HIGHLAND PARK, NJ—On Wednesday, January 17, residents can learn about the different kinds of taxes that New Jerseyans pay as part of an ongoing series of educational information sessions hosted by the Borough of Highland Park.

Jon Whiten, Vice President of New Jersey Policy Perspectives will be the featured speaker at the event, which begins at 7pm in the borough’s Senior/Youth Center at 220 South Sixth Avenue.

Beth Stevens, chair of the borough’s Civics for the Community Committee, helped launch the initative after she realized that people on all sides of the political spectrum had gaps in knowledge about how their local governments work.

“I wondered about how we get knowledge about how our government works,” said Stevens. “I thought that, if we had more knowledge about how it works, how local and state governments interact, then we could have a better sense of how it effects our lives.”

This realization led to conversations with Mayor Gayle Brill Mittler and plans for the “Civic Education for the Community” series were put into action.

This free, non-partisan series, which are free and open to the public, assist people in gaining a more complete understanding about how residents can interact with government to advocate for the issues that matter to them. 

“We want to get more enthusiastic and educated voters,” emphasized Stevens. “We want to help people get a sense of why voting is important. These sessions are nonpartisan and we want people to know that, no matter what party, they can work with the government.”

Stevens added: “We are committed to giving people information they don’t have.”

The sessions which are tentatively scheduled to run from late November 2017- April 2018, will cover topics such as government structure, budgeting and taxes, and the interactions and collaborations within the different governing levels. 

The monthly sessions began in November, and are expected to continue through April of this year.  Each session will include either a speaker or panel, as well as time for questions.

The first session featured Marc Pfeiffer, Assistant Director of the Bloustein Local Government and Research Center at the School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.  His presentation explored the role and purpose of the county government and how residents can become more involved in government.

A future session is set to explore how 

Participants can submit questions in advance of the upcoming session by emailing them to [email protected].