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Donald Norcross

Donald Norcross is an electrician by trade who has dedicated his life to fighting for New Jersey’s working families. He is a champion for good jobs and fair wages, healthcare for all, accessible and affordable higher education options, equality for women, quality health care for our veterans, a strong nation and safe neighborhoods.

Donald was born and raised in South Jersey. He began his career in organized labor in 1979, working as an electrical apprentice, connecting and restoring power for homes and businesses across the region. He rose through the ranks of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to become a business agent for Local 351. He is former president of the Southern New Jersey Building Trades Council and served as president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO Central Labor Council for 16 years.

At times during his career, Donald had to draw from unemployment and disability, and he recognizes that working families often struggle to make ends meet. That’s why he strongly supports increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, giving hundreds of thousands of residents the raise they deserve. He worked with a broad coalition to raise the wage in New Jersey, and is now committed to doing it nationally.

Donald graduated from Camden County College and a skilled apprenticeship program, and he fully understands the value of a quality, affordable education that connects young minds with rewarding careers. With his support, our local county colleges now each have partnerships that make the transition to Rowan or Rutgers Universities easier and more affordable. And he has been a strong advocate for students interested in learning lifelong skills through vocational, technical, and apprenticeship training.

As a husband, father and grandfather, Donald knows that women are the foundation of our families. Donald is fighting to ensure women get equal pay for equal work. He wants to make sure women have access to affordable quality healthcare and childcare and guaranteed paid maternity leave.

Donald has been a forceful advocate for national security and led a successful effort to protect and strengthen New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. He has become a leading advocate for battling the disease of addiction, which is critical for both our national security and public health.

Donald is deeply committed to his community and has been active in the United Way of Camden County for close to two decades, and served as its chairman from 2002 through 2004. He helped to create and run the non-profit Union Organization for Social Service (UOSS), the nation’s first labor agency devoted to community service. He is also a founding member of The Home Port Alliance, a coalition that brought back the USS New Jersey – the most decorated battleship in U.S. history – to serve as a monument for veterans and a major attraction for the revitalization of the Camden Waterfront.

Donald previously served in the New Jersey Legislature, where he developed a reputation as an effective, bipartisan reformer. He championed a massive job creation program that has brought multiple companies and thousands of jobs to our region. He led an historic effort to modernize our state’s higher education system that has put New Jersey on the map as a research and medical sciences education hub. And he successfully reformed our state’s bail system to keep violent offenders out of our communities.

Donald and his wife live in the City of Camden. He is the father of three and grandfather of three.

Working for New Jersey

My life has been devoted to fighting for working families, seniors, veterans, and students. I know the struggles our families face because I’ve been there myself: from attending community college and raising my first son as a single dad, to working as an electrician and at times having to rely on unemployment and disability insurance to provide for my family, to having a son in the military, putting two children through college, becoming a proud grandfather and serving my community.

Raising Wages

Americans have earned a raise. I support raising wages, growing jobs in high-skilled industries, and ensuring fair pay and safe workplaces for all. I’ve worked for minimum wage. I was also once a young single dad raising my son and having to balance work, family life and a checkbook. Back then it was hard. Today, for far too many Americans, it’s nearly impossible.

I went on to complete an apprenticeship, becoming an electrician, and then spent my adult life fighting for working families through the labor movement.

I know that the best social program in the world is a good job with fair wages and the dignity that comes with it. Now serving in Congress, I can plainly say that raising wages is the moral issue of our time.

But Congress hasn’t acted to raise the federal minimum wage in over a decade.

Today it remains $7.25 an hour, leaving Americans who work full-time living in poverty. These families come up thousands of dollars short each month just trying to meet basic living standards.

Meanwhile, economic security isn’t just a problem for minimum wage workers. We feel it throughout our communities: families struggling to make ends meet, with stagnant wages and rising costs, unable to save enough for their kids’ education, and worried by the threat of a health care overhaul that we know will mean higher costs and less care.

