's not all bad. But one thing Black Lives Matter has taught me is to stop pretending we’ve made much progress.

One of the things that I’ve heard said, frequently, by people who are made uncomfortable by the term “black lives matter” is “all lives matter.” Somehow to even say “black lives matter” is too much of an affront to the already privileged. To me, “black lives matter” doesn’t say it quite strongly enough.

I am a man born in white skin, into a white family. I cannot change the color of my skin or the privilege connected to it. But I can say, and I will say, and I will work for policies that say, “black lives matter more than my white privileged life.”

Until justice and peace embrace, until there is real equality among people of all hues in America, until there is real repentance, and improved laws that tip the scales black-ward, I say, with conviction, that black lives matter more than my own.

As I begin a serious run for governor in 2017 I hope that all who believe that black-priority is at the heart and soul of repairing our state will join me. I have many policy ideas that I believe are faithfully weighted toward making New Jersey less systematically violent for black people, and more beautiful for all, but I don’t want to propose them alone.

Can it be a New Years Resolution to join me in this journey?

Please sign up to be part of my campaign at www.kaperdaleforgovernor.com.

Peace to you,
Seth Kaper-Dale
Gubernatorial Candidate for the Green Party
December 30th, 2016

NJ is a media wasteland

Over the past 16 years I can say that the social-justice church I pastor, and the non-profits I've created, have had an inordinate amount of media attention.

When we've stood up against the Iraq War, built houses for Veterans, homes for women aging-out of foster care, resettled refugees and offered Sanctuary, the media has been faithful. In as much as any church is well-known, our church is at least on the radar.

We've stuck our necks out there on behalf of the poor and downtrodden and, because of that, we've attracted the attention of media.

When I decided to run for governor I'd been told that "NJ is a media wasteland," but I didn't believe it. You see, for me, that hadn't been my experience. We have always done work that is significant enough to draw the attention of local, state and national attention.

This has been a particularly strange year. I decided to run for governor, and then, after I started campaigning, Donald Trump was elected, and immigration and refugees crises hit the fan. Because of our work over the years supporting the oppressed, and our rapid response in these troubled times, we've drawn attention again. I am, of course, thankful for it. Media is part of the theatrics of resistance--and we've needed all the help we could get.

But I can hardly get a news outlet to express an ounce of interest in me as a candidate for governor--even though my campaign stands for all the things that the media has cared about that I've worked on as a pastor and activist.

It seems that the media, large and small, doesn't get it. They don't realize that the same administrative skills that have allowed for our social justice work can be applied to state government. They don't seem to realize how profoundly transforming it would be to have an advocate who starts with the last instead of with the first leading the way in Trenton.

It's as if they don't believe that someone pushing for a revolution of morals that starts with an economic revolution possible belongs in politics.

Media -- I can't wait to prove you all wrong.

Peace, Seth
#OnlyProgressiveRunning
kaperdaleforgovernor.com

Some days are days for action. Other days are days for mourning

I hope we can all slow down today—slow down and remember the person who was killed and the many wounded in the attack outside a mosque in London last night. Terrorist attacks come in many shapes and sizes—this time the terrorist was a guy named Darren Osborne—a white guy who I know absolutely nothing about. It feels like a hate-crime to me, a terrorist attack, but we’ll let the authorities determine a detailed analysis.

What I am sure of is that driving vans into crowds of pedestrians and worshippers is a heinous thing to do. What I do know is that despair in the world, and fear, and hate, seem to be reaching a fevered pitch. People are doing strange and horrible things to other people not only with traditional weapons of war but also now on main street, with speeding vehicles.

Some days are days for action. Other days are days for mourning. May mourning for Muslim victims of this terrorist attack rule today.

Peace, Seth Kaper-Dale
The Last Are First

New Jersey needs a Sabbath from the two party duopoly

Dear Supporters of the only progressive candidate in the race for governor,

Thank you for helping us raise close to $12,000 this week through our facebook challenge!! Through dozens of new donors we were able to raise significant money and show that progressives in the state of NJ are not going to tolerate being represented by a Goldman Sachs billionaire anymore. It's fair to call Mr. Murphy a Liberal--but it is not fair to call him progressive. Definitely not Revolutionary.

