by Raymond Devine
A Chestnut Hill College graduate was recently named number three on a list of the 100 most influential millennials in New Jersey politics.
In June, InsiderNJ, a nonpartisan political news website in New Jersey, listed Kate Delany ’01 as the third most influential up-and-comer in New Jersey politics in its feature “2019 Insider 100: Millennials Publication.”
“It was a shock, and an honor, to be on the list, but an even bigger shock to be named number three,” Delany said.
In the feature, InsiderNJ explained the reasoning behind selecting Delany for the number three spot: “The Chair of the Collingswood Democratic Committee, she [Delany] led the insurgent Collingswood Progressive Committee group of 16 candidates who unseated the incumbents in the June primary, winning control of the local party in the South Jersey town and dealing a local defeat against the party machine. It was arguably the biggest victory for progressives on a night during which most of the machine-backed candidates won across the state.”
How did Delany do this? The nuts and bolts of this campaign were, in her words, “a team effort.”
“We ran a grassroots campaign with a strong attempt to educate the voters to think for themselves and to not accept the machine candidates, to not buy into the top-down effort of the machine,” she said.
But perhaps a question of greater consequence is this: Why did Delany do this? It’s not evident at first glance. Delany majored in English at Chestnut Hill College. She earned a master’s degree in English from Rutgers University. And now she teaches English at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. So what caused her to head off into politics and political strategy?
Delany thinks the answer to this question rests in her undergraduate days at the College when she joined a social justice club. The experience she acquired in the group, such as learning about the death penalty and the history of U.S. sanctions against Iran, was critical in developing her social conscience. From that time forward, she made certain to stay informed about local, national, and global issues.
“I try to think globally and act locally,” Delany said. “I try to do as much as I can for my community and country to make sure there is good representation and democratic principles.”
The College’s mission influenced the trajectory of her life as well.
“I value the Christian progressive values held at Chestnut Hill College and those values the Sisters of Saint Joseph embody,” she said.
About the nation’s current attitude toward politics, Delany said, “People are feeling polarized and helpless.”
The path to solving this dilemma, Delany believes, is one she successfully traveled down only a few months ago.
“If they would jump in locally and start running for office, a lot of impact could be generated,” she said.
For more information, please visit www.insidernj.com/2019-insider-nj-100-millennials/.