NJ’s Black freeholders support effort to remove ‘Freeholder’ term from state government

All 19 of New Jersey's Black freeholders support an effort to remove the term from state government.

News 12 Staff

Jul 15, 2020, 9:32 AM

Updated 1,379 days ago

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All 19 of New Jersey's Black freeholders support an effort to remove the term from state government.
New Jersey is the only state that uses the title, dating back to a time when the term was used for white men who were the only ones allowed to own land.

The group of New Jersey freeholders says in a statement, "The origin of the title runs afoul of the ideals for equality and the fulfillment of human potential for all people. We join many, who condemn the centuries-old state law that was born out of a period in which exclusivity, misogyny, racism and privilege reigned. As that period of our history has ended, so too must the title Freeholder come to an end."
Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin all also back a plan to change the title to County Commissioner, which is what the title is called in other states.


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