Common Cause NewJersey

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Common Cause New Jersey was founded to take up the interests of New Jersey citizens by challenging the influence of special interest money, while advancing the role of citizens in setting our government's agenda. For decades, Common Cause New Jersey has served as the eyes, ears and voice of citizens in the fight for fair, honest and open government. Drawing our strength from our over 10,000 state members and online activists, we advocate for ethical conduct of elected officials, fight big money in politics, work to make government more accountable to all citizens, and help assure that elections are honest, inclusive and verifiable.

Some of our landmark successes include:


  • Common Cause New Jersey’s “Pay-to-Play” reform bill became state law, and has been touted by the New York Times and national campaign finance experts as the strongest in the nation. This law limits the trading of lucrative state public contracts for political campaign contributions.

  • Common Cause New Jersey has been the driving force behind the restitution of the Office of the Public Advocate. Consumers and citizens throughout the State will now be protected from the unfair treatment of special interests. 
  • Common Cause New Jersey spearheaded the passage of numerous election reform laws in our state Legislature, all aimed at increasing voter participation and ensuring that every citizen’s vote is accurately counted.

  • Our model reform ordinances, requiring developers to disclose their political contributions, limiting political contributions of public contractors, and opening the closed shop of government appointments have been passed in over 160 municipalities throughout the State!