2015 Past Events

November 19 - Prison Reform: A discussion and Q&A covering the scope and breath of incarceration, including our for-profit prison system, costs to taxpayers, unequal justice, programs to minimize recidivism, and national actions in motion


Neil Barsky: Founder of The Marshall Project, bringing national attention to prison reform
Jim McGreevey: Former NJ Governor and director of the Jersey City Employment and Training Program 
t.jpg Stanley Richards: Senior Vice President of the Fortune Society
OferUdiAE_300_261_90.jpg Moderated by Udi Ofer: Executive Director, ACLU of New Jersey

October 15 - Fixing New Jersey: What Went Wrong and How We Can Move Forward 

Gordon MacInnes joins NJPPN as part of its Distinguished Expert Lecture Series.  A former NJ Senator, assistant commissioner of the NJ Department of Education, president of Citizens for Better Schools, MacInnes, President of NJ Policy Perspective is the author of In Plain Sight: Simple, Difficult Lessons from New Jersey's Expensive Effort to Close the Achievement Gap. MacInnes' esteemed career in NJ and bold ideas challenge our politician's beliefs that our severe economic dilemma is merely an accident of history 

In his informative and eye-opening presentation, MacInnes will discuss: 10 particular events that explain how NewJersey fell as an economic powerhouse and into the Abyss and the role our politicians, institutions, and ourselves have in NJ's financial collapse 

October 6, 2015 - Health Care: Next Steps Toward Improving Quality and Reducing Costs

What kind of "system" do we currently have and what would it take to create a more effective, efficient system that is cost effective and consumer and patient focused?

Clifford A. Hudis, MD, Chief, Breast Medicine Service, Department of Medicine and Vice President for Government Relations and Chief Advocacy Officer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, will speak to the health system’s fragmentation, and recommend improvements which would contain costs and still ensure the best of patient care.
Ed Silverman, who pilots the Pharmalot blog and has tracked the pharmaceutical industry for several years, will discuss the industry’s research and development, marketing, pricing, regulation, litigation and legislation. 
Doug Forrester, President of Integrity Health, a healthcare services company, and founder of other companies that have provided risk and program management services, and a Republican candidate for Governor (2005), will discuss his view on the next improvements for health care reform as they are related to the insurance industry.

September 30 - Arctic Journeys in the Era of Climate Change 

 Join Iowa native David Thoreson on an evening of historic sailing voyages and a discussion of climate change.  Thoreson will speak about his travels and first hand observations of how climate change is impacting our Arctic 

An accomplished sailor whose maritime credits include a successful voyage below the Antarctic Circle, Thoreson first attempted to cross the Northwest Passage in 1994 on the 57-foot sailboat Cloud Nine. After icy conditions threatened to crush the sailboat’s hull, the crew was forced to retreat. Thirteen years later, Thoreson made another attempt (again on s/v Cloud Nine) and witnessed firsthand a changing Arctic climate reduced the pack ice dramatically, assisting in a successful navigation of the Northwest Passage.

September 17 - Economic Risks of Climate Change

The environmental risks of climate change are well known, but the economic risks should be of equal concern to us all. Prof. Kopp and Mr. Reynolds will discuss the cost of climate evolution, its impact on American life, and ways in which citizens and businesses may prepare for the future.   

Robert Kopp is Associate Director of Rutgers Energy Institute and an energy policy expert at Rutgers Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences; lead author of Economic Risks of Climate Change: An American Prospectus; lead scientist on The Risky Business project; a member of the Maryland Climate Change Commission’s sea-level rise expert group; and a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report. He co-authored an article on the effects of rising temperatures, which recently appeared in the New York Times 

Brian Reynolds is Executive Director of Climate/Money/Policy, a sustainability consultancy, which advises businesses on how to adapt to the needs of a changing world; a key figure in Broadfork, a lobbying group comprised of businesses and individuals focused on the economic risks of climate change; and a representative at the UN Economic and Social Council on sustainable development (ECOSOC).   

