Welcome to #NJRR Live!
Good evening, everyone! We are so glad to have you here. Our panel tonight opens with Brian Powers and Christian Perez. Today would have been Karl Marx’ 203rd birthday. Revolution Radio suggests that our audience members seek literature by Marx via Google or elsewhere. He’s an essential part of being a well-read person. His theories offer unique perspectives that advanced society at the time and remain relevant to this day.
A lot of people assume that Marx’ theories have failed whenever they were put into use. However, there is a lot of nuanced discussion to be had about that point. For example, many disagree, citing that modern China is more capitalist than communist. Still others argue that countries such as North Korea did not carry out Marx’ ideas as intended at all to begin with.
Tonight we are going to be speaking with Tiffany Kaszuba. Tiffany is from New Jersey, born and raised. She got into politics early in her career, working in Washington, D.C. as a government relations professional. She was a lobbyist for 8 years before she ended up seeking to serve in Congress and running as a Democrat out of Trenton, New Jersey in 2019. Tiffany ended up quitting because she was being harassed by a man named Bill Robinson who was assigned to her campaign.
Tiffany found that no one in Trenton was actually trying to help her. Everything that was done was performative. She was assigned to a task force that was meant to help prevent harassment and discrimination in campaigns. Within the group, she helped write a bill to help protect campaign members from harassment and misogyny. This bill was then taken and given to Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s office.
The legislation that was eventually put forward was not in line with Tiffany’s original suggestions, which understandably caused her concern. When Tiffany came back with complaints about the new draft of legislation, she was silenced at every turn. Loretta Weinberg wanted to know why before she would even be willing to meet with Tiffany.
Tiffany is the founder of The NJ Violet, which is a media outlet that serves as a space to tell the real stories of women in New Jersey politics. She founded the NJ Violet because she was given no voice in the media so she decided to make her own. Any communications major or media worker will tell you that a very small subset of people have control over what gets out in the mainstream media. Often, the media will not depict certain people or ideas in a negative light, regardless of the truth.
New Jersey’s political culture is particularly corrupt, even among other states. Tiffany says that it’s the worst she’s ever seen. People are elected to power not because they would be the best at serving the people they represent, but because of an intricate political spider web. Part of why The NJ Violet exists is to expose that. Tiffany wants to hold people accountable for their behavior, sometimes including actions that span back decades.
Independent Media is all about getting the word out. There are certain things that mainstream media refuses to report on and it is important that you know them. Help us be able to keep bringing you these reports! Our productions all rely on donations from grassroots contributors.
Tiffany wants to be able to see her children live in a world where women can get elected to public office safely. As it stands, women who work in or on campaigns risk being traumatized on the job. It is much more difficult and even dangerous to run as a woman than as a man. Another goal of Tiffany’s is to be able to tell her stories honestly and in a way that benefits victims by exposing the system that failed them.
To anyone looking to run for public office, Tiffany suggests that you always remember why you started running in the first place. It can be easy to forget in the tumultuous political tempest that is New Jersey, but it’s important not to get dragged away. Without a doubt, there will be times in your political career that it will be tempting to lose sight of your original political goals. If you stick to who you are, it maintains your sanity, your soul, and your integrity.
-Leah Giannantonio, for the Revolution Radio Network