Jorge Cruz, Chief Civic Trust Officer

IMG_2238.JPGJorge Cruz is the Chief Civic Trust Officer at The Citizens Campaign. Previously he held diverse leadership roles in employing multi-faceted and multi-sector approaches to building human, economic and physical capital to further the meaningful progress of impoverished populations – ranging from target neighborhoods to broader statewide and regional approaches along with work in several developing nations. As the Director of Planning & Development for the Jewish Renaissance Foundation (JRF), a Perth Amboy, NJ-based nonprofit, Jorge was instrumental in expanding the scope of JRF’s capacity nearly threefold in his 9 years. His prior work experience also includes serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Episcopal Community Development Corporation (ECDC), one of Jersey City’s largest affordable housing developers and social service providers. In his five years, he increased ECDC’s overall housing and service capacity threefold, including leading ECDC to serve as the lead organization for two separate, neighborhood-based redevelopment initiatives. He also served as President of The Bruno Group (TBG), a Clifton, NJ-based public/non-profit sector management consulting firm for municipal, county and state government, non-profit agencies, public school systems, and corporations. While with TBG, Jorge oversaw a wide range of professional services for over 40 active contracts in multiple states. Jorge is a frequent speaker, coach and trainer on wide range of topics in nonprofit and public sector management. He serves on several boards and commissions, including the gubernatorial appointments to the Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Prevention Advisory Council and New Jersey Policy Academy to End Homelessness. Jorge is also a Founding Board Member of the Academy for Urban Leadership, a Perth Amboy-based charter school. With an undergraduate degree from The College of New Jersey, Jorge has also completed several fellowships and continuing education in urban planning along with various facets of nonprofit & public sector management. Born and raised in Perth Amboy, Jorge currently lives in North Brunswick with his beautiful wife of 17 years, Ivonne M. Cruz, along with the pride of their life – their son, Samuel Ignacio, 13 years of age. Contact Jorge at jorge{at}thecitizenscampaign{dot}org or 732-548-9798, ext. 5. 



EllenClarkson.JPG Ellen Clarkson, Chief Operating Officer

Ellen arrived at The Citizens Campaign with extensive experience, a varied background in law and the non-profit world and a commitment to helping people play an active role in their communities. Attendance at Seton Hall Law School brought Ellen from her birthplace in New York City across the river to New Jersey. Becoming Managing Editor of the Seton Hall Law Review, followed by a clerkship with the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court and 20 years of private practice with a boutique law firm specializing in land-use law including editing of the Land Use Volume of the New Jersey Practice Series co-authored by her law partners, has kept Ellen happily ensconced in Metuchen, New Jersey. Appreciating the opportunities for civic engagement, Ellen has served as Chair of the Metuchen Zoning Board and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the town’s Planning Board. Community involvement has always played an important role in Ellen’s life. Ellen wants to impact her world by helping others in very concrete and practical ways. She has served as a member of United Way’s Child Care Allocation Committee and is a past-President of the Jewish Family Service of Middlesex County which provides counseling, training and other vital social services to disadvantaged residents and those in need. She is currently a Trustee of the Metuchen Education Foundation and Court Appointed Special Advocates of Middlesex County (CASA) serving children in the foster care system. She has been married many, many years and has three adult children including her foster daughter. As Chief Operating Officer, Ellen oversees and manages The Citizens Campaign staff and program. Contact Ellen at ellen{at}thecitizenscampaign{dot}org or 732-548-9798 ext. 6.


Shoubert_Pic.jpgShoubert Polynice, Legal and Field Associate

Shoubert is the Legal and Field Associate for The Citizens Campaign. Shoubert obtained his Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law and his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Gustavus Adolphus College. Shoubert’s Orlando inner-city roots play an important role in his life.  As a law student he clerked for Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Society, Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights and the Ramsey County Public Defender’s Office. In each of these roles, he observed first-hand the systemic issues that affected individuals in low-income communities. As a member of The Citizens Campaign team, he aims to use his legal education and passion for social justice to empower New Jersey citizens with the necessary education and tools to enrich their communities. Shoubert, who self-proclaims himself as a “film aficionado” and “the most interesting man in the world,” spends most of his free time reading, watching movies, playing poker and basketball. To get involved in Newark, contact Shoubert at shoubert{at}thecitizenscampaign{dot}org or call 732-548-9798 ext. 8.