What is needed in NJ at this time is a revolution of values and an economic revolution. They go hand in hand. Soft, liberal reforms are not going to lead to the kinds of changes that are needed to make the last first, and the first last...changes that will transform this state with a wellspring from below.

I am a proven administrator. I successfully have created and run programs that start at the real roots of our broken society and start with no corporate dollars or special interests.

NJ needs a Sabbath (a rest) from the two party duopoly, and its commitment to itself and its wealth.

I strongly believe that there are people who traditionally vote Red and Blue who need to take a real look at Green this time around. But even if not one Blue or Red jumps into the wellspring of revolution with me, Kaper-Dale for governor still has 60% or more of the NJ voters who are not committed to either corporate party. I'll be putting time and energy into winning those people--street by street.

To that end, join us for the ground game. It's going to be fun--and it starts in full-swing on June 15th. We are running a campaign 900 Events in 90 days, with 10 regional hubs all pushing the Kaper-Dale Last Are First Agenda, and the Kaper-Dale name, into every corner of the state.

These events are about outreach, voter registration and visiting neighborhoods. You can help turn the tide.

If you want to help with the ground game go to kaperdaleforgovernor.com and go to VOLUNTEER. You'll be reached, very soon, with information on how you can help.

Finally, some say, "Seth, aren't you bothered that you'll steal votes from Phil Murphy." My answer...'I'm bothered, horrified actually, that Phil Murphy might steal votes from me. How dare someone so centrist come to represent the party that at one point in this country used to represent something that was progressive.'

Friends, it's time to let blue be blue...and to admit that blue is centrist...and to move on to a first party alternative--the green party.

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

Oldy Manopo to be deported

We have received word that a dear friend, church member and long time Metuchen/Edison resident Oldy Manopo will be deported in the morning (Monday, June 5th).

It's likely to happen that he'll be awakened around 3am and told to pack up his things. He'll be put in a car with tinted windows around 5am and driven to JFK. Packaged up and sent away by a government that could care less about a grieving wife, broken children and totally confused and bewildered grandchildren.

Where do we live again?

There are some who question why I, a candidate for governor, find myself spending an inordinate amount of time on the case by case immigration issues of our day. Well, friends, because right now, undocumented immigrants are last—dead last. They are being categorically wiped out, thrown away as if their hearts, souls, minds and bodies, are discardable. We need policies that protect vast numbers--but we also need to name and love each and every individual we can.

Tomorrow morning at 4:15am I will be going to the Elizabeth Detention Center, to hopefully be there at the time ICE sends Oldy away. I want to wave to one who worshiped with us each week in Highland Park and who traveled to D.C. to advocate for hungry people with Bread for the World. I want to show respect to someone who absolutely loved America and who was so thankful to find safety from the persecution he was facing when he escaped Indonesia 17 years ago.

If you want to join me for Oldy's 'send off' you are welcome to meet me in the church parking lot at 4:15am. Or, meet us at 625 Evans, Elizabeth.

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

Stay of removal was denied

I just received word from Oldy's lawyer that his stay of removal was denied. This means he is probably already on an airplane, being sent to Jakarta without an ounce of concern for his safety or for the welfare of his family.

I am driving to Elizabeth Detention now. I invite anyone who is available to join us for an 11:00 am rally where we'll call out again against Mr. Tsoukaris, and against all the other henchmen who are destroying our families--with no regard for the higher law--the law of human rights.

Peace, seth

Rovani is gone — ICE Strikes Again

Last night Rovani's wife went to visit him at the Elizabeth Detention Center, as she has faithfully done each night since his detention on May 8th. This time, when she arrived and asked for him, he was not there. The front desk said, "you'll have to call ICE in the morning." It was after 5pm, so there was only CCA (the for-profit detention prison company) on hand—not ICE staff.

Just now, at 5:45 am on Friday June 2nd, I got a call from Rovani's wife that he'd just landed in Japan (en route to Indonesia). She learned that yesterday morning they came to get him. He pleaded, "I don't want to go," he asked to call his "pastor, his lawyer, his wife." The guards said, "we'll call them."

They didn't.

That's how Rovani's life in America comes to an end. With lies, with family breaking, with insensitivity and hate—the well-developed skills of our government officials and their enforcers.

