Voting Block expands, launches statewide citizen engagement campaign; sign up to host a ‘Political Potluck’

July 19, 2017 Joe Amditis

Last month we announced the launch of Voting Block, a collaborative reporting initiative to cover New Jersey’s upcoming gubernatorial election through the lens of neighborhoods across the state.

Voting Block started with four initial reporting partners –WNYC, WHYY, NJ Spotlight and The Record – and is being coordinated by the Center for Cooperative Media, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and New America Media. The first stories have been rich; we’ve learned about residents and their concerns in Paulsboro, Westwood, Long Valley and West Orange. We plan to follow them throughout the summer and fall leading into Election Day, with a focus on their thoughts on the governor’s race.

For our most recent round of stories, each newsroom convened neighbors in their communities over a meal to talk about politics and the upcoming election. Participants discussed everything from feeling left out of the political process to finding common ground with others who have different political views.

Now, it’s your turn.

Today we’re announcing the first expansion of Voting Block with the launch of a statewide campaign encouraging New Jerseyans to host their own “Political Potluck” and add new neighborhood perspectives to our reporting.

We want you to join our coverage by hosting an election-themed conversation over a meal with neighbors in your community and share highlights from your discussion with our newsrooms. We’ll highlight your priorities for the next governor as a part of our ongoing reporting and include your insights in a people-powered agenda that we’ll deliver to the candidates in the fall.

Participating is easy. Just fill out the form below and we’ll send you a free toolkit, complete with our Voting Block conversation guide. The guide has everything you need to host a “Political Potluck” event in your neighborhood. You’ll even get some merchandise from the Voting Block news partners to sweeten the deal.

We look forward to hearing about your gatherings this summer and fall. If you have questions, let us know; you can email And if you want to read previous Voting Block stories, visit



Voting Block is made possible with support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. The Center is supported with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and Democracy Fund. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. For more information, visit

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Joe Amditis

Joe Amditis is the associate director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. He can be reached via email at and on Twitter at @jsamditis.

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