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Cruz Perez's swearing in

Senator Will Also Focus on Veterans and Transportation Issues In State Senate

TRENTON – Senate President Steve Sweeney announced today Senator Nilsa Cruz-Pérez will serve as the Vice-Chairwoman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee.

“Senator Cruz-Pérez brings decades of experience in spurring economic growth in and around CamdenCounty. As Vice Chairwoman of the Senate’s Economic Growth Committee, she will use that expertise to improve the state’s business climate, put more people back to work and help middle class families, ” said Senator Sweeney.

Senator Cruz-Pérez has extensive knowledge on community and economic development issues. Senator Cruz-Pérez previously worked for the Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, tasked with using economic development tools and strategic planning for the City of Camden including projects on the waterfront, downtown and throughout the neighborhoods. From 1998 through 2013, Senator Cruz-Pérez worked for the Camden County Improvement Authority which provides low-cost financing, economic development and project development services to community organization to redevelop CamdenCounty. As the Outreach and Community Coordinator, she collaborated with local officials, developers, investors, and nonprofit organizations to facilitate communications and project development through the County. She now serves as the head of the Camden County Department of Constituent Services and the Office of Hispanic Affairs.

As an Assemblywoman, Cruz-Pérez sponsored the Camden Municipal Rehabilitation and Economic Recovery Act of 2003, which created a five-year recovery plan for the City and invested $175 million in funds for capital projects throughout Camden.

“On a day to day basis, I deal with constituents in my home county of Camden who are struggling to make ends meet and to make enough money to support their families,  a  problem that  stems  from a high unemployment rate and a lack of opportunity in many of our urban communities,” said Senator Cruz-Pérez. “By encouraging smart business growth and development, we can help create jobs and put people back to work here in the GardenState. I thank the Senate President for allowing me to serve as Vice Chair of the Economic Growth Committee where I feel I can roll up to sleeves and make a difference in people’s lives.”

A veteran of the U.S. Army, Senator Cruz-Perez will also serve on the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee – a  post that should be comfortable to her as she was a member of the Assembly counterpart committee during her tenure in the lower house. As a member of the U.S. Armed forces, Senator Cruz- Pérez was honorably discharged in 1987. Senator Cruz-Pérez was stationed in Mainz Military Community in Germany. While serving on the Assembly’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Cruz-Pérez authored legislation to increase allowances for certain disabled veterans.

“As a veteran myself, I know full well the sacrifices that the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces go through to protect our nation,” said Senator Cruz-Pérez. “No veteran should return home from serving our country to an unemployment line. No veteran should be homeless or living on the street. No veteran should have to fight for access to health care.  Our state has the ability to help transition individuals from active duty to veteran status and I am honored to serve on a committee that will help usher those transitions.”

Senator Cruz-Pérez’s third committee assignment will be to serve on the Senate Transportation Committee.

“As funds available in the state’s transportation trust fund continue to deplete, we are entering a period of great turmoil for our state’s transportation infrastructure including how we are going to fund repairs to our roads and bridges,” said Senator Cruz-Pérez. “We need to face these needs as well as look at public transportation investment options that will help to support our residents as they get to and from their workplaces, and go about their daily lives.”

Senator Cruz-Pérez was sworn in last month to replace Donald Norcross who vacated the seat to join Congress. Senator Cruz-Pérez represents the 5th Legislative District which includes portions of Camden and GloucesterCounty.