Thursday, August 23, 2007


Half of the population in New Jersey and 57% of the total registered voters in the State are women. Why, then, do women comprise only 23 seats in our 120-seat Legislature and do not hold a single seat in our 13-member Congressional delegation? That puts New Jersey near the bottom of the list nationwide when it comes to the number of women holding elected office in a State Legislature. For a State that is more progressive in many ways than others, New Jersey lags far behind on this score. Fortunately, there is one group trying to change that: Women Advocating for Good Government, or WAGG.

Two years ago, WAGG was formed to help increase the representation of women in elected office in New Jersey. According to WAGG’s website, Women Advocating for Good Government is a bi-partisan organization whose mission, “is to elect progressive women to the NJ legislature and other levels of government, to educate women in the political process, to empower women to take political party leadership positions, and to raise funds to support these goals.” The current chair of the organization is Myra Terry, CEO of The Women’s Fund for New Jersey and former President of NOW-NJ. She is joined on the Board by former Assemblywoman Rose Marie Heck and lobbyist and former Chief of Staff for Bob Menendez, Kay LiCausi, among others.

It remains to be seen whether WAGG is successful in its mission. Other groups in New Jersey have attempted to achieve similar goals and have met with limited success. However, WAGG has a strong bi-partisan base from which to work and experienced leadership from both sides of the political aisle that may help it to achieve its goals.

While WAGG’s website is currently in development, you can learn more about the organization at

Michael M. Shapiro, founder of, is an attorney who resides in New Providence, New Jersey. He currently serves as the Chairman of the New Providence Democratic Party and as Editor of The Alternative Press Contact Mike at