“Looking Back & Looking Forward” webinar focuses on marijuana, municipal issues

Marijuana legalization, municipal issues, and the economic and societal recovery from the Covid-19 crisis are featured topics for “Looking Back & Looking Forward: A Reflection on 2020 and Hope for 2021,” the fifth and latest webinar in the Community Engagement series from the non-profit Corporation for New Jersey Local Media (CNJLM), sponsored by the New Jersey Hills Media Group.

The free webinar is scheduled for Thursday, January 7, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and will be simulcast on both Zoom and on New Jersey Hills Media Group’s 14 Facebook sites. To register to watch on Zoom, go to https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_r-enPOI-QteWuVow6M4ICg.

“This webinar brings together experts who can talk about the challenges and opportunities facing municipal governments throughout our region as they cope with new issues raised by the legalization of marijuana, increased pressure for shared services and K-12 school regionalization, and the long-term impact of Covid-19 on Main Street businesses and the hundreds of thousands who lost jobs that will be slow to come back or may not return at all,” said Amanda Richardson, CNJLM’s executive director.

The panel for the webinar features:
· Fruqan Mouzon, the former Senate Democratic counsel who developed the marijuana legalization constitutional amendment and is currently chair of the Cannabis Practice Group for McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP;
· Jordan Glatt, one of New Jersey’s two Shared Services Czars and a former Summit mayor, who serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the host organization for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund which has raised more than $60 million to help those hurt by the Covid-19 outbreak.
· Marc Pfeiffer, deputy director of the Local Government Research Bureau at Rutgers University and one of the state’s leading experts on municipal government after over three decades at the helm of the state Division of Local Government Services.
· Linda Stamato, director emerita of Rutgers University’s Center for Negotiation and Conflict Management and a frequent writer on the challenges facing democracy and government and the need to restore civic engagement at the local level.

“This has been a challenging year for us all,” said Nic Platt, CNJLM Founding Chair. “But as an organization in our first year of existence, we have also seen tremendous courage, innovation, and progress on the local, regional, and national levels. Our board includes some of the finest thought leaders in New Jersey, and I am excited to bring some of them together to reflect on how 2020 has impacted our communities and to look forward with hope to 2021.”

Mouzon, Pfeiffer, and Stamato all serve on the advisory board of CNJLM, which functions as a project of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, where Jordan Glatt serves as the director of strategic partnerships. CNJLM is the second journalism initiative launched by the Community Foundation, which served in the same capacity for New Jersey Spotlight, the respected public policy website which merged with NJTV a year ago.
The Corporation for New Jersey Local Media builds strong communities strong communities through journalism and civic engagement. Learn more at www.newsweneed.org.

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