 May 11 - The Great Divide - America's Growing Income Inequality

How has America become the most unequal advanced country in the world, and what can we do about it? In his latest book, THE GREAT DIVIDE, Joseph E. Stiglitz expands on the diagnosis he offered in his best-selling book The Price of Inequality and suggests ways to counter America’s growing problem. With his signature blend of clarity and passion, Stiglitz argues that inequality is a choice—the cumulative result of unjust policies and misguided priorities.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize–winning economist and the best-selling author of The Price of Inequality, Freefall, and Globalization and Its Discontents. He is a columnist for the New York Times and Project Syndicate and has written for Vanity FairPoliticoThe Atlantic, andHarper’s. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City.

Moderator/Discussant: Bruce Mizrach is a professor in the Department of Economics at Rutgers University.  

March 26 - Dr. Kevin Trenberth on Climate Change

Climate Change is one of the defining issues of the 21st Century.  Dr. Trenberth’s research on the link between extreme weather and climate change, as well as his observations on possible options for adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, are helping to shape international negotiations and government policy.


Dr. Kevin Trenberth is a distinguished senior scientist in the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  A New Zealander, Dr. Trenberth obtained his doctorate from MIT. Trenberth and has been prominent in most of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panels on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific assessments of Climate Change. He has also served the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) in numerous ways, most recently as Chair of the WCRP Global Energy and Water Exchanges Project.

Trenberth presentation, click here 

robertkopp.pngModerator/Discussant: Dr. Robert Kopp is Associate Director of the Rutgers Energy Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Dr. Kopp served as the lead scientist for the American Climate Prospectus: Economic Risks in the United States (climateprospectus.org), the technical analysis underlying the Risky Business Project (riskybusiness.org), and was a contributing author to the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report. 


 March 19 - Guns, Safety, and Solutions

Most Americans support common sense gun safety measures and anguish over the needless gun deaths that occur across our country every day.  How do we change our culture and our policies to stop this cycle of violence while respecting the rights of law abiding gun owners?


  • Adam Skaggs, Senior Counsel at Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Steven Fulop, Mayor of Jersey City, and member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
  • Rabbi-Hazzan Shaul Marshall Praver, Newtown, CT, Rabbi Shaul Praver
  • Mandi Perlmutter, Advocacy Lead of the NJ Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

 February 19 - Energy Visions: Three Compelling Cases for Conservation and Transition to Renewable Energy

Co-sponsored with Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at FDU

To a growing number of people throughout the world, the case for addressing runaway climate change is obvious. Still, the sweeping policies needed to stave off further warming must address fundamental economic realities:

  • Is it possible--and politically feasible--for the U.S. to transition to 100% renewable energy in time to avoid a dangerous climate tipping point?
  • Will a tax on carbon be necessary to reduce carbon emissions? What are the externalities and hidden costs?
  • Doesn't it make huge sense to become energy efficient and cut costs regardless of climate threats?

We asked three nationally-known energy policy experts to share their visions for an energy future that makes economic sense while achieving the carbon reduction goals necessary to ensure a safe and habitable planet.


Prof. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University is well known for his widely acclaimed, state-by-state vision to transition our nation to 100% wind, wave and solar power by the year 2050. Speaking with us by Skype, Prof. Jacobson will explain the rationale and methodology behind his comprehensive energy master plan and detail the realistic, state-specific goals that make economic sense for New Jersey.

Dan Sosland, President of the non-profit Acadia Center, spearheads pragmatic implementation plans to reduce carbon emissions throughout New England. Sosland will outline specific actions that can be taken now and are actually being implemented. Speaking from the perspective of one of the world’s largest users of fuel and energy, the U.S. military,

Capt. Leo Goff, U.S. Navy (Ret.), will illustrate how the military is confronting the impact of climate change in order to streamline logistics, cut fuel costs, improve military readiness and enhance our nation’s security.

Event flyer click here

Dan Sosland Presentation, click here

Prof. Mark Jacobson presentation, click here

Capt. Leo Goff presentation, click here

January 15 - Pay2Play film screening about money influencing politics plus Q & A Discussion with former NJ Senator, Republican Bill Schluter and recent congressional candidate, Democrat Roy Cho

P1370827.JPGNorth Jersey Public Policy Network brings Former Republican State Senator, Bill Schluter and recent Democratic candidate for congress, Roy Cho together to discuss their experiences and ideas following the film screening of the new acclaimed documentary “Pay2Play”.  The film covers the issue of money influence and its impact on who can run for office, campaigns, legislators and legislation. Most Americans regardless of political party agree the influence of money is undermining democracy and the voice or average Americans.

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