TRENTON – Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, (D-15), Trenton told Department of Children and Families Commissioner Alison Blake Tuesday she is concerned that the annual women’s convention, which has long been held in Atlantic City, will be held in Trenton this year and has been reduced to just one day.
Blake said there were logistical difficulties in holding the event at Atlantic City, which was impacted by Superstorm Sandy, and that it “took attention away” from planning the annual event there.
Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce, (R-26), of Parsippany, who was sitting in on the Budget Committee hearing for the department and who previously served as assistant commissioner at the Department of Community Affairs, which used to be in charge of the event, acknowledged the difficulty in planning in light of the storm.
“To do the conference full blown would’ve been a monumental job,” she said.
Blake added that the convention itself has technically been a one-day event, though in prior years, a reception had taken place the preceding evening. That gala won’t take place this year, she said.
Coleman also noted that no prominent women would be giving the keynote address this year. Gov. Chris Christie will be giving the speech this year, who Blake said “qualifies as a national speaking figure.”
In previous years, the speeches were delivered by celebrities such as world-renowned poet Maya Angelou and TV personality Star Jones.
The convention will be held at the Trenton War Memorial a day before primary election day.