Our very own Paula Kassell, one of the founding members of Morris County NOW, has been nominated to the New Jersey Hall of Fame for the Class of 2019-2020.  Below is a brief biography.  Paula was an inspiration to our chapter.  A Veteran Feminist, she was the person who got the New York Times to use the designation “Ms.” You can read about that and more in her book:  Taking Women in New Directions, Stories from the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement, 2008, Hudson House.  Voting runs to June 30, 2020 at the following link:  https://njhalloffame.org/2019-nominee-voting/;.  For more information about the New Jersey Hall of Fame you can visit their website:  https://njhalloffame.org/


Paula Sally Kassell

December 5, 1917—August 20, 2012)

On Monday, August 20, 2012, the world lost a pioneering feminist.   Paula Sally Kassell was 94 years old when she died.  She left behind a rich legacy of accomplishments and the desire for us to continue her work toward equality for women.

Within a year after the founding of the National Organization for Women (1966), Paula became a member.  There were no local chapters at that time.   Paula was a founding member of the Lakeland Chapter of NOW, one of two chapters meeting in Morris County in 1973.  The two chapters, Lakeland NOW and Morristown NOW, began working together, and in 1980 they merged to become Morris County NOW.

As a member of the Women’s Equity Action League in the 1960’s, Paula worked to end the practice of segregated classified ads, “Help Wanted Female”/”Help Wanted Male”, in the local papers.

In 1980 Paula purchased ten shares of New York Times stock.  As a stockholder she attended the annual meetings to raise issues of interest to feminists.  Using this tactic, in 1986 she was able to get the Times to use the honorific “Ms.”, which it had refused to do even though other major newspapers were already using it.  This became one of her most well-known accomplishments.

Paula was justifiably proud of her accomplishments in organizing feminists here in New Jersey.  In 1971 she coordinated New Jersey’s first feminist conference, out of which came the publication of a feminist newspaper called New Directions for Women in New Jersey.  Within three years the paper enjoyed national distribution, and “New Jersey” was dropped from the title.   Paula was publisher and editor from 1972 to 1977.  She continued to work on the paper as associate editor, then senior editor and then as a columnist.  The paper continued publication until the September/October 1993 issue.

In April of 1994, several members of Morris County NOW began training to produce a public access cable television show.  The first show aired in August, 1994.  With her vast knowledge of feminist issues and network of feminists in many fields, Paula became a priceless asset to the show.  From the beginning she attended the meetings of the Program Committee, many at the Travelers Diner close to her home in Dover, New Jersey, and was an unending source of ideas for show topics and guests.  The show is still being produced and took the name “New Directions for Women” in the late 1990’s.  Paula continued to be a resource up to and including the current season of shows.

In 2008, Paula published a book, Taking Women in New Directions, Stories from the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement.  Her book chronicles her work and her unending struggle for women’s equality.  She will surely be missed.

Resource:  Kassell, Paula.  Taking Women in New Directions, Stories from the Second Wave of the Women’s Movement, 2008, Hudson House ISBN 978-1-58776-895-8


The New Jersey Hall of Fame Selection Process

1. Residents of New Jersey are invited to recommend deserving New Jerseyans at any time, year round. Public recommendations will be taken into consideration by the selection committee when determining the top 100 nominees.  Click here to recommend a worthy New Jerseyan.

2. The selection committee determines a list of 100 potential nominees by March 1.

3. The NJ Hall of Fame Academy narrows the master list down to 50 on or about April  1.

4. The public is invited to vote on the final nominations from on or about June 1- June 30.

5. The individual receiving the most votes in each category are automatically inducted.

6. The Board will then deliberate to determine who else should be inducted for that given year.

7. Voting closes and inductees are announced in the spring.

8. Honorees will be formally inducted in a virtual red carpet ceremony in October. Click here to learn more about sponsorships for the induction ceremony.

NOTE: Official induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame is contingent upon the honoree formally accepting the honor at the Red Carpet Induction Ceremony within three years of the original induction. In the case of a deceased nominee, a representative would be required to attend in their place. As of 2017, Inductees must formally accept their honor in order to be included in the permanent NJHOF Museum.

