Build With Strength Press Conference Highlights Need for Stronger NJ Standards
Build With Strength held a press conference in Atlantic City, NJ, on Wednesday, November 14, alongside Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, Deputy Speaker Wayne P. DeAngelo, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, NJ FMBA President Ed Donnelly, PFANJ, IAFF/AFL-CIO President Dominick Marino and NJFPPA President Rich Silvia to discuss its commitment to advance legislation that will improve safety standards for new mid- and high-rise lightweight construction. In addition, dozens of New Jersey firefighters and first responders (shown below) attended the event in support of our efforts.
More than three years after a fire decimated the Avalon at Edgewater, state officials, labor, fire safety experts and eight counties representing 56% of the state’s population agree that New Jersey must strengthen its buildings using non-combustible materials to ensure safety to its communities. Assembly Bill 135 and Senate Bill 1261 resolves this need.
"I look forward to passing this bill, to ensure that when our brave men and women run into that fire, they’re safe and that we have done everything we possibly can to protect them so that they can go home to their families." said Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney (shown here in front of the podium), a vocal supporter of A-135 and S-1261. “I pledge to you that I’ll be moving [the bill] before the end of the year.”
“We know the industry, we’ve worked in the industry and we want to make sure that our construction practices are built up to 2018 standards moving forward,” added Deputy Speaker Wayne P. DeAngelo, the Assembly Bill’s primary sponsor.
“It was easy for me, after the fire in Edgewater, to advocate for the change in legislation to have sprinklers, masonry walls and separation and compartmentation as part of the uniform construction code and laws here in New Jersey,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. Bergen County was the most recent county to pass a resolution in support of this legislation, bringing support for the legislation to over half of the New Jersey population.
In addition to the eight counties representing over half of the state’s population in support of this legislation, fire and labor leadership stand behind the call for strengthened building standards as well. Ed Donnelly, president of the New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association and Build With Strength coalition member, penned an op-ed that outlines the critical importance of this legislation in improving fire safety standards across the state of New Jersey. “This is a common-sense piece of legislation that is going to protect the residents of New Jersey,” he wrote. “This legislation is long overdue and its time we get this done, without question.”
A special thank you goes to NRMCA Board member Joseph Ferrara who is a tireless advocate on behalf of Build With Strength in New Jersey and who attended the press conference to show his support.
Follow the links below to read some of the media coverage this event garnered: