You Want To See The Middle Class And The Poor Pay Less In Taxes -- Vote For The Only Progressives Running (Who Said Reducing Taxes Is A Republican Idea?)

We read today that 70% of people polled in NJ thought that promises by a politician for any tax plan “is not believable.” The Republican Christie 2.0 talks about bringing down taxes but it is received by voters as farfetched. Surely there is some waste to be cut in Trenton, but we tend to agree with Governor Christie that there may not be so much waste left laying around as Kim is suggesting. Definitely not enough to really transform the property tax situation.

To be honest we don’t think Kim or Phil, or the people backing them, have anything like a creative revolutionary idea for how to free up tremendous money (or to generate new monies) to get this economy really moving again.

Bernie knew how to do it. Jill knew how to do it. We do too.

The single biggest transformational reality to the NJ economy would be the move to Single-Payer Medicare for All. Currently we spent 80 billion dollars a year on health-related expenses in NJ. Of that 80 Billion nearly 26 billion (33 cents of each dollar) goes to the overhead and profit of health insurance companies.

Medicare, by comparison, has an overhead of something like 2%. If we could move to NJ Medicare for All, and bring our overhead down to even 8%, 6.4 billion, image what we could do with an extra 19.6 billion dollars moving through our state.

And, further, that 19.6 billion would be freed up from all the places in Jersey that currently feel totally financially overwhelmed.

Property taxes would go down dramatically if the state of NJ had a true Medicare for All plan. On average 19% of municipal budgets go toward paying unregulated private health plans. That’s absurd. Let’s bring that down dramatically, in every town, and see more money in people’s pockets!

The State pension & benefits debacle would go away if we had a serious NJ single-payer plan for all. The state could pay its worker’s pension fund in full and have money left to bring down tuition at our universities and pay for other essential services.

Entrepreneurs would feel empowered to start new businesses, knowing they could retain employees because good employees wouldn’t be leaving for jobs with health benefits.

Medium and big businesses could pay $15/hour (at least) because they would have been relieved of the obligation to pay ridiculous private health plans for employees. Instead, they’d be paying a new 6% payroll tax (less than half of what they pony up now).

All those deductibles and co-pays, that hit you while you’re down, go away too!

Phil Murphy’s puny 1.2 billion in new taxes aren’t near enough to stimulate the economy.

Kim Guardano’s attempts to slash a billion in taxes is way too skimpy. They are weak plans and they are not even believable to voters.

We need dramatic changes. We need revolutionary thinking. We need 20 billion dollars of new monetary activity that frees people up to create jobs, to grow companies, to pay workers better wages, all the while bringing down property taxes, lessening the state debt and bringing more freedom to every person in the state of New Jersey.

By this point this notion shouldn’t be revolutionary: PROGRESSIVES LOWER TAXES THROUGH MEDICARE FOR ALL.

NJ Medicare for All is the plan we’ll push for if Kaper-Dale/Durden is elected on November 7th.

Peace, Seth Kaper-Dale, gubernatorial candidate
Lisa Durden, Lieutenant Governor candidate

Notes on a Green Gubernatorial Campaign

My wife and I have been co-pastors of a church in Highland Park, NJ since 2001. When we arrived, our church had 35 members. Today it has grown to approximately 500 congregants. We have also gone from being a primarily white congregation to being a congregation that has over 50 nationalities represented through first generation immigrants and extensive racial and ethnic diversity. In addition, over 3,000 people come through the church every week participating in a multitude of social justice and community building programs.

Our church works to be truly progressive and inclusive. We have been marrying gay couples since the early 2000’s. We rage against war and torture, Guantanamo Bay, hunger and solitary confinement. We join fights for raising the minimum wage and stopping climate change. In 2012 we provided physical Sanctuary to immigrants with ankle tracking devices on their legs for eleven months after they were ordered to report for deportation.

Read more at Green Papers

Can You Trust The Democratic Candidate If He Won't Mention Palestinians' Human Rights When Discussing Anti-BDS Legislation?

Over the past couple of days the Democrat and Republican candidates for governor have traded jabs about whose party is pro-Israel or anti-Israel. Much of this has centered on the anti-BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanctions) legislation Governor Christie signed into NJ law in 2016.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate has taken heat for the fact that his running-mate opposed the anti-BDS legislation as an NJ Assemblywoman. The Wall Street candidate has gone out of his way to distance himself from his running mate's vote on that bill—saying he stands firmly in the anti-BDS camp.

