Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Steven Oroho put party lines aside to meet with students at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics on October 23, where they discussed the importance of bipartisanship.
The Senators were the featured speakers at Rutgers’ Talking Politics, a new seminar being piloted this fall that emphasizes the premise that citizens must be able to communicate in honest and civil political discussions in order for democracy to work.
The Senators discussed the importance of building relationships across the political aisle and working with colleagues in both parties to pass legislation as well as the need for civil political discourse.
“I am a strong believer in forging relationships with my colleagues across the aisle,” said Senator Vin Gopal. “When I was first elected, I tried to meet with every member of the State Senate, both Republican and Democrat, and build relationships with them. Even when I had stark ideological and moral differences with my colleagues, I found a way to relate to them and form some type of connection. It is imperative that we look beyond our parties and see one another as people who simply want to work in the best interest of New Jersey’s residents. That is the only way that we can accomplish that goal.”
“Too often today, political leaders tend to talk past each other instead of trying to focus on finding common ground. Good governance is predicated on working together to do what it is we have been elected to do: serve the people of New Jersey,” said Senator Oroho. “To achieve workable results, I regularly reach across the aisle to work with my Senate colleagues to introduce and pass legislation that will improve the lives of our residents and make New Jersey a better place. I find great value in my relationships with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues. Party lines should not be so concrete to preclude compromise of any kind. We must regularly and repeatedly reach across these lines in order to work in the best interests of our constituents.”