Most Jersey Shore residents know me as the guy that Governor Chris Christie told to "Sit down and shut up." That day was the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, and the Governor was upset that I called him on his absenteeism.
After I had spent a month in the trenches, helping with the cleanup, I knew that thousands of families were still not in their homes. And yet here was the Governor, the man who should have been at the helm of the ship, in my hometown of Belmar, hosting a press conference to brag about his post-Sandy accomplishments. But I knew better. I knew that of $1.1 billion that the federal government had allocated to the rebuilding of homes, only $219 million had been released to the families. I couldn't keep quiet, and here's what happened next.
That incident brought national attention to the realities on the ground here at the Jersey Shore. And in the next three months, more money went out the door to Sandy families than had gone out in the previous two years.
This is what happens when when people hold their elected officials accountable: results follow.
I have never shied away from standing up for what's right. Protest is a catalyst for social change. So whether I'm standing in solidarity with women to defend Planned Parenthood, holding the line with locked out union workers, or supporting the students demanding action from our elected officials to enact common sense gun safety reform, I respect the role that public protest plays in our democracy.