A "Healing" Place in Suburbia

May 12, 2009
By Susan K. Livio

TRENTON -- The Office of the Child Advocate is launching on Wednesday a publicity campaign called "Healing Homes" to make a case that these supervised programs can make good neighbors. Despite decades of anti-discrimination laws, the children living in group homes and the people who operate them suspect most homeowners are uncomfortable sharing the same block, fearing for their property values and safety, said Acting Child Advocate Ronald Chen.

The child advocate will mail a video featuring kids from group homes and their neighbors and an informational booklet to every mayor and legislator in the state, child advocate spokeswoman Nancy Parello said.

"These homes are a critical component of care for many children," Chen said. "Unfortunately, often out of misunderstanding, some people react with fear and suspicion when a healing home first comes to town. We hope the information provided in this campaign expands understanding and support for homes that serve youth in need."

The legal opinions protecting the state's right to open a group home for abused and emotionally disturbed kids are so voluminous they could wallpaper the interior of the nearly 3,000-square-foot Colonial in Bridgewater that 18-year-old Jerrald Pichon calls home.

Lampitt 'Great Friend' of S.J. Business Community

Courier Post
May 11, 2009
By Kristy Davies

Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt has represented New Jersey's 6th Legislative District since 2006 and has been selected as the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey's recipient of the Public Service Award.

"When running for the assembly she came to our chamber and wanted to understand what the business issues are," said Kathleen Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the chamber. "Since she was elected she comes to us a lot and asks for our input. She has such a great open-door policy for all of our members. That's why we chose her for this award."

Lampitt serves as vice chairwoman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and as a member of the Commerce Committee and the Intergovernmental Relations Commission.

"She understands the link between education and the business community," Davis added. "She's committed to hearing directly from the business community and she's been a great friend of our chamber."

Lampitt is a long-time resident of Cherry Hill where she lives with her husband of 25 years. Her two children are both in college.

"I think any time you're recognized for just the work that you do because you feel it's the right thing to do is an honor," Lampitt said on Friday. "I'm humbled by it. Over the last four years I've really tried to reach out to them and hear their concerns and when the time comes to understand their challenges or opportunities and represent them well when making my

NJ STARS Program Will Still Shine Brightly

Bergen Record
December 31, 2008
By Pamela Lampitt

In just a few years, NJ STARS has been wildly successful — almost too much so.

Over the past decade, New Jersey has faced a real problem — "brain drain." Many of our top students, the cream of our academic crop, have been leaving the state in droves, deciding to attend colleges in neighboring Pennsylvania, Delaware or New York, if not even farther out of state.

The Garden State was left with two choices: act, or watch even more students put down roots in other states.

It was with this problem in mind that the Legislature established the NJ STARS program.

Created in 2004, NJ STARS gives our best and brightest students merit scholarships to cover tuition at New Jersey's county colleges, with the opportunity to work toward a bachelor's degree from one of the state's four-year public colleges if they continue to achieve academically.

Top 20 percent

Currently, students must rank in the top 20 percent of their high school class and maintain a 3.0 grade point average throughout their college studies to be eligible for a STARS scholarship. This truly is an opportunity-focused program, with merit-based aid to students kicking in only after a student has exhausted all options for need-based aid.

Electronic Reports Bill Goes to Senate Panel

Courier Post
December 30, 2008
By Courier Post Staff

A bill that would require state reports to be filed electronically, instead of being printed, has advanced in the state Legislature, a South Jersey assemblywoman said Monday.

The measure, recently approved by the Assembly, has been referred to a Senate committee for consideration, according to Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, D-Camden, a co-sponsor.

"It's astonishing that in the age of electronic communications the state remains mired in a paper-and-ink mentality," Lampitt said in a statement. "The savings on postage alone could make this change pay for itself."

The measure would affect all periodic reports required by law to be presented to the governor or the Legislature.


Working Green, Making Green

Asbury Park Press
December 10, 2008
By David P. Willis

With the economy in tatters, hitting blue-collar and white-collar workers alike, there’s a push for more workers who wear another colored color.

The color is green.

“This is an opportunity to take a problem in terms of the economy and the work force and marry it to something that can be something great, like green renewable energy, green jobs,” said Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt, D-Camden, during a panel at last week’s 2008 Governor’s Conference on Workforce & Economic Development in Atlantic City.

But that raises the question—just what is a green-collar job?

It’s “someone who is working on projects that relate to saving energy or creating cleaner energy,” said Carl E. Van Horn, professor of public policy and director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

And at a time when the economy is in recession and major industries, such as financial services and construction, are in the dumps, these green-collar jobs might be the sweet spot.

Why? It’s the push, both in the U.S., and in New Jersey specifically, toward saving energy and using renewable sources for power, cutting down on the electricity generated by fossil fuels, such as coal.

In October, Gov. Jon S. Corzine unveiled a plan calling for the state to obtain 30 percent of its electricity from renewable sources and reduce consumption by 20 percent by 2020.