TRENTON, NJ- George Helmy, former State Director for New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, has taken the position of Governor Murphy’s Chief of Staff.
“Clearly the Governor is keeping the environment at the top of his list of priorities,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “Senator Booker’s environmental record is impressive—he has a lifetime score of 98% on the League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard, and received an outstanding 100% score for his 2017 pro-conservation voting record. Senator Booker has championed environmental justice, combating climate change, opposing drilling along the Jersey Shore and ensuring clean drinking water for all, and I know Mr. Helmy will bring a wealth of knowledge about critical New Jersey environmental issues to the Murphy Administration who is making NJ the greenest state in America.”
Last year, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 23, which requires the Department of Environmental Protection to work with other state agencies and develop guidance on how all state departments can incorporate environmental justice considerations into their actions, taking into consideration that low-income communities and communities of color are often on the front lines of climate change and pollution problems, and are overburdened by the cumulative impacts of these issues.
Besides his recent perfect score on the League of Conservation Voters’, Senator Booker has championed several other environmental issues, including reducing lead in drinking water and prioritizing water infrastructure modernization. Most notably, Senator Booker championed the Environmental Justice Act of 2017, which would require the federal government to provide legal protections for low-income people and communities of color, and to take action against environmental justice through the permitting process.
“For the NJ Highlands Coalition, I am thrilled that George Helmy will bring his experience and leadership to the issues of the state, and greatly look forward to working with him to protect and promote our State's resources,” said Julia Somers, Executive Director of NJ Highlands Coalition.
“I am so pleased to see George appointed as Governor Murphy’s Chief of Staff. I have worked with George and have witnessed firsthand his dedication and commitment to New Jersey’s environment,” said Michele S. Byers, Executive Director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation.
“NJ Audubon looks forward to working with George Helmy as Governor Murphy’s Chief of Staff in support of the Governor’s bold vision to address climate change, protect our waters, prioritize environmental justice and protect wildlife and habitat in New Jersey,” said Eric Stiles, NJA President and CEO. “Being State Director for Senator Booker who is a national champion on these same conservation issues, Mr. Helmy has invaluable experience for protecting New Jersey’s environment.”
“New Jersey has a unique set of environmental priorities as the most densely populated state in the nation—preserving open space, preventing sea level rise from climate change, prioritizing environmental justice communities affected by air and water quality degradation, and defending against flooding and polluted runoff. I am confident Mr. Helmy will take his passion for critical environmental issues that face our state to his new position as Governor Murphy’s chief of staff,” concluded Potosnak.