Some of you