Juanita_Adames_Pic.jpgJuanita Adames, Communications & Field Associate

Juanita brings her passion for community engagement and development to The Citizens Campaign as the Communications and Field Associate where she also serves as the Special Project Manager for Paterson Press. Juanita joins The Citizens Campaign after having spent two years in The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Whilst abroad, she worked as the Communications and Research Manager for the Dean of the School of International Studies and Political Science at The University of Jordan. In that capacity, she researched and wrote research papers, press releases, speeches and other innovative media content. Juanita also contributed to the creation of The Leonel Fernández Center for Latin American Studies at The University of Jordan, the first such academic center in the Arab World. Juanita's years in research and development, as well as her international experience, allows her to connect with the diverse communities who call New Jersey home. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Marymount Manhattan College where she focused on socio-political identities in Latin America and the Middle East. An aspiring poly-got, fluent in Spanish with an advanced proficiency in Arabic, she prides herself on being non-partisan and respectful of global communities. To contact Juanita email her at juanita{at}thecitizenscampaign{dot}org or call 732-548-9798 x.1; for Paterson Press inquiries please call 862-239-4480.


AngelineDean.JPGAngeline Dean, Trenton Civic Trust Facilitator 

Angeline Dean has developed a sharp eye for how operations get bloated with cross-purposes and miscommunication, and how they can retool for a sleeker, smoother, strategically focused organization from her two decades of managerial and operational experience. She is an entrepreneur who is not afraid to take risks, and possesses a keen sense of recognizing and responding to the call for the empowerment and education of the underprivileged and underrepresented populations. Angeline’s for profit consulting business, Dynasty, was launched in 2010 and her first children’s book was released in March 2012. Her book Not Just A Slave was an answer to her fourteen-year-old cousins question as well as so many other minority children-- “Am I just a slave?” Her book was submitted for the Coretta Scott King award 2013. As a partner in an Education company, ‘In Black & White’- she helps to educate in the field of cultural diversity, and recently was selected as a cultural diversity trainer for Subaru Corp. of America. She obtained her Master’s Degree from the John Watson School of Public Policy at Thomas Edison where she studied Community Economic Development in her bid to continue to be effective and innovative. Ms. Dean served as the liaison to the faith-based community in her quest to bring White House aid to the City of Trenton. Angeline is an educator and has been ministering in the federal prison system for twelve years. As a Civic Trust Facilitator for The Citizens Campaign, Angeline is embracing the opportunity to serve the residents of Trenton to become more empowered and make systemic changes in their City. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and traveling. If you want to become involved in Trenton, email Angeline at angeline{at}thecitizenscampaign{dot}org or call her at 732-548-9798 ext. 7.


Erika_Nava_Pic.jpgErika Nava, Perth Amboy Civic Trust Facilitator 

Erika J. Nava comes to The Citizens Campaign with a multi-disciplinary perspective, proven experience in nonprofit leadership, data-driven decision making, policy research, and advocacy. She is (almost) a lifelong resident of Perth Amboy, her family having immigrated from Mexico City to Perth Amboy when she was 5 years old. Erika is a national McNair Scholar and holds a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in Immigration and Education Policy from Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Latino Studies from Douglass College at Rutgers University. As a trained policy analyst, Erika has authored several reports on the positive impact of immigration to the Garden State that has helped make the case for progressive policy change. As a Civic Trust Facilitator at The Citizens Campaign, Erika is embracing the opportunity to serve the residents of her hometown, Perth Amboy, to empower them to make changes without waiting for elected officials to act. In her free time Erika enjoys watching sports and cooking shows, trying new restaurants, listening to music in Spanish, and trying new hobbies. If you want to get involved in Perth Amboy, email Erika at erika{at}thecitizenscampaign{dot}org or call 732-548-9798 ext. 3.  

joemalinconico.pngJoe Malinconico, Editor, Paterson Press

Joe Malinconico is a Bayonne-born “Jersey Guy” whose 20-year journalism career took him from being a copy boy at the New York Times to one of the State’s top investigative reporters at the Star-Ledger. During his 13-year tenure at the Star-Ledger, Joe’s stories were credited with providing insight that led to reforms in transportation policy and the E-ZPass system. Joe won the 1999 Dee Murphy Award and the NJPA’s Robert P. Kelly Award in 2007.  In 2012, with funding from The Rita Allen Foundation, Joe wrote a how-to guide for online investigative journalism called “Shining Light in Dark Spaces: A Hyperlocal Reporter’s Guide to Covering Municipal Government in New Jersey.” Contact Joe at editor{at}patersonpress{dot}org.


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