Cultivating Justice in the Garden State: My Life in the Colorful World of New Jersey PoliticsBy Raymond J. Lesniak


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Born into a working-class Polish immigrant family in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Raymond Lesniak went on to become a major force in the tough and bruising world of state politics. In this remarkable memoir, he reflects upon his life and career fighting for social justice in the Garden State.

He recounts the many causes he championed in his forty years as a state legislator, from the landmark Environmental Cleanup Responsibility Act to bills concerning animal protections, marriage equality, women’s reproductive rights, and the abolition of the death penalty. He also delves into his experiences on the national stage as a key advisor for Bill Clinton and Al Gore’s presidential campaigns. With refreshing candor, Lesniak describes both his greatest achievements and his moments of failure, including his unsuccessful 2017 gubernatorial run.

Cultivating Justice in the Garden State is both a gripping American success story and a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of our political system. It offers an insider’s perspective on the past fifty years of New Jersey politics, while presenting a compelling message about what leaders and citizens can do to improve the state’s future.

The Lesniak Institute for American Leadership is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies for maximum charitable contribution permitted by law. Our Federal Identification Number is 83-3629808.