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Phil Murphy and Dr Maria Teresa Montilla and board delegates

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Jersey City, NJ (Thursday, September 28, 2017).-The Political Action Committee (LLA-PAC) of The Latino Leadership Alliance, the largest Latino advocacy organization in New Jersey representing professional leaders and most of the leading Latino advocacy organizations across the state, announced today its unanimous endorsement of Phil Murphy for Democratic Candidate for Governor of New Jersey.

“The LLANJ PAC endorses candidates who are truly committed to work with the Latino Leadership Alliance on issues impacting Latinos and New Jersey residents,” said Maria Teresa Montilla, President of LLANJ and its Political Action Committee (LLA-PAC). “We do not support or endorse candidates based on their political party affiliation, ethnicity or gender, but rather on issues, and their track records showing they are indeed doing their best for the people they have represented or would like to represent. We also take into serious consideration their record in promoting and bringing fairness and inclusion in all areas of New Jersey’s governmental and educational endeavors.”


Remarks by Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, LLA-PAC President, on Endorsement of Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey

September 28, 2017

We are here to announce our endorsement of Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey.

We, the LLANJ Board of Delegates, met with Mr. Phil Murphy on Saturday, August 19, 2017 for an in-depth conversation on his professional background, record of accomplishments, and his platform and plans for New Jersey Latinos.

There are many complex issues that are of concern to New Jersey’s Latino communities, and chief among them are education, immigration, financial security, civil rights, health, law, and politics. The Latino community also faces the problems common to all New Jersians that have been many years in the making; and threaten every New Jersey family’s quality of life and the simple hope and expectation that families can grow, prosper and stay in New Jersey.

Mr. Murphy impressed us as an intelligent, practical and keen businessman. We found him to be a good listener, who showed a genuine interest in getting to know us and our concerns. He appeared to understand these issues and showed willingness to address them.

Education is the most pressing issue for Latinos. Half of all Latino school children are trapped in poor performing districts, where poor educational outcomes are a life sentence to poverty. For almost two decades, the Latino Leadership Alliance has fought with successive administrations for educational reform that ensures our children have access to high quality education, educational opportunity that breaks rather than perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Although Mr. Murphy’s position may not equal ours, he expressed openness to dialogue and consideration of ideas on structural change.

He came across as both knowledgeable and concerned about the needs of small businessmen and women, as well as of homeowners confronted with the highest property taxes in the nation.

Concerning immigration issues, Mr. Murphy agrees with us that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is long overdue and endorses a shared responsibility approach between government and the undocumented. He is sensitive to the need to bring people out of the shadows, for the benefit and security of both the immigrant and non-immigrant communities throughout the country. He is especially sensitive to the many undocumented who came here as children, and have become Americans by upbringing, acculturation and disposition. He shares our view that we should not erect unnecessary boundaries to realization of the full potential of these young Americans, who have so much to contribute to the future of our state and country.

He believes that state institutions and government should reflect the diversity of the state’s population, and is committed to have Latinos, who account for 20% of New Jersey’s population occupy a proportional space in government and its institutions. He further committed to exert duly influence to ensure Latinos are represented in the upcoming re-apportionment commission.

Finally, Mr. Murphy impressed us as a refreshing, self-assured, political outsider whose independence and lack of political debt, make him free to pursue his own programs, unbeholden to a party or special interest.

We have not known Mr. Murphy for a long time and have no past reference against which we can measure his words, but we trust that his expressed commitment to an inclusive government, and to the educational and economic well-being of New Jersians is genuine; as it’s his ability to independently and effectively carry out his plans for a better state for all.

For these reasons, the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey’s Political Action Committee (LLA-PAC) is very pleased to announce its unanimous decision to endorse Phil Murphy for Governor of New Jersey.

Remarks by Phil Murphy, Democratic Candidate for Governor of New Jersey accepting Endorsement of of the Latino Leadership Alliance’s Political Action Committee (LLA-PAC)

Click here to watch video excerpt of Phil Murphy accepting endorsement from Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla, LLA-PAC President

I want to thank Madam President Dr. Maria Teresa Montilla and the members of this extraordinary organization — the Latino Leadership Alliance. I’m extremely honored to receive this endorsement. I thank all the members present this morning and those whom I’ve met. That meeting on August 19th was as deep and thorough a discussion as I’ve had with any organization whose support I have sought. I’m honored to have earned the support from all corners of the Latino community. When we stand together we can do good things for all New Jersians. You have my word as governor, should I be fortunate to get there, that I will work with the Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey (LLANJ) and other organizations and leaders from across the state to enact policies to back up that principle; that process begins by rebuilding our middle class through new jobs and better wages, and strong work force protections. And through leadership that works, not just for some but for all 9 million New Jersians. I believe, that I will provide that leadership.

The Latino Leadership Alliance is endorsing me because they believe I can provide that leadership, and I will. I will be the governor whose every decision is seated in the desire to make our state fair again. I will be the governor committed to growing our economy, making it stronger and creating good jobs and economic activity, and opportunities. I will be the governor who will have your back, who will work with you to bring your dreams to life, and will stand with you against those who want to end those dreams.

Once again, I thank the Latino Leadership Alliance for this endorsement. It means more than you know. If we work together over the remaining weeks and days left to the election, we can make New Jersey the example we know it can be, and a place where we all rise as one. So, we are ready, estamos listos, together we can, juntos podemos. Muchas gracias y que Dios te bendiga.

September 28, 2017

The LLANJ-PAC is the Political Action Committee of The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, the only statewide non-partisan non-profit organization composed of local, regional and state organizations, Latino leaders and professionals advocating for the socio economic and political development of Latino diverse communities. Visit or write to or call (732) 249-0400.