The Gov. James J. Florio Visiting Scholar in Public Policy Lecture
In partnership with the offices of Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt, & Fader LLC, in 2015 the Bloustein School recognized Gov. Florio’s public service career through the endowment of a high-level visiting scholar. The annual Governor James J. Florio Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Public Policy will be a former senior government official or policy practitioner, focusing on an issue that was central to his legislative and gubernatorial career. The themes of the lecture include public service, foreign policy, the environment, transportation and mass transit, education, welfare reform, health care, and gun control.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
U.S. House of Representatives (D-NJ 12th District); House Appropriations Committee
The first Black woman to represent New Jersey in Congress, Bonnie Watson Coleman’s work in the House centers on her belief that, in the United States, there should exist a floor below which we should never allow any child, any family, any person to fall. Knowing that millions struggle every day just to make ends meet from the first to the last of the month, her legislative work seeks to bridge the gap for these Americans, making sure that the richest nation in the world doesn’t allow millions to live below the poverty line; doesn’t allow vulnerable groups to suffer the fallout of environmental violations; doesn’t allow profit margins to define the standards or the motivations for incarceration; and doesn’t allow bias to push everyday needs like car insurance out of reach for working families.
Watson Coleman’s work in Congress continues a family legacy of public service, fighting for women, economically and socially disadvantaged populations, and other vulnerable groups in our society. Prior to her election as a Representative for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, Watson Coleman served eight consecutive terms in the New Jersey General Assembly and shattered racial and gender barriers to become the first Black woman to serve as Majority Leader, and as the Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. During her time as Majority Leader, Watson Coleman convened a year- long series of public hearings on reforms to prisoner re-entry programs while shepherding legislation through the Assembly that the New York Times called “a model for the rest of the nation,” on prisoner rehabilitation and release.
Free and open to the public. Register at https://go.rutgers.edu/ejbflorio2024