(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Chairwoman Cleopatra Tucker are urging members to ditch their formal wear in favor of jeans for the May 24 Assembly voting session to show support for the 3rd Annual “Jeans for Troops” Fundraising Drive benefitting thousands of New Jersey veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan.
The fundraising drive will be held on Thursday, May 24 in honor of Memorial Day. Employers that choose to participate in the fundraising drive allow employees to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $5 donation to the G.I. Go Fund. Several major employers have already signed up.
The Assembly will also be participating during their May 24 voting session, Oliver said. Assembly members and staff are encouraged to participate, and will be permitted to wear jeans as part of their professional attire. Jackets and ties will still be required for male members and staffers. The idea was first suggested by Tucker.
“While there is a traditional dress code expected from legislators, I think we can all agree that this is one cause worth putting it aside for,” said Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver. “I hope to see all my colleagues, Democrat and Republican, wearing jeans on May 24 in support of our military men and women who have served our country and must now adjust to civilian life at home.”
Tucker (D-Essex) thanked Speaker Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) and encouraged her fellow legislators to join her in wearing jeans to promote the cause.
“Who wouldn’t want to trade in their suit for a pair of jeans during a long session day, especially for such a good cause?” asked Tucker. “I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join me in sporting our best blue jeans in the State House to raise awareness about this event and help raise money for our soldiers who are transitioning back to civilian life.”
Tucker plans to issue a proclamation declaring May 24 “G.I. Go Jeans for Troops Day” and is working with local officials to have Newark and Essex County issue similar proclamations.
The G.I. Go Fund is a nonprofit charitable organization that provides transition assistance to all military veterans, with a focus on veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, by preparing veterans for the 21st century economy, securing educational and health benefits, and providing aid and assistance to low income and homeless veterans.
Those interested in participating in the Jeans for Troops Fundraising Drive should contact Alex Manis at (973) 802-1614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.