New Jersey’s 3 freshman congressional members open district offices

All three freshman members of Congress from New Jersey, who were sworn into office last month, have opened their district offices.

U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, District 1
10 Melrose Ave., Suite 210, Cherry Hill, N.J.

U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur, District 3
Tom’s Rover Town Hall, 33 Washington St., Tom’s River, N.J.
U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur, District 3
Gibson House, 535 E. Main St., Evesham, N.J.


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U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, District 12
850 Bear Tavern Rd. Suite 201, Ewing, N.J.


Kari Osmond, district office director for U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, said the office will be used primarily for constituent services, which is a relatively low-key but vitally important part of a Congressional representative’s duties. 
Passing laws and setting national policy may be what gets members of Congress on cable news shows or newspaper front pages. But Osmond said the stuff that gets debated on the House floor is only about half of the job.
The other half is helping constituents navigate the system. It may be a local business owner trying to get a federal loan or a homeowner applying for disaster relief. Basically, it’s anybody dealing with the federal government who needs a hand from his or her local representative’s office.
Watson Coleman’s office is located in Ewing, though Osmond said the staff will likely hold some “mobile offices” at locations around the district to make constituent services more accessible.
For the full-time office, it was a matter of finding a suitable location and setting up the technology. This winter’s snows delayed the efforts, but now the office is up and running.
“The team is ready to help out the district,” Osmond said.
U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur’s, R-3, two district offices are located in buildings that their respective municipalities own — the town hall in Tom’s River and the Gibson House in Evesham.
Frank Luna, MacArthur’s district chief of staff, said residents are more likely to be familiar with the municipal buildings. It also gives MacArthur’s staff an opportunity to work more closely, figuratively and literally, with local officials.
Luna said MacArthur’s staff members intentionally chose the largest municipalities in each of the district’s counties.
“It not only gives us the opportunity to be more responsive,” Luna said, “but if someone goes in to talk to the mayor and they’re having a problem with a federal agency, they can go right down the hall. It streamlines the government.”
A statement from U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross’s, D-1, office says that the newly established district office in Cherry Hill is near I-295, and just a block from the Woodcrest PATCO stop.
“The full-service office is dedicated to assisting South Jersey residents and businesses with a variety of federal matters, helping them interact with their government, representing their interests in Congress, and recognizing the achievements of all those that make our community great,” the statement said. 
This post is part of our South Jersey Politics Blog

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