Rovani's wife has begged "no pictures," as the pictures posted of Arino (deported two weeks ago), after his deportation, awaited him on the TV screen when he arrived in Jakarta.

Rovani's faith tells him, "this is ok, pastor, God still has a plan."

His faith is a little different than mine. I do not believe it is God's plan to break up families.

I do not believe it is somehow the will of the Divine to desecrate the planet through greedy, war-mongering policies—to participate in the creation of a refugee/asylee/immigrant crisis and then to have our 'solution' be to racially & ethnically clean house through hate-crime Executive Orders.

Will God continue to work with him, through it all, like God did with Joseph, Moses and Miriam, Ruth and Naomi and Esther?—yes—but it is not God's will to create hell on earth.

Donald Trump is the Hate-Crime President, but we cannot let off the hook those who willfully participate in propping up that system. Field Office Director John Tsoukaris is a Hate-Crime Field Office Director—and we cannot allow a Hate-Crime Field Office Director to poison New Jersey's beautifully open and diverse society.

Forget Russia—Trump should be fired for crimes against our immigrant community. I'd love to see Field Office Director Tsoukaris fired too—knocked from his mini-throne on the same grounds. I'd love to see a day when the Federal Building, at 970 Broad Street, was emptied of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). I'd even give those dudes a big pay-day…a public "go-fund me" to cover their salaries…in order to have them stop ruining the lives of our New Jersey families.

Friends, it is not too soon to start using the language of RACIAL & ETHNIC CLEANSING. That is what is going on. The rule of law has become a sinister thing.

Peace to you,

Pastor Seth, Candidate Seth ... whatever the heck I am right now
The Last Are First

New Jersey Towns Had Better Stop Making Anti-Muslim Policies

During this holy season of Ramadan Muslims are renewing their commitments to God—engaging in a time of fasting, prayer and study. Ramadan is one of the most beautiful pillars of Islam. It is one that I, as a Christian pastor and politician, appreciate very much.

I'm sorry, this Ramadan, that Muslims in Bayonne are not celebrating the approval of plans for a new Mosque. I am sorry that they instead need to reflect on the role that blatant bias played in their inability to get the permits needed to move forward as planned with transforming an old warehouse into a house of prayer.

The town can claim 'parking' was the reason for the denial, and maybe they'll be able to hide bigotry under a bushel basket. But the anti-Muslim rhetoric, the displays of fear--they were writ large throughout the process. I'm glad the Muslim community group is suing the town.

It is my hope and prayer that towns, if they have concerns about permits for houses of worship, will really seek to make room for the great variety of religious expressions that are here in our great state. If the issue really is parking then help the Muslim community find another location in town. If the issue really is bigotry, then stop making Muslims go a less-than-honest series of meetings about parking. Cut to the chase—address anti-Muslim bigotry.

I am running for governor as the Green Party candidate. I am committed to a New Jersey that is fair and just for everyone, starting with the last. Until Muslims are treated better by the city of Bayonne, and Basking Ridge, and anywhere else they choose to gather for worship, Muslims are first to me. May it be the case, one day, that we are all equal--even as we are in the eye of our Maker.

The last shall be first.

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

thoughts on Memorial Day

Memorial Day started 3 years after the end of the Civil War, in the Northern States, as a day to decorate the graves of those who had died in that most brutal war. 

Three years had past, and in every village and hamlet, ever city and town, there were families that had been broken and kids left fatherless. General Logan, leader of a group for Northern Civil War Veterans knew that part of moving forward in health and in peace was to acknowledge the loss of life--to remember the dead. Memorial Day was a day of remembrance and prayer.

What were the prayers of the people on Memorial Day? 

I hope that there were prayers for the dead. I hope that there were prayers asking God to comfort the children and spouses and Moms and Dads who had lost their loved ones. 

I hope they prayed for the families throughout the North and South forever altered by the brutality of war. 

I hope, too, that there were prayers for peace and for permanent resolution to conflicts and great divides. 

Finally, I hope they prayed that God would intervene in the lives of human society and eradicate the greed (often propped up by sick theology/ideology) that is so often the driver of war. 

The greed that led new Americans to eradicate native peoples, 
the greed that created the slave trade, 
the greed that drove the cotton industry, 
the greed that led to stealing and plundering natural resources…
all these were precursors to the Civil War. 

