A screenshot from a campaign video for Imani Oakley. IMAGE COURTESY IMANI OAKLEY FOR CONGRESS

Montclair resident Imani Oakley is running for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District, according to a June 6 campaign press release.

The seat — New Jersey’s only Black majority district — covers parts of Essex, Union, and Hudson counties. The district is currently represented by Donald Payne Jr.

“New Jersey’s 10th District deserves a representative in Congress who isn’t afraid to take on the establishment, stand up for democracy, and fight for marginalized communities,” Oakley said in the release, which described her as a longtime political organizer and a pro-democracy activist. “However, despite pressing issues around health, housing, and safety, we haven’t had that.”

Oakley was born at St. Peter’s Hospital in New Brunswick and raised in Montclair, New Jersey by a single working mother, the announcement said. After graduating Howard University School of Law, Oakley went on to serve as a constituent’s advocate in the U.S. Senate, a deputy chief of staff in the State Legislature and the legislative director for the New Jersey Working Families Alliance.

Most recently, the press release said, she was the dean of movement building at Movement School Campus. It said in that role, she helped bring courses on electoral campaign skills to progressives from marginalized backgrounds nationwide.

“For years, I’ve been disheartened by the rabid corruption infesting our state,” Oakley said in the release. “From patronage, to cronyism, to New Jersey’s corrupt ballot design, I knew I had to start fighting to make a change.”

The release said her campaign plans to focus on fighting for economic justice, racial justice, a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, workers’ rights, innovative infrastructure, demilitarization both nationwide and abroad, and a fair democracy for everyone.

The election for New Jersey’s 10th Congressional District will be in November 2022.

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