Executive Order No. 54 (2019) -

Executive Order No. 54 (2019)

Tribute to the Life and Passing of Barbra "Babs" Casbar Siperstein.

WHEREAS, Barbra "Babs" Casbar Siperstein was a dedicated advocate and long-time activist for the transgender community; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein was born in 1942 as Barry Siperstein, grew up in Jersey City and served in the United States Army; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University and an MBA in Public Accounting from Pace University; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein was married to the love of her life, Carol Ann, for 34 years until Carol Ann's passing in 2001; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein was a devoted and beloved mother and grandmother; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein owned and operated Siperstein Fords Paint Corporation in Fords, New Jersey with her daughter and formerly bred and owned Standardbred race horses; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein transitioned when she was nearly 50 years old; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein was instrumental in the implementation of many successful measures to include transgender people in antibullying laws, bias crimes and non-discrimination laws, as well as general LGBTQ equality laws in New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein worked tirelessly to ban conversion therapy and to expand and improve the delivery of health care to transgender patients; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein was New Jersey's first transgender delegate to the Democratic National Convention; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein served on Governor-elect Jon Corzine's Labor and Workforce Development Policy Group after his election in 2005; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein co-authorized the Dallas Principles in 2009 and spoke at the National Equality March on the National Mall in Washington, DC that same year; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein became the first openly transgender member of the Democratic National Committee in 2009 and served on the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee from 2011 through 2017; and

WHEREAS, I had the pleasure to work with Babs Siperstein during her service on the Education, Access, and Opportunity Transition Advisory Committee prior to my inauguration in 2018; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein also served as Deputy Vice Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, Vice President of the bipartisan Women's Political Caucus of New Jersey, Political Director of the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey, President of the New Jersey Stonewall Democrats, Co-Chair of the National Stonewall Democrats Federal PAC Board, Vice Chair of Garden State Equality and as a member of the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein was a long-serving member of the Edison Township Municipal Alliance, a Trustee of Congregation Beth Mordecai in Perth Amboy, and served as President of the Regional Conservative Hebrew School of Northern Middlesex County; and

WHEREAS, the New Jersey Personal Liberty Fund's Honors Award, Jersey City's Lesbian and Gay Outreach's Vital Voice Award, Garden State Equality's John Adler Icon of Equality Award, New Leaders Council Equal Rights Award, the Pride Network's Stonewall Legal Award, the American Conference on Diversity 2015 Advocacy Humanitarian Award and Newark's African American Office of Gay Concerns' Marsha P. Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award were among the many distinguished awards given to Babs Siperstein for her exemplary service to the transgender community; and

WHEREAS, I am proud to have signed the Babs Siperstein Law in her honor to allow transgender people the option to self-identify their gender on their birth certificate, which went into effect just two days prior to her passing; and

WHEREAS, Babs Siperstein's presence will be greatly missed by her partner, children, grandchildren, many friends and the people of the State of New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, it is appropriate to celebrate the outstanding achievements and cherished memory of this extraordinary role model and to mark the passing of Babs Siperstein, whose legacy will help to improve the lives of so many transgender people for generations to come;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PHILIP D. MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes of this State, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities during appropriate hours on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, in recognition and mourning of the passing of this trailblazing woman, Barbra Casbar Siperstein.

2. This Order shall take effect immediately.

(Published February 22, 2011 in the New Jersey Register at 43 N.J.R. 333(b). Published February 5, 2019 in the New Jersey Register at 51 N.J.R. 283(a).)

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