It is with great pride and honor
that we welcome our speakers to the
Women’s March on NJ 2018

Liz Abzug
Liz Abzug is the Founder/ Executive Director of Bella Abzug Leadership Institute, Inc(BALI) which she created in 2005 as a 501c-3 not for profit leadership, debate, and empowerment skills training organization that trains girls and young women in New York City and the rest of the tri state area.  

Ms. Abzug is a nationally renowned public affairs and strategic consultant, professor, lawyer, and former candidate for NYC elective office. She is a Professor of Urban Studies and Women and Leadership on sabbatical from teaching at Barnard College/Columbia University where she teaches courses on American Cities, Urban Economic Development and Community Building and Women and Leadership.

She is presently working with a well- known playwright, on a play based on her mother, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug’s life, words and speeches. She is also currently working as a co-producer on a documentary feature film based on her mom’s life and many achievements as a civil rights lawyer,  20th century feminist leader and U S Congresswoman representing New York City.

Essma Bengabsia
Essma Bengabsia is an undergraduate student at New York University’s Stern School of Business studying Finance, Computing and Data Science, and Politics. Essma works to engage her community in standing up for human rights, getting civically active, and countering Islamophobia through community development and female and youth empowerment. She served as the Girls Youth Coordinator at the North Hudson Islamic Educational Center and Project Lead Coordinator of Islamic Relief USA’s Walk for Water. She also served on NYU Student Government and the NYU Multifaith Advisory Council. She currently serves as President of The Muslim Network and President of NYU’s Islamic Finance Group.

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
Bonnie Watson Coleman, a long-time and influential advocate for the people of New Jersey, is currently serving her sophomore term in the United States Congress. Prior to her election as Representative for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, Watson Coleman served eight consecutive terms in the New Jersey General Assembly. 

The daughter of legendary state legislator John S. Watson, Watson Coleman has continued a family legacy of public service fighting for women, economically and socially disadvantaged populations, and other vulnerable groups in our society. Watson Coleman shattered racial and gender barriers to become the first Black woman to serve as Majority Leader of the New Jersey General Assembly, and as the Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. Her election to the House of Representatives makes her the first Black woman to represent New Jersey in Congress. 

Watson Coleman has led the call for reforms to prisoner re-entry programs, fighting tirelessly to shut the revolving door of recidivism for individuals who have returned from incarceration. During her time as Majority Leader, Watson Coleman convened a year-long series of public hearings on the topic while shepherding legislation through the New Jersey Assembly that The New York Times called “a model for the rest of the nation,” on prisoner rehabilitation and release. 

Watson Coleman has championed legislation to protect vulnerable Americans and communities related to gun safety, environmental protection, and long-term unemployment. Watson Coleman is the author of the Healthy MOM Act, which would allow women to enroll in, or change their health coverage if they become pregnant, the End For-Profit Prisons Act, which would prohibit the federal government from contracting with for-profit prison corporations and, the SAFER Pipelines Act that would reform the gas pipeline approval process overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

In 2016, Watson Coleman, alongside two of her colleagues, founded the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, the first House caucus to study policy issues related to the continued success and accomplishments of that population. Watson Coleman is an active member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. 

Watson Coleman and her husband William reside in Ewing Township and are blessed to have three sons; William, Troy, and Jared and two grandchildren; William, Kamryn and Ashanee.

Lizette Delgado-Polanco
Lizette Delgado-Polanco is the political director at the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC). She is responsible for driving a progressive, inclusive agenda ensuring that worker rights are protected in State Legislatures and communities throughout New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

Delgado-Polanco, a first-generation Hispanic American, is an effective and compassionate advocate for the underrepresented, particularly the working poor.  As the former Executive Director of the SEIU New Jersey State Council, she worked on behalf of thousands of working men and women whose lives, families and livelihoods are affected by political, economic and social issues. 

Mayor Tim Dougherty (bio is on it’s way)

Kim Gaddy
Kim Gaddy proudly serves as the Environmental Justice Organizer with Clean Water Action of New Jersey, which is a leading advocacy group for environmental issues in this state. Her illustrious career as an environmental advocate began in 2001 after her daughter Frankie Mo ‘Nay was diagnosed with chronic asthma. Since then, she has established herself as a national voice on environmental issues and has emerged as a leading advocate for preserving and protecting our environment by promoting healthy and vibrant communities.

Kim, as she is affectionately known, graduated from Weequahic High School and Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ- where she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Economics. Kim remembers her teacher’s request, “don’t forget Newark,” which influenced her to return to her native city to begin a career serving the residents of Newark. Her journey into community service began as an Aide to former Newark Council President and South Ward Councilman Donald Bradley. A few years later, Kim was appointed Chief of Staff to Councilwoman-At- Large Mildred C. Crump.

Nancy Hedinger
Nancy Hedinger is president of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, a nearly 100 year old nonpartisan political organization dedicated to educating, defending, and empowering voters. Building on an exciting momentum of heightened interest in civic engagement throughout the state, Nancy envisions a democracy without unnecessary obstacles to the ballot.  Under her leadership, the League kicks off 2018 dedicated to increasing voter turnout with crucial election reforms including automatic voter registration, expanded in-person early voting, online voter registration, and voting rights restoration for people with criminal convictions. 2018 also brings the launch of Fair Districts New Jersey, a League led coalition dedicated to ensuring that New Jersey’s legislative and congressional districts are drawn in way that is transparent and impartial by putting the power of drawing the maps where it belongs – in the hands of the people and not politicians. 