The social contract that guided us for generations – that if you work hard and play by the rules you can make it in America – appears broken. Hard-working families are being forced to choose rent over clothes, food over medicine, today over tomorrow. This is wrong. No American with a full-time job should struggle to put food on their table or put their child to bed hungry. Until wages rise, this economic anxiety will continue to be the norm. Clearly, America needs a raise.

That’s why I am leading the fight to boost wages for working men and women. The Raise the Wage Act will increase the minimum wage with common-sense predictability over the next seven years to $15 an hour. If passed, it will help over 41 million low-wage American workers that are now barely making it paycheck to paycheck, including the parents of 19 million American children. It will raise wages for a third of our nation’s workforce, including over 1.2 million of our friends and neighbors here in New Jersey. And when families finally get the raise they’ve earned, they’ll spend more at our local businesses and give our economy a much-needed jolt.

First and foremost for me is raising your wages. I will keep standing up for every hard-working American who knows wages are too low and a rigged system is putting our families at risk. This is my mission, as it has been my entire career, and I look forward to the fight.

I led the initiative to increase New Jersey’s minimum wage and now I’m calling for a $15 per hour federal minimum wage, because America’s working families deserve a raise. Join me.

The best social program in the world is a good-paying job, and I’ve worked hard to help create new jobs and spur business growth in South Jersey.

Full-time employees making federal minimum wage are unable to live off of their earnings; this is unacceptable. We know that raising the wage will not just increase quality of life for workers, but boost the economy, as well.

Expanding Education Opportunities

Students deserve an education that prepares them for a rewarding career and doesn’t leave them mired in debt. Our focus as a society must be to provide a world-class education for all, and to ensure affordable, accessible higher educational opportunities so that our best, brightest, and most industrious students can start building their adult lives without being mired in debt.

First and foremost that means fully supporting our public school system and all those that devote their lives to educating our children. I fully support making child care more affordable and expanding Pre-K, and I’ve led the fight to improve school facilities in New Jersey. We must invest in upgrades to the physical infrastructure of schools so that students can learn in a safe, secure environment.

As a product of New Jersey’s outstanding public school system, a graduate of Camden County College and a skilled apprenticeship program, I fully understand the value of a quality, affordable education that connects young minds with rewarding careers.

We have made great strides in boosting higher education in South Jersey and making our local universities and county colleges hubs for business innovation and high-tech job creation. I led the charge to strengthen our state’s higher education system and increase opportunities and resources for students at Rutgers-Camden and Rowan Universities, paving the way for a medical sciences research hub in our backyard. Likewise, I worked closely with our local county colleges to forge partnerships that make the transition to our universities easier and more affordable.

Now, I’m focused on expanding opportunities for students interested in attending our vocational, technical, and apprenticeship training schools so they can become valued members of our region’s workforce.

Protecting Communities

For Americans to succeed, we must first and foremost provide a secure nation and safe neighborhoods. Our police officers, firefighters, and first responders risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe, and I have stood up for them by instituting programs that help them gain and retain employment, and assist their families in times of need.

I was an early supporter of equipping law enforcement officials with body cameras, and authored New Jersey’s first law to do so. Capturing this information protects both officers and the public they serve.

I led the successful push to reform our state’s bail laws and keep violence out of our communities by focusing on an offender’s risks, not their resources, and was recognized by the New Jersey NAACP for those efforts.

I also worked to increases penalties for illegal gun trafficking and allow police officers to impound vehicles in cases that involve illegal weapons, drugs, or prostitution, effectively removing vehicles of crime from our streets. We don’t let suspected terrorists board airplanes, and I’m determined to make sure that ‘No-Fly’ means ‘No-Buy.’

My first and highest duty is to protect and defend the American people. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Chairman of the Tactical Air and Land subcommittee, I’ve learned a lot about the dangers facing our world, and about the outstanding men and women working hard every day to keep us safe.