I wish he, and all who are speaking of this matter, would stand firmly in the camp that is concerned about the 50 years of illegal occupation that Palestinians have faced. I wish he and they would be concerned about the hundreds of thousands who were driven into camps in neighboring nations, into islands of poverty and isolation. I wish they would be concerned about what Israel has created—by systematically sucking beauty and life from a whole population so that Palestinian children in the occupied territories born today hardly have any living relatives who remember what freedom and peace was like.

Believe it or not, in several ways the Israeli/Palestinian situation reminds me of New Jersey. Not in terms of the brutal human rights abuses of course, in New Jersey it is often much more subtle.

Nevertheless, in a space that is similar in size to the Palestinian and Israeli lands, we have islands of wealth and opportunity and possibility standing side by side with islands of poverty and extreme danger. Sometimes that danger creeps over our 'borders' and the 'peace' that wealthy and powerful people feel living in a state of systematic oppression is disrupted. But most of the time, the islands stay isolated, and the poor suffer—until somebody wealthy wants to encroach on an island of poverty and they change zoning laws and build new 'settlements.'

I want to call out any aspect of our state that blesses the oppressor class that runs the state of New Jersey and makes 'the last' remain 'last.' And I think we need to be open to critiquing, firmly, any nation, Israel and the United States included, that carries out systematic oppression. For example, how about we boycott companies that build pipelines through Native Peoples' sacred lands.

It is not the role of the next governor of New Jersey to bless the ongoing oppression of Palestinians by the state of Israel. I disagree with and as governor, will work to reverse the Anti-BDS legislation that was passed last year as an assault on freedom of expression and people struggling for justice. But mostly, I am also repulsed when a billionaire masquerades as a "progressive" candidate for governor but refuses to speak honestly about human rights abuses of Palestinians.

If he won't talk about Palestinians I don't trust he'll talk about our own islands of oppression located within our precious state.

Peace,
Seth Kaper-Dale
Green Party Candidate for Governor

We Need More Campaign Leaders!

Please SAVE THE DATES FOR SEPTEMBER 16TH AND 17TH for a regional events kickoff weekend. Two months from now this entire gubernatorial campaign will be wrapping up.  We will know whether or not a truly progressive campaign, a campaign that starts with the last, has made any electoral impact on the state of New Jersey.  Until the final moment on election day we will be pushing hard for a revolution at the polls.  Trenton needs a truly progressive voice.  America needs to see that this is possible.  Now is the time!

We have been running a statewide campaign for the better part of a year.  Kaper-Dale/Durden has carried out canvassing events, town halls, house parties and actions all around the state.  We have worked to shape meaningful policy that is informed by progressive voices and the voices of the poor.  We are proud of the work that has been done and we are thankful for all of you who have made it happen so far.

Now, we need to increase our strong regional hubs.  We need more leaders and hubs committed to the campaign, committed to carrying out the work of outreach and get-out-the-vote efforts, without the candidates present, from now until the election.  Lisa and I will, of course, be constantly on the move, appearing as many times as humanly possible, over the next 60 days. What we need you to do is let us know you will increase your commitment for this next stretch. 

In the next days some of you will be getting calls from me — asking you to be volunteer regional coordinators.  Some of you have been doing the work already.  However, if you have TIME and a desire to help with a 60 day push to challenge the two-party duopoly in the state of NJ, don’t wait for us to call you.  Call the campaign office now and let us know! The # is 1-866-SKD-4-GOV, and Nate's cell # is 732-406-3574.

We have two new outreach coordinators — Suzy Jivotovski and Terrance Bankston.  They will be reaching out to you as well.  Once coordinators have been identified (in the next 3-5 days) we’ll be planning regional outreach meetings for next weekend. Please SAVE THE DATES FOR SEPTEMBER 16TH AND 17TH for a regional events kickoff weekend.

Peace, Seth and Lisa
#TheLastAreFirst

TODAY: We'll keep fighting

First, let me congratulate you. Congratulations on being on a team that has raised nearly $100,000 in grassroots style as of today, which is a huge accomplishment. Everything we have done we have done with big numbers of people, not a handful of big money rich donors. When I am governor, I won't owe favors to big corporations and the wealthy elite. I will owe my loyalty to YOU: the people, the communities, of New Jersey. #WeAreRunningForGovernor. Together.

NJ law makes us raise $430K by 11:59 p.m. TODAY to be in the televised debates. No matter what, my running mate Lisa Durden and I are already scheduled for seven candidate forums and debates which we will livestream and spread as widely as possible. And no matter what this campaign will need your continued financial support to keep fighting and win on November 7th.

Check out our new commercial at the link below! It is airing today as a Youtube video ad and on MSNBC for select regions and cable subscribers. Please keep giving generously today at kaperdaleforgovernor.com to support this transformational campaign and make a last push for the debates!

Thanks and peace,
seth

 

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