Press Release: Philip and Tammy Murphy Launch New Start New Jersey


NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- Philip and Tammy Murphy today announced the formation of New Start New Jersey, a policy and advocacy organization to identify and promote best-practice initiatives to grow the state’s economy by strengthening the middle class.  At a launch event held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the organization unveiled the results of a survey showing that New Jerseyans overwhelmingly believe a strong middle class is critical to the state’s future success, but believe the state is moving in the wrong direction and they expect to be worse off than the previous generation.

“Tammy and I founded New Start New Jersey to find ways to strengthen the middle class and put our state back on the right track,” said Philip Murphy, Chairman and Co-Founder.  “In a state with such broad diversity and exceptional resources, middle-class families should never have to worry that they lack either security or upward mobility. Our organization will identify ways to strengthen our middle-class families and implement policies that would restore their confidence in a better future.”

“We must get back to the notion that families in New Jersey, regardless of their economic circumstances, have a pathway to a better future,” said Tammy Murphy, Co-Founder.  “Though so many families across New Jersey are living under precarious circumstances today, we will work every single day to identify solutions that will restore their confidence in a better tomorrow.”

According to the survey, conducted by Danny Franklin of Benenson Strategy Group over a three-day period in October 2014, most New Jersey residents (76%) identify themselves as middle class.  Among them, two-thirds (67%) say they are just getting by financially.  A majority of residents (56%) say they are undertaking some level of sacrifice in order to make ends meet and a majority (55%) view themselves as worse off than the previous generation.  A substantial number (65%) expect the children of today to face worse prospects than earlier generations.

The survey revealed the precarious conditions in which New Jersey residents live.  Half (50%) of working New Jerseyans say they would be unable to pay their bills if they were unemployed for as little as two months and an unexpected bill of $5,000 or less would cause significant financial hardship.

One of the most important findings concerns the diminishing view of what it means to be in New Jersey’s middle class.  New Jerseyans see the foundational elements of the middle-class lifestyle – a secure retirement, sufficient savings to avoid surviving paycheck-to-paycheck, relative freedom from stress over day-to-day expenses – drifting beyond their grasp.  Only a minority of respondents (41%) now defines the ability to afford a child’s college tuition as a middle-class aspiration, with a small segment (19%) envisioning being able to do so.  

Significantly, most believe New Jersey will regain its standing by strengthening the middle class.  By an overwhelming majority (91%), respondents believe a thriving middle class remains essential for the state to have a robust economy in the coming years.  A large majority (83%) affirm New Jersey will achieve success by building from the middle class out, not the top down.

Respondents believe the policies that will fortify the middle class and lift the state’s shared fortunes include: investing in education (92%), investing in infrastructure (94%), improving access to higher education (89%) and enhancing job-training initiatives (86%). 

Against this backdrop, New Start New Jersey was established to identify and advocate for initiatives to bolster New Jersey’s middle class.  

Speakers at today’s launch included Jon Bon Jovi, the Chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation; Cornell Brooks, the President and CEO of the NAACP; Neera Tanden, the President of the Center for American Progress; Carl Van Horn, Rutgers University Distinguished Professor and the Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development; and Anna Diaz-White, the Executive Director of 180 Turning Lives Around.

New Start New Jersey has named as its President Tim Castano, who previously served as Chief of Staff to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, as well as Assistant Director of a policy research institute at Princeton University.

Along with Philip and Tammy Murphy and Castano, New Start New Jersey has formed an Advisory Board drawn from among the foremost leaders in business, academia, the nonprofit sector and government.  In addition to Brooks, Diaz-White and Van Horn, the Advisory Board includes: Virginia Bauer; CEO of GTBM and former New Jersey Commerce Secretary; W. Michael Blumenthal, former United States Treasury Secretary; Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor in the Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University and Board Chair of LEAP Academy; Kathleen Ellis, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New Jersey Natural Gas; Jeanne Fox, former President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities; and Kevin Ryan, the President and CEO of Covenant House International.  

 For more information about New Start New Jersey, please visit NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- Philip and Tammy Murphy today announced the formation of New Start New Jersey, a policy and advocacy organization to identify and promote best-practice initiatives to grow the state’s economy by strengthening the middle class.  At a launch event held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the organization unveiled the results of a survey showing that New Jerseyans overwhelmingly believe a strong middle class is critical to the state’s future success, but believe the state is moving in the wrong direction and they expect to be worse off than the previous generation.

