Facing Our Future

For decades, New Jersey has failed to maintain and improve its infrastructure.

Year after year, administration after administration, New Jersey has deferred investment in its utilities systems, roads and bridges, public transportation and water supply systems – and those systems have decayed. The reasons are many: revenue shortfalls, the requirement to adopt a balanced budget, increased costs and/or reduced private investment. Those systems all require the increased investment critical to our long-term economic success. Sandy exposed and highlighted these existing problems. Today, we are forced to face our infrastructure deficiencies now, and to act with urgency.

The Facing Our Future report, “Infrastructure Investments Necessary for Economic Success” builds upon a growing public awareness of the role that infrastructure plays in our daily lives. We emphasize the choices – priorities – that New Jersey must face, and recognize that New Jersey citizens must view infrastructure investments in totality rather than as discrete transactions. This report differs from other studies and reports; it isn’t only about numbers – it is about how we as citizens collectively envision our future and how we need to rethink current priorities to ensure that future and our economic success.

With or without new storms such as Sandy, New Jersey faces long-term, periodic breakdowns and degradation of its infrastructure. This report presents a vision for infrastructure needs within each of three prioritized areas, electric power, transportation and water systems, and discusses those needs in the historical context of long-standing neglect and under-funding. The report also identifies funding ideas to support the investments, and provides recommendations for how to achieve the required funding for each area – what sources to consider, and how to generate funding to support investment.

Funding for this phase of Facing Our Future, including the report “Infrastructure Investments Necessary for Economic Success”, was provided by Conservation Resources Inc., Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation®, The Fund for New Jersey, The Nicholson Foundation, and two separate private donors.

Facing Our Future is an independent, bipartisan effort, led by a volunteer Leadership Group of nearly twenty former government executives and public servants. The Leadership Group thanks the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (CNJG) and its President Nina Stack for their leadership and support in the formation of Facing Our Future and with the first two reports. The CNJG has made important contributions to the work of Facing Our Future.

The Leadership Group of Facing Our Future encourages you to read the report, and engage in the dialogue about how to rethink government for our state’s long-term economic success.

Facing Our Future (Infrastructure Investments Necessary for Economic Success - April 2013)

Facing Our Future: Open Letter and Executive Summary (April 2013)

Facing Our Future Presentation: NJ Association of Counties Annual Conference (May 10, 2013)

Media Advisory (April 2013)

Facing Our Future - Media Q & A (Call recorded 4.22.13)

Summary Documents (prepared for/referenced by Facing Our Future as part of the initial data collection effort for this report)
Report: “Infrastructure Issues and Needs in New Jersey” (Transportation, Wastewater and Drinking Water, Dams, Higher Education, Energy – Electric and Gas)

PowerPoint: “Communications Technology and Information Technology in New Jersey”

Policy Paper: “Are We Minding Our Own Business?”

Multi-Topic: Statewide Policy Plans/Other Materials
Adopted Reports, News Articles, Annual Reports, Plans and Other Relevant Materials

Topic Specific: Electric Power
Adopted Reports, News Articles, Annual Reports, Plans and Other Relevant Materials

Topic Specific: Transportation
Adopted Reports, News Articles, Annual Reports, Plans and Other Relevant Materials

Topic Specific: Water Systems Infrastructure
Adopted Reports, News Articles, Annual Reports, Plans and Other Relevant Materials

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