NOTE:  Before moving forward, make sure you have taken the "Citizen Legislator" class.  If you are hitting walls in your efforts, we can help with a one on one coach.  Find out more details about our coaching program.  

General Resources

Participation Guide: Citizen Legislator - a review of the class and tips to make your proposal more successful

Want to get our model "Best Priced Insurance Reform Law" adopted in your town or school board?  Watch this video to learn how citizens are saving their towns and school districts millions by enacting this law across the state..  Use this step by step Best Priced Insurance Reform Guide to make your effort more successful.

Citizen Power at the Planning Board - a guide to navigating your town's planning board, from the board's powers to how you can have an impact on Master Plan decisions, etc.

The Citizens Campaign's menu of Ready to Adopt Solutions includes best practices, model laws and other evidence-based solutions on issues of government reform, cost-cutting, public safety, education and the environment.

townstats.org - online database that gives you access to important information on your town, its budget, and its taxes in a format that makes it easy to make comparisons with other towns

Want to follow political contributions being made?  Before tackling ELEC's contribution database, check out their quick guide: "Follow the Money in Local Elections"

NJ Data Bank - provides data on current issues and in 14 policy areas, such as civic engagement, income, housing, government, environment, health, population statistics, etc.

Data Universe - a portal to public government data. The Asbury Park Press has assembled links to property records and taxes, government payrolls, school performance report cards, crime reports and conviction records, and much more.

Ever want to know how a bill becomes a law?  Check out the NJ Legislative Process so you can see how to get your solution become state law!

 


Best Practice Resources

NJ League of Municipalities' Ordinance Library - best practices from towns around the state on dozens of topics

The NJ School Boards Association has a Manual of Positions and Policies on Education that can be brought to any school district as best practice models

Sustainable Jersey has dozens of model policies and procedures that your town can adopt dealing with the environment, economic equality and other sustainability issues

Facing Our Futures identifies ways that towns across the state are saving money.  Take a look at their Options in ActionDetailed description; September 2012 update; July 2012 update. Read their full report on the current fiscal crisis.

NJ Dept. of Community Affairs has a list of commonly shared services throughout the state.

ANJEC's database of over 1,000 environmental and land use ordinances from municipalities across New Jersey

Governing Magazine - a good resource of best practices from municipalities and states across the nation, includes issue related topics

National Civic League - A national organization profiling municipal best practices across the country.

 


Coaching Resources

"Cut the Cost of Goverment & Put Money in Your Pocket as a Citizen Legislator" Webinar:  an overview of townstats.org; find out the nitty gritty on your municipal budget and compare to other towns!

"Best Practices And Legal Rights to Accessing Police Records" Webinar:  NJ ACLU Policy Counsel Alexander Shalom offers reporters tips and advice for accessing records. We cover topics such as 9-1-1 tapes, personnel records, MVR  (dashboard camera) tapes, redacting records, crime statistics, and much more.

"Insurance Reform A-Z" conference call with insurance expert Paul Josephson on the problems with the current system used by towns and school districts to hire insurance brokers, and how our model Best Priced Insurance Reform is one of the solutions

VIDEO: "Insider Tips for Accessing Public Records" panel with open government experts sharing tips and tools for using OPRA and the Sunshine Law. Watch Now!

 


Open Government Resources

ACLU's Guide to OPRA and Guide to the Sunshine Law -  a complete overview of the Open Public Records Act & The "Sunshine Law" (OPMA), and how these laws work for you

NJ Foundation for Open Government's Open Records & Meetings: A Citizens' Guide - another great comprehensive overview on how to navigate these two laws

Government Records Council - government agency created by the OPRA law which mediates open public record disputes on behalf of the public.  You can also call their hotline 1-866-850-0511 to get guidance on government records inquiries.

 


Initiative & Referendum Resources

Citizens' Guide to Initiative & Referendum - this guide goes over the key components of putting together a successful initiative and referendum campaign, including a time line and relevant state statute citations

Helpful Hints for Putting Together a Committee of Petitioners - a one pager on some best practices for putting together a team of petitioners so that your initiative is most successful

Directions for Circulating a Petition - a step by step on the do's and don'ts for gathering signatures for your petition

NJ's Optional Municipal Charter Law - this is the state statute that governs the initiative & referendum process.  40:69A-184 is where you can find the details of filing your petitions, getting signatures, etc.  

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