Without greed there is no war. 

I hope that at least some of the prayers prayed in towns and hamlets were prayers of confession, and prayers committing to a future that was about the common good. 

May our Memorial Day celebrations be honest celebrations. May this be a day of prayer and reflection. May this be a day for politicians, and parents, and students and businesspeople and artisans and all of us to apologize for the part we play in creating the theater for war—a stage that soldiers have to enter, and die upon, because of the greed that drives our form of economy and creates our unstable world. 

May we commit, today, to work for a world of peace—a world where soldiers never have to fight, and die, again. 

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

Half-Million Undocumented Jerseyans

To Voters Concerned About the Half-Million Undocumented Jerseyans Under Threat from This Regime,

On Thursday morning, May 25th, approximately 30 of us gathered in front of the Rodino Building at 970 Broad St., in the pouring rain, to chant "John Tsoukaris, have a heart, stop ripping our families apart." NJ's Field Office Director has made it his mission to strictly enforce the Executive Order of January 25th, and the result is the destruction of family-values and sending the persecuted back to the place of their suffering.

We were there, on Thursday, specifically to express concern for 4 Indonesians--1 deported and 3 still wrongly detained.

We received a very heartfelt word from Stella Manopo, who shared with us about her wonderful father Oldy. He is sitting in detention. We chanted the names Oldy, Saul, Rovani and Arino.

When I become governor I will make sure that part of our weekly diet, as a state, is to read aloud the names of families destroyed by deportation. We cannot let the Federal Government carry out racial and ethnic cleansing without raising a strong voice of resistance and without finding ways to bring down the powerful from their thrones.

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

The Indonesian Refugee Crisis

Back in 2011 a wonderful attorney took a great interest in our Indonesian Refugee Crisis. He took on assisting us pro bono, assisting the Reformed Church of Highland Park as we crafted a bill to protect Indonesian Refugees from deportation.

That bill, which was championed by Congressman Pallone and Congresswoman Malloney then, was reintroduced last night!

For those concerned about Indonesians being deported--please read the bill and push for Republican support. Lance and Smith should both support this. Make the demand!

Peace, 

Seth
The Last Are First

 

Arino Massie, an immigrant from Indonesia, was deported despite being previously allowed to stay in the U.S. He left behind a U.S.-born son

Arino Massie, an immigrant from Indonesia, was deported despite being previously allowed to stay in the U.S. He left behind a U.S.-born son

Wearing my religious leader hat

I'm the Green Party Candidate for Governor, but I'm also a minister. Every other candidate has multiple 'hats'...and so do I. This morning I speak from the other hat--my religious leader hat.

In the bible there is a confusing passage that speaks of an "unforgivable sin." There is debate about what an unforgivable sin could possibly be. It has something to do with blaspheming the Holy Spirit...but what does that mean?

If there is such a thing as an 'unforgivable sin' I imagine it would be something like, 'forcibly removing a loving father and sending him away, forever, from his child, because of a broken immigration law.' President Donald Trump, ICE Director Thomas Homan and Newark Field Office Director John Tsoukaris are all committing that almost unforgivable sin through their decision to send away Arino Massie from his son this past week. If the Holy Spirit is the giver of life, this decision is a life-taking decision--it's blasphemy against the way of the Spirit.

Today we will be gathering with another family, the family of Oldy Manopo. He is also detained and unable to be with his family. He too has fallen victim to the almost unforgivable sins being committed by our so-called 'family-values' government He too is fallen victim to a government that has said it is concerned about 'persecuted religious minorities.' If we do not cry out and stop this madness the unforgivable sin, of sending him away forever, away from his children and grandchildren, will be committed again.

If you are tired of the lies, and you want to call out the government for its unforgivable decision to ruin families, join us at 10:30am at the Rodino Building. 970 Broad St., Newark, NJ.

peace, Seth

Town Hall in Highland Park

Tonight, starting at 6:30, come to Pino's in Highland Park for a town hall meeting where I will make a pitch for why I should be considered the front-runner gubernatorial candidate running on a truly progressive agenda.

Corporate wealth and state and federal power wedded together make for a dangerous concoction. For some reason we keeping drinking it...even though it's killing us.