Khyati Joshi
Khyati Y. Joshi is a public intellectual whose research and community connections inform policy-makers, educators, and everyday people on issues of race, religion, immigration, and social justice. Dr. Joshi has been invited to present her research on Hindu communities at the White House and to advise policy-makers at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). She also maintains deep ties to South Asian American communities in New Jersey and beyond as a researcher and a community organizer; she serves both as co-chair of the South Asian American Caucus of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and as First Vice-President of ISAAW, Inspiring South Asian American Women, a group focused on increasing the civic engagement amongst South Asian American Women. Her writing has also appeared in publications as respected as The New York Times and The Washington Post.

Nicole Motta (bio is on it’s way)

Tammy Murphy
Tammy Snyder Murphy’s upbringing, career, and worldview have been consistently shaped and defined by family, education, service, and leadership. Tammy has always believed in problem-solving through coalition-building and participation.  Tammy and Governor-elect Philip D. Murphy have been married for 23 years and together have four children: Josh, Emma, Charlie, and Sam.

Tammy serves as Secretary and charter member of The Climate Reality Action Fund, an organization founded by former Vice-President Al Gore. Tammy has worked with non-profits, a think-tank, and other organizations focused on the environment, education, health care, youth and family services, as well as the arts and trans-Atlantic relations. Tammy previously worked in finance in the U.S. and Europe and has traveled extensively throughout the world living overseas in each of London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Berlin. She speaks German and some Italian. As First Lady, Tammy will continue being a partner to Phil as he works with Lieutenant Governor-elect Sheila Oliver to tackle the formidable challenges facing the state and its incredible residents.

Sheila Oliver
New Jersey’s first African-American woman Assembly Speaker, Sheila has blazed new paths and fought for justice and fairness for every New Jersey family — and she will continue to do so as New Jersey’s lieutenant governor. 

Sheila is a leader in the battle for increases in the minimum wage, equal pay and making millionaires and corporations pay their fair share.

An untiring advocate for social justice, Sheila was an early and clear voice for marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. She has consistently stood up to the NRA for common sense gun safety measures to protect our neighborhoods.

Cinthia Osoria
Cinthia Osorio is a community organizer with Wind of the Spirit, a resident of Dover, NJ, and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. In addition to advocating for immigrant rights, women’s rights, students’ rights, and workers’ rights, Cinthia is a social work student at Centenary University, expected to graduate in May of 2018. She is a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society and working as an intern at the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formally known as Division of youth and family services (DYFS). Cinthia aspires to open up her own practice to provide therapeutic services to families surviving the trauma of migration. Cinthia is a longtime volunteer for Area 03 Special Olympics organization where she facilitates the participation of  individuals with a disability in a competitive athletic environment.  

Rev. Dr. Carol Patterson
Reverend Carol Lynn Patterson serves as a member of the pastoral team at Calvary Baptist Church in Morristown, New Jersey, where Reverend Jerry M. Carter, Jr. is the Senior Pastor. The first woman to be ordained at Calvary, she is responsible for implementing the Senior Pastor’s vision in terms of Ministry Development, which encompasses worship, programs, planning and communication. 

A teacher by nature, Carol serves in ecclesiastical and academic teaching capacities. At Calvary she convenes the team that plans small group studies and serves on the New Disciples and Christian Seeking Instruction (CSI) teaching teams. She is frequently invited to lead Wordshops for other churches as well as associations and conferences. In the academy, Doctor Patterson teaches theological courses at New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Hetty Rosenstein
Hetty Rosenstein is the Area Director for New Jersey for the Communications Workers of America.  She is also the CWA District 1 Organizing Director, covering New York, New England and New Jersey. Rosenstein has been an active member of the Labor Movement since she was a teacher at the New Jersey Job Corps and  organized her own workplace with CWA more 35 years ago. She has served the Movement as a Shop Steward, as the Secretary -Treasurer, Executive Vice President, and President of CWA Local 1037.  CWA in New Jersey included a provision in its State Worker contract against LGBT discrimination in 1983.  The Union bargained for healthcare for domestic partners in the 1990s.  In 2001, Rosenstein became the first Labor Leader in New Jersey to endorse and call for Marriage Equality.  

In 2007, she became the first rank and file elected Local President to be appointed by the National CWA to an Area Director position.  As the State Director in New Jersey, she is responsible for the contract negotiations, enforcement, political action, mobilization and organizing taking place in dozens of Locals and among 70,000 New Jersey CWA members.  

Rosenstein has been repeatedly cited as one of the 100 most powerful leaders in New Jersey and she is recognized as a leader committed to social and economic justice and Direct Action organizing.  Under her leadership, CWA has grown in both membership and in strength.  Rosenstein has emerged as a fearless and leading critic of the Christie Administration.  She is the Chair of the group The New Jersey Resistance.  She has served on the Executive Boards of New Jersey Citizen Action, the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, One Nation New Jersey.  She has published articles in both Portside and LaborNotes.  She was appointed a Co-Chair of Governor-Elect Murphy's Labor Transition Committee.  

Brett Sabo
Brett Sabo joined Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America in 2014.  She acted as the state’s Legislative Lead for 2 years before becoming the New Jersey State Chapter Lead in April.  She has worked as an actor and a teacher and currently lives in Red Bank with her husband and 12 year-old son.

Laurie Schorno
Laurie Schorno is an educator with 30 years of service to Morris County’s youth. Throughout her career, she has advocated for enhancements in education that meet the diverse needs of our students. She served on the NJEA Executive Committee and the NEA Board of Directors, meeting several times a year with legislators in Washington, DC. As President of the Morris County Council of Education Associations, she continues to meet with local legislators to represent the more than 10,000 educator members of the MCCEA.