Board chair of N.J. LCV appointed to N.J. Planning Commission

Julia Somers, board chair of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, has been appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy to the New Jersey Planning Commission.

The New Jersey Planning Commission consists of 17 members representing state government, local government and the public. City, county and state representatives are appointed by the governor and approved by the Legislature for three-year terms to work together to address key issues, including transportation, land use, environmental protection, economic development and equity.

“I recently attended my first meeting, and I am extremely excited to join the commission and work on the issues I am passionate about, such as natural resource conservation, land use and historic preservation,” Somers said. “I also want to thank Gov. Murphy and his administration for appointing me to the planning commission and trusting me with this important work.”

In addition to chairing the New Jersey LCV board, Somers is also executive director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition, which represents a diverse network of organizations — small and large, local, regional and statewide — and individuals. Its mission is to represent their common goal to protect, enhance and restore the resources of the New Jersey Highlands and to preserve the quality and quantity of drinking water both for the 850,000 people who live in the Highlands as well as the more than 4 million people living elsewhere in the state who depend on Highlands water.

“We congratulate Julia for her important role on the state planning commission, and we know she will lend her experience and knowledge about the direct connection of land use to drinking water quality,” Ed Potosnak, executive director, New Jersey LCV, said. “Much appreciation to Gov. Murphy, Sen. (Steve) Oroho and the New Jersey Senate for their support of Julia to serve her community on the commission.”

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for nature, and I am blessed that the work I am doing with New Jersey LCV, Highlands Coalition and now the New Jersey Planning Commission allows me to engage this passion and specifically help to preserve our natural resources so that all New Jerseyans can benefit,” added Somers. “With the threats from climate change and increasing development pressures the work of the New Jersey Planning Commission is even more urgent. I’m pleased to be a part of the team finding solutions.”