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NJLM Educational Foundation
Provides Forum for Ideas


The Foundation was incorporated in September 2004 under IRS regulations as a 501(c) (3) corporation. The purpose of the Foundation is to conduct, encourage and support educational programs that will serve local government officials and employees. At the same time, this work will add to the public knowledge and benefit all the citizens of New Jersey.

The work of the Foundation began in late 2007 with the Mayors’ School Funding Committee focused on the revised school funding formula. The Committee’s work, funded with a generous grant from The Fund for New Jersey, involved more than 50 Mayors and experts culminating in a two-day retreat. The result was a report and set of recommendations provided to the Governor, Senate President, and Assembly Speaker offering a unique perspective on the impact of revising the school funding formula for the State of New Jersey.

The Trustees continued their substantial initial effort by developing educational programs for two key issues for the 2008 year: Education and Affordable Housing. Both of these timely issues have tremendous impact on the quality of life in New Jersey and both are closely linked to the functions of local governments and communities.

In September 2008, the Foundation conducted a half-day educational conference entitled: The New Education Order. Partnering with the New Jersey Department of Education, the conference focused on providing municipal and educational leaders, as well as the general public, timely information on four key educational issues: School Funding, Preschool Expansion, School Construction and School Consolidation / CORE bill. The Foundation program was partly funded by The Fund for New Jersey and featured panel discussions and remarks from Education Commissioner Lucille Davy, Community Affairs Commissioner Joe Doria, Schools Development Authority CEO Scott Weiner, and other education leaders.

The second theme for 2008 and early 2009 explored development of affordable housing. This effort culminated in a March 31 full-day conference covering five specific types of housing and a keynote address by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The Foundation’s educational program assisted local governments and their critical partners understand the far-reaching impact of new rules and the status of affordable housing.

In September 2008 the Foundation received a $200,000 grant from WalMart to fund municipal green initiatives. The Foundation has tasked the Mayors Committee for a Green Future with reviewing municipal grant applications for funding of environmentally sustainable projects that others can replicate. In 2009, the Foundation will award $10,000 - $15,000 to as many as 20 winning municipal applicants.

Also, in September 2008, the Foundation teamed up with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families to begin the Mayors Book Club literacy initiative in New Jersey. This program, through the mayors’ offices, will teach New Jersey municipalities how to promote literacy in families and especially young children.

Starting in January 2009, the Foundation partnered with other public policy oriented organizations to publish “white papers” on issues of interest to local government. These white papers, titled the “Friends of Local Government Series” will be published by the Foundation and available for free on the internet in a PDF format.

The first “Friends of the Local Government” paper focuses on the state of the economy and how the prognosis for 2009 will impact municipalities and taxpayers. The Foundation partnered with Rutgers, the State University on this white paper.

In addition, the Foundation has planned the “Great Recession” conference, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The October 2 session will examine the downturn from national, New York regional, and New Jersey perspectives, explore its statewide and local fiscal impacts, and try to see “how we do business” going forward. The event will be held at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers,
The State University, New Brunswick.

For more information on the Educational Foundation visit

The League would like to thank the Trustees and Officers of the Educational Foundation for their ongoing commitment to provide a non-partisan informational resource for local government that offers timely research and a proactive approach to resolving the complex issues affecting New Jersey’s diverse communities. “We have an outstanding group of officer and trustees that have made the work of the Educational Foundation possible,” said Foundation President Louise Wilson. “I’m looking forward to the programs, white papers and grants that are now under development.”

Trustees and Officers of the New Jersey State
League of Municipalities Education Foundation


Paul Matacera
Paul Matacera
League Past President
MBI Gluck Shaw
Samuel Delgado
Samuel A Delgado
Vice President of External
Affairs, Verizon
Art Guida
Art Guida
Director, External Afffairs
James Hughes
James W. Hughes
Dean, Edward J. Bloustein
School of Planning &
Public Policy, Rutgers,
The State University
Kathleen Ellis
Kathleen Ellis
Executive VP and COO
New Jersey Natural Gas


Louise Wilson
Louise Wilson - President
Mayor, Montgomery
League 2nd Vice President
Jun Choi
Jun Choi - Vice President
Mayor, Edison
Bill Dressel
William G. Dressel Jr.
Michael Darcy
Michael Darcy, CAE


Michael Cerra
Michael Cerra
Policy Advisor
Bill Kearns
William Kearns
Legal Advisor
Jerry Velazquez
Jerry Velazquez
Guest Advisor
Triad Associates
NJLM Educational Foundation


This article was originally published in New Jersey Municipalities magazine. Vol. 86, No. 6, June 2009




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