National Organization for Women

National Organization for Women

  • The US Supreme Court Blocks the Trump Administration’s Attempt to End the DACA Program; Dreamers are Here to Stay
    June 22, 2020 Last Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States delivered a 5-4 ruling blocking the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama-era program shielding undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation. This ruling provides hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients Read more …
  • “We have a lot of marching to do, momma”
    It was a January day in 2017. The day after I found out that I was pregnant with my second child. My second daughter. My Bailey. I woke up early, packed snacks, dressed in layers, charged my cell phone and headed into DC, joining hundreds of thousands of women, men, and children to attend the Read more …
  • Breonna Taylor. Tamir Rice. Freddy Gray. Eric Garner. Sandra Bland. George Floyd.
    These last two weeks, we’ve seen massive spikes in energy for Black Lives Matter and Black liberation. We’ve said their names and honored their lives. We’ve seen protests and riots spread across our nation, demanding justice for the countless Black lives lost to police brutality and racist ideology. We’ve seen this energy spread to social media, genuinely convincing people to be better allies Read more …
  • Mrs. America Episode 9 – The Finale
    The popular Hulu series Mrs. America is reinvigorating discussions on the women’s movement of the 1970s, the battle for the Equal Rights Amendment, and the political legacy we continue to grapple with to this day. Like everyone watching this series, NOW staff and interns have strong opinions on the content and are sharing them through Read more …
  • Mrs. America – Episode 8 “Houston”
    While Mrs. America gives its viewers plenty of fiercely feminist characters to fall in love with, my favorite character on the show is Alice Macray. She may be fictional, a conglomeration of several Phyllis Schlafly’s followers, but to me she’s the person on the show who most clearly demonstrates human capacity for change and growth.    This week’s Read more …

NOW NJ New Feed

National Organization for Women of New Jersey
  • Five Actions.


    5 Actions you can take to protect abortion access in New Jersey
    1. Become a clinic escort at Cherry Hill Women's Center and elsewhere https://thewomenscenters.com/take-action/volunteer/
    2. Donate locally to provide funding for women in New Jersey who cannot afford to pay for their abortions. https://abortionfunds.org/…/new-jersey-abortion-access-fund/
    3. Call the sponsors of "New Jersey Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act" - Bill A5287. Let them know that you condemn this bill that propagates a dangerous myth. Abortions are not performed on fetuses that can survive outside the womb. That is simply a lie. The primary sponsors are in LD 24 and 26. Vote them all out this November.
    4. “I believe in the sanctity of human life, from the womb to the tomb.”-Chris Smith (R-NJ4). If you are in NJ's congressional district 4 (or elsewhere) work to vote him out in 2020.
    5. Ask your legislator if they will support codifying New Jersey’s case law on abortion (currently stronger than Roe). Donate to groups like NOW-NJ, ACLU NJ, PPAFNJ who are working on strengthening abortion access in NJ
  • One-Man/One-Women Rule

    National Organization for Women of New Jersey calls forstrict adherence of the one-man/one-woman rule in theformation of Political County Committees

    The National Organization for Women of New Jersey is alarmed by a challenge issued by severalgroups in New Jersey led by the Central Jersey Progressive Democrats.On Thursday, a lawsuitwas filed in Superior Court to overturn the 70-year-old state law requiring seats on countypolitical committees to be divided equally between men and women.

    NewJersey statute N.J.S.A. 19:5-3, often referred to as the “county committee election statute,”isfound in the bylaws of both parties. The argument is that removal of this statute to allow twowomen to serve from a single districtand thereby increase female membership in the countyparties. Thiscontention,while noble, seeks to overturn internal rules of private organizations.Moreover, we believe that this is a misguided assumption. In fact, we anticipate anddemonstrate that the suspension of this statute will result in more cases of two males serving asingle district than two females.

