For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Tomlinson
Lessons from Chicago – Local Activist and Freeholder Candidate, Melissa Tomlinson speaks at the People’s Summit
Melissa Tomlinson is a local teacher, education activist, and Green Party candidate for Freeholder at Large in Atlantic County. Melissa Tomlinson is not new to education activism, many may remember her as the teacher who was yelled at by Governor Chris Christie at his Sommer’s Point campaign stop in 2013. Melissa currently serves as the assistant executive director of Badass Teachers Association. In this capacity, she was a co-writer of an Amicus Brief for the Supreme Court case Friedrich’s vs. CTA that sought to undermine the collective bargaining rights of teachers, Most recently, she was named as a co-chair of the education committee of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change. She has been a speaker at state and national events from Public Education rallies in Trenton to the SOS March event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This past weekend she was an invited speaker at The People’s Summit in Chicago Il, where she participated in a panel discussion titled “Beyond Betsy: Organizing for Educational Justice”.
Melissa plainly demonstrated to the office how the proposed cuts to the Federal education budget are nothing short of racist, concluding that education is “the next civil right’s issue that our country will be facing.” With millions of dollars on the chopping block to 21st Century Grants, pre-school expansion, and professional development, she discussed how these cuts would most harm the public education systems in communities of color. These cuts would stop funding for afterschool programs that provide a safe space for youth to be as well as provide assistance with homework and even snacks and meals. Melissa talked about how early education needs to be a priority in these communities, and how a cut of monies spent on professional development would cause harm to the initiative that all students deserve a highly qualified teacher.
Melissa’s platform for her candidacy for freeholder focuses in connecting the government to the people in Atlantic County. “Our families in Atlantic County need help and it is our responsibility to make sure they are able to benefit from the services available by providing direct assistance to caretakers and individuals.” Some additional points of her platform involve new solutions to tax relief for Atlantic County, increasing government transparency, and advocating in Trenton for the specific benefit of South Jersey.
“Searching for Better Solutions”
Economic and social justice
Communication and transparency
- Special Education Teacher
- National Public Education Advocate
- Assistant Executive Director – Badass Teachers Association
- Co-Writer Amicus Brief – Friedrichs v. CTA
- New Jersey Education Association Working Conditions committee member
- Co-Chair Education Committee of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change
- Runaway Inequality Trainer
NJ Coalition member:
15 NOW NJ
Healthy Schools Now
Help Not Handcuffs
Our Children Our Schools
Melissa Tomlinson will officially announce the launch of her campaign on March 21st at the Atlantic County Freeholder meeting.
For Immediate Release, March 20, 2017
A new contender will announce their intention to join the Atlantic County Freeholder race this year. On Tuesday, March 21, Melissa Tomlinson will speak during the public comments section of the Atlantic County Freeholder Board Meeting concerning the failings of the current board members and announce her candidacy for the position of Freeholder-At-Large on the Green Party Ticket. Melissa Tomlinson is no stranger to politics and ran a campaign for freeholder in 2014. Melissa gained local notoriety as being the teacher Chris Christie was caught on camera losing his temper and yelling at back in 2013. She has been growing increasingly frustrated with the political “business as usual” she sees coming from both the Democrats and Republicans in South Jersey. “Maintaining the status quo has not benefited the people of Atlantic County. We need to face the reality that we live in a unique area that needs some new solutions to the issues that are affecting our communities.”
Ms. Tomlinson has been a special education teacher at Buena Regional Middle School for 9 years. She is one of the directors of Badass Teachers Association, a coalition partner of 15 Now NJ, a member of South Jersey Women for Progressive Change, and a member of the Green Party of Atlantic County. Her advocacy work during the past few years has offered her the experience to explore alternative solutions and collaborate with community organizations that are invested in addressing the systemic issues that hinder the development of economic opportunity and social growth.
A staunch believer in the right to an equitable public education system, Melissa understands the need for current investment in new programs that will create a stronger base for future growth in the economies of this area. Communities and schools must join together in the process of analyzing the needs of the residents and creating programs that will meet those needs, in the present and the future. Residents in our county are facing economic hard times and relief must be provided. But not only is it our responsibility to ease the burden in our communities, it is our duty to create programs and opportunities so that we will never face this issue again. We can not allow homes to be foreclosed upon, our children to live in poverty, our infrastructure to deteriorate, or our communities to crumble.
The exploration and consideration of new ideas need to be explored as we meet the needs of our growing 21st Century community that involve creative ways to address the problems we face.