Vote for someone who is not only a social progressive reformer but also a revolutionary--believing that we need to take away the capitalistic incentive that runs our health care, our military complex, our prison complex and that threatens our utilities and our public education.

I do not have all the answers, but I have a lens that allows me to hold the desire to put the last first...and a fearlessness to put the first last.

Peace, 

Seth
The Last Are First

on the Executive Order

We have known, since the Executive Order "the security of the interior" was announced on January 25th, that the Hate-Crime President had codified his hatred against black and brown people from around the world (and played American bigotry and economic frustration to his favor).

This executive order has hurt thousands of families since January, and most recently it pulled an Indonesian father away from his 13 year old American citizen child here in Central NJ. As we speak there are three other Indonesians, who have been shown discretion in the past, who are sitting in Elizabeth Detention Center.

The hate-crime President, the anti-family-values President, the 'further persecute the persecuted' President: all these names apply. Unfortunately, they apply too, to the Field Office Director in New Jersey, who seems to get a kick out of breaking up families, deporting persecuted people and furthering the racial and ethnic hatred that has been on the rise.

Please reach out to our Congressman Frank Pallone, to encourage the introduction of the Indonesian Refugee Family Protection Act.
Frank Pallone
New Brunswick (732) 249-8892
Long Branch (732) 571-1140
D.C. Phone: (202) 225-4671

Also, reach out to ICE in Washington, to ask Mr. Homan why he's decided to stop caring for Indonesian Refugees (like he did in the past) and why he now wants to enforce their removal. 

His number is 202-732-5545. Ask him why he didn't protect Arino Massie? Ask him why Field Office Director John Tsoukaris is allowed to continue ruining families in New Jersey?

There will be further opportunities for further protest this week. We can never let it be NORMAL for a President and his henchmen to get away with breaking up families.

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

 

from pastor to politics

For those of you who have followed my decision to run for governor and wondered about my journey from pastor to politics, I invite you to check out this video produced by Corin Lea Pankow:

Some are concerned that a person who has held a leadership position in any religious community is somehow dangerous for politics. I appreciate the concern but I hope I can persuade said people to see that an ideology of liberation, justice & communalism is what grows out of my faith tradition. These things are key to a political revolution--and a revolution is what is needed in New Jersey and in this country.

Since I’ve started running for governor there are two frequently asked questions.

#1 “Seth, by running on the Green Party Ticket, don’t you worry that you’ll be stealing votes from Phil Murphy and the Democrats?”

Answer: Murphy’s coronation isn’t guaranteed yet…but if he does end up as the candidate, I find it a disgrace that a billionaire Wall Street mogul be considered the ‘progressive option’ for the state of New Jersey. I’m bothered that Phil Murphy might steal votes from me and from real progressives. I am the social-justice-oriented progressive in this campaign, and I’ve committed myself to work on behalf of the poor and I’ve confronted ‘the powers’ that keep the poor and middle class stagnating or falling ever further behind in a state that tilts dramatically to the whims of those who are rich and powerful. I have shown administrative skill and charisma working with people who live in the ‘real world’ of the normal economic strata. I am, hands down, more prepared to lead the state than Phil Murphy, and it bothers me that he might steal my votes.

#2 “Seth, how will you get anything done if there are no assembly members or senators to carry your agenda through the legislature.”

“I do not believe that the people who are elected by the people of New Jersey are firstly identified as Democrat or Republican—each of them is a person. Unfortunately, in this bi-partisan stalemate that is our system, we play politics as if it is a ‘winner takes all’ affair—and the other side isn’t only the loser, in the game, they are actually ‘losers’ as people. It would be refreshing for New Jersey if there was a governor who had to listen to elected human beings as elected human beings, and not firstly as Republicans and Democrats. Hopefully the Green Party (or other parties, or independents) will have success in legislative campaigns this fall, but even if the Green Party is only represented by the governor, this could be a refreshing season for the state. Imagine a season where all elected officials are considered potential partners in good legislation, and, equally, where bad decisions for the poor and middle class will be turned aside, whether they come from the Democrats or Republicans.

All of this makes me say, in 2017, the Green Party (or any other non-major party) is the 1st Party, and the Establishment Parties need to take their proper place—2nd, 3rd…or maybe even lower than that.

Peace, Seth
The Last Are First

https://www.kaperdaleforgovernor.com/