    To state that this rule is ‘antiquated’ and ‘is no longer needed’ or that “[g]ender should not play arole in politics in this day and age’ is absurd. This buys into an assumption that women haveachieved equality and no longer need reinforcement by statute to ensure equal representation.We reject the idea that the statuesomehow demeans women or "suggest[s] an inferior view of awoman's ability..."and argue that it wasin effect put in place to ensure that the intelligence andability of a woman was present and given equal account.

    While it is true that women have made many strides in politics, it is no secret that we areseverely underrepresented. Women are over 51% of the electorate and yet in New Jersey, womenserve in 37 of 120 seats of our legislature (30.8%) and only two of our 14 federal representativesare female (14.3%).Women not come far enough in politics in New Jersey to abandonthe littlebit of legislation that supportsgender equity.

    “In New Jersey, women in politics still face an uphill battle.At the local level the number ofwomen mayors is at around a dismal 15%.Not only do we not have enough women in leadershiproles currently, we lack a bench to recruit from. This rule ensures that women who want toengage politically will get a fair share of the seats at the table, thereby providing women at thelocal level with a point of entry to become involved,” says Mayor Colleen Mahr, Executive VicePresident of the Union County chapter of the National Organization for Women and First ViceChair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

    One place that women in politics could be guaranteed parity was in representation in the CountyCommittees of the Democratic and Republican parties due to the stipulated rule. Now even thatis in jeopardy. In recent years, county clerks in Cumberland, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer andPassaic have chosen to move away from the statute. Close inspection of the committee lists inthose counties reveals that the county committees have in factresulted in overwhelminglymore male/male pairs serving a district rather than female/female (in more than a 3:2 ratio). It also does not come as a surprise that the only county party committeewhere there ARE more women serving (Hunterdon Democrats) is led by a woman.

    “Having been involved in politics in New Jersey for the last twenty years, the push to abandon alaw that has only served to enhance the role of women in the Party is truly frustrating. I serve ina leadership role as one of only a few women, so I speak from a position of knowledge andunderstanding. The rooms I go into rarely have more than a couple of women at the table.Abandoning this law in the guise of equality is a misguided attempt to fix a problem that willonly become even worse. Hunterdon County is in a unique position because we have used theopportunity to engage more women. But whatabout when the County Chair does not look likeme– just look at the statistics and that should tell you exactly what will happen...” stated ArleneQuiñones Perez, Chair of the Hunterdon County Democratic Party.

    The United States Supreme Court has made it clear that it is not for the legislature to interfere inthe structure of a political organization. In its ruling,Eu v. San Francisco County DemocraticCent. Committee, 489 U.S. 214 (1989),the Courtupheld thatAs we noted in Tashjian, apolitical party's "determination . . . of the structure which best allows it to pursue its politicalgoals, is protected by the Constitution." 479 U.S., at 224.'

    The National Organization for Women of New Jersey thereby calls on all theCounty Clerks in New Jersey to abide by the bylaws of the political parties andenforce the one-man/one-woman rule. “Again,” says Diane Scarangella, President of theNorthern New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for Women, “we have not come as faras we think or have been lead to believe by the establishment...a myth that supports the statusquo. If we had, we wouldn't see a lack of enforcement. Clearly, we still need both men andwomen to seethe need to advocate for gender equity and this type of statute supports that.”

    Download Press Release Here

  • NOW-NJ Announces Support of Let's Drive NJ Campaign



    For more information visit www.LetsDriveNJ.org


7 Jul
MC-NOW Business Meeting
07.07.2020 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Morris County NOW's monthly business meeting. Open to all members and guests.
4 Aug
MC-NOW Business Meeting
08.04.2020 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Morris County NOW's monthly business meeting. Open to all members and guests.
8 Aug
Board Mtg.
08.08.2020 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
1 Sep
MC-NOW Business Meeting
09.01.2020 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Morris County NOW's monthly business meeting. Open to all members and guests.
6 Oct
MC-NOW Business Meeting
10.06.2020 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Morris County NOW's monthly business meeting. Open to all members and guests.