“Tammy and I founded New Start New Jersey to find ways to strengthen the middle class and put our state back on the right track,” said Philip Murphy, Chairman and Co-Founder.  “In a state with such broad diversity and exceptional resources, middle-class families should never have to worry that they lack either security or upward mobility. Our organization will identify ways to strengthen our middle-class families and implement policies that would restore their confidence in a better future.”

“We must get back to the notion that families in New Jersey, regardless of their economic circumstances, have a pathway to a better future,” said Tammy Murphy, Co-Founder.  “Though so many families across New Jersey are living under precarious circumstances today, we will work every single day to identify solutions that will restore their confidence in a better tomorrow.”

According to the survey, conducted by Danny Franklin of Benenson Strategy Group over a three-day period in October 2014, most New Jersey residents (76%) identify themselves as middle class.  Among them, two-thirds (67%) say they are just getting by financially.  A majority of residents (56%) say they are undertaking some level of sacrifice in order to make ends meet and a majority (55%) view themselves as worse off than the previous generation.  A substantial number (65%) expect the children of today to face worse prospects than earlier generations.

The survey revealed the precarious conditions in which New Jersey residents live.  Half (50%) of working New Jerseyans say they would be unable to pay their bills if they were unemployed for as little as two months and an unexpected bill of $5,000 or less would cause significant financial hardship.

One of the most important findings concerns the diminishing view of what it means to be in New Jersey’s middle class.  New Jerseyans see the foundational elements of the middle-class lifestyle – a secure retirement, sufficient savings to avoid surviving paycheck-to-paycheck, relative freedom from stress over day-to-day expenses – drifting beyond their grasp.  Only a minority of respondents (41%) now defines the ability to afford a child’s college tuition as a middle-class aspiration, with a small segment (19%) envisioning being able to do so.  

Significantly, most believe New Jersey will regain its standing by strengthening the middle class.  By an overwhelming majority (91%), respondents believe a thriving middle class remains essential for the state to have a robust economy in the coming years.  A large majority (83%) affirm New Jersey will achieve success by building from the middle class out, not the top down.

Respondents believe the policies that will fortify the middle class and lift the state’s shared fortunes include: investing in education (92%), investing in infrastructure (94%), improving access to higher education (89%) and enhancing job-training initiatives (86%). 

Against this backdrop, New Start New Jersey was established to identify and advocate for initiatives to bolster New Jersey’s middle class.  

Speakers at today’s launch included Jon Bon Jovi, the Chairman of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation; Cornell Brooks, the President and CEO of the NAACP; Neera Tanden, the President of the Center for American Progress; Carl Van Horn, Rutgers University Distinguished Professor and the Director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development; and Anna Diaz-White, the Executive Director of 180 Turning Lives Around.

New Start New Jersey has named as its President Tim Castano, who previously served as Chief of Staff to the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, as well as Assistant Director of a policy research institute at Princeton University.

Along with Philip and Tammy Murphy and Castano, New Start New Jersey has formed an Advisory Board drawn from among the foremost leaders in business, academia, the nonprofit sector and government.  In addition to Brooks, Diaz-White and Van Horn, the Advisory Board includes: Virginia Bauer; CEO of GTBM and former New Jersey Commerce Secretary; W. Michael Blumenthal, former United States Treasury Secretary; Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor in the Graduate Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University and Board Chair of LEAP Academy; Kathleen Ellis, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New Jersey Natural Gas; Jeanne Fox, former President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities; and Kevin Ryan, the President and CEO of Covenant House International.  

To read the survey in its entirety, please visit www.nsnj.org.

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Posted: 11/10/2014 10:00:00 AM by New Start New Jersey | with 0 comments
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New Start New Jersey believes our state can do better — better for our families, better for our middle class. Committed not only to exploring, but also to enacting the most effective public policy initiatives to grow the economy and improve our quality of life, New Start New Jersey will work to generate momentum toward fulfilling our considerable promise, ensuring a more prosperous future for our state and all of our citizens.

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