Recent events around the world have reminded us that terrorism continues to be a threat in our society. I’ve called for common-sense steps to protect Americans, like ending the outrageous terrorist background check loophole that currently allows people on our nation’s Terror Watchlist to legally purchase deadly firearms and explosives. We don’t let suspected terrorists board airplanes, and I am determined to make sure they can’t buy guns either.

I have traveled to the Middle East on multiple occasions and saw firsthand how the evils of terrorism are shaping our national security policies. Murderous, extremist organizations like ISIS and Al Qaeda must be defeated, and I have no doubt that by working together, we will prevail.

I fully support Israel, our strongest ally in a region that is both strategically significant and increasingly unstable. Israel proudly shares our American values of freedom and equality and is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. I oppose the nuclear deal with Iran because, as the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon when it continues to threaten and vilify the people of Israel and America.

Growing Jobs

The best social program in the world is a good-paying job .

Our economy can’t grow if we don’t invest in the critical infrastructure that allows employers to do business and working families to get to and from work safely. I was proud to fight for the infrastructure law that is already bringing billions of dollars back to New Jersey and our region. This funding is a critical investment in our roads, bridges, clean water, electric energy systems, and telecommunications network. It will also create good paying jobs for South Jersey families.

One of my core priorities has been to bring back American manufacturing and onshore jobs that for decades have gone oversees. We need to make it and buy it in America. I am leading the fight for a Buy American provision and am a key leader in finalizing the bipartisan Competes Act that will spur investments in American manufacturing and technology and grow our competitiveness around the world.

We need a workforce that is career ready for the growing industries of today. I have been a leading voice on investing in registered apprenticeship programs and our community colleges to create affordable job training and readiness programs for our families. By working hand and hand with our educational institutions and local business community we can ensure our students are job ready on day one.

I am focused on strengthening our region’s core industries including our colleges and universities, hospitals, and ports. I have been proud to fight for major investments in the wind energy manufacturing hub at the Port of Paulsboro that will create hundreds of clean energy jobs right in our communities.

As your representative in Congress, I will bring these innovative ideas to the national level and work to create family-sustaining jobs for all Americans.

Improving Health Care

Americans deserve quality, affordable health care, and we must confront the disease of addiction that’s plaguing our communities.

We must improve our nation’s health care system and first and foremost that means standing against the disgusting repeal efforts in Congress that would deny coverage to millions of people and raise costs on seniors and working families while giving tax breaks to billionaires. Instead, we need to work together to lower the cost of prescription drugs and ensure healthcare for all. I have been on the forefront of fighting to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, limit the out-of-pocket costs to $35 a month for life saving insulin and reducing the cost of prescriptions for all families.

We must protect the hard-fought reforms that ended discrimination against pre-existing conditions and ensure funding for women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood. I wholeheartedly support reproductive freedom for all women. Government should not be involved in healthcare decisions for women it should be between them and their doctor.

Our society must begin to treat the disease of addiction that is plaguing our country as a serious public health issue that requires prevention efforts, treatment options, and public safety tools like the Naloxone antidote. I am proud to member of the Bi- Partisan task force to fight the disease of addictions in Congress where I am focused on battling the stigma of addiction and finding solutions for this national emergency. I am fighting to make sure that insurance companies treat mental health the same physical health. Now more than ever it is critical that our families have access to mental health care.

Honoring Veterans & Service Members

Men and women who have selflessly answered the call to serve our nation should not be left behind when they return home.

We have a duty to connect veterans and their families with every opportunity to work, get an education, and live a healthy life.

The bravery our service men and women have shown is not limited to state borders and neither should their education or health care. Our veterans deserve unrestricted access to the best health care America has to offer, and I am committed to giving every veteran the freedom to choose their preferred provider using their existing VA insurance. South Jersey is blessed with multiple world-class health care institutions, so our veterans should never have to suffer long waits or put up with sub-standard care. They gave their best, they deserve our best.

Veterans lead the country in unemployment, despite years of experience and the best training our military has to offer, which is why I have consistently fought to give them the support they need. Because of these efforts, local governments are now able to set aside a portion of their business opportunities specifically for veteran-owned businesses and those that employ our nation’s finest, providing much-needed job opportunities for these skilled workers. In addition, New Jersey’s colleges and universities now offer in-state tuition rates to all service members.

Our local heroes deserve recognition for their sacrifice. In 2016, I led a successful effort in Congress to rename the Deptford Post Office after fallen Marine Lt. Sal Corma, who died in Afghanistan in 2010 in an act of heroism that saved the lives of dozens of his fellow soldiers.

Caring for Seniors

In Congress, I will always honor our commitments to seniors and protect the Social Security and Medicare programs that they have worked hard to fund.

In Congress, I will always honor our commitments to seniors and protect the Social Security and Medicare programs that they have worked hard to fund. I oppose voucher schemes and support reforms that will ensure appropriate cost of living adjustments that account for the rising costs our seniors face.

I’ve fought hard to improve service and cut costs by supporting efforts backed by the AARP and other organizations that represent older Americans. I was named a Medicare Advantage Champion by the Coalition for Medicare Choices, and I will continue these efforts to provide our most valued citizens with the health care and peace of mind they deserve.

I’ve also advocated for a Caregiver’s Tax Credit to help families give their elderly loved ones the attention they need in the comfort of home. This effort is strongly supported by the AARP because it provides a tax credit for qualifying caregivers and recognizes the enormous contribution they make to their families and our healthcare system.

Standing Against Discrimination

Whether at home or at work, every individual is entitled to the same rights. We must stand together against discrimination of all kinds.

Everyone deserves to live their lives without discrimination. Whether at home or at work, every individual is entitled to the same rights. Women deserve to be paid the same as their male counterparts and should never face opposition to their personal health care decisions. I have consistently supported progressive efforts that benefit women and families, from equal pay and family leave to protecting funding for women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood.

The 2010’s were monumental for civil rights: love won and now any couple is free to be in a loving and committed relationship, regardless of gender. I’m proud to be endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, and as a member of the Congressional Equality Caucus, I will continue the fight to ensure equal rights, repeal discriminatory laws and stop hate violence.

Protecting the Environment

We need to keep the Earth clean and safe for our children and grandchildren. We need to ensure that the Earth is healthy and strong for future generations. Environmentally sustainable policies and investments in renewable energy will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, but it can also help us address climate change. I’m proud to be endorsed by the Sierra Club and I’ll continue to fight for a cleaner, greener New Jersey.

35 years have passed since the Superfund was created to enforce clean up of toxic sites across the country. New Jersey alone has 118 contaminated and abandoned sites, and all of them can be transformed into productive regions through the Superfund’s cleanup initiative, so I’ve worked hard to bring those resources back to our state.

We also need to protect the Jersey Shore from harmful offshore drilling in the Atlantic, which would harm both our environment and economy. As our beaches are still recovering form Superstorm Sandy, our businesses, families and tourism industries cannot afford the potential and irreparable damage that would come from drilling off our coast.

I’m proud to be a strong supporter of animal rights and organizations like the Humane Society of the US that work to ensure dignity and respect for all animal life. I am especially grateful to the amazing work of service animals, and I will continue to highlight their therapeutic value, the positive effect they have on people’s day-to-day lives, and their notable contributions to law enforcement and national security.

Restoring Our Democracy

America must restore faith and integrity in our democracy by reforming campaign finance laws and expanding voting rights.

Our leaders should be determined by the voice of the people, not the finances of a select few. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision placed a huge amount of power in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and corporations. I support a repeal of that decision and efforts to renew transparency and accountability in our elections.

We must also preserve the true meaning of democracy. That means safeguarding voting rights for every American and restoring the protections of the Voting Rights Act. I traveled to Selma, Alabama along with President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis on the 50th Anniversary of the march that helped lead to passage of the Voting Rights Act, and it’s clear the time to restore voting rights established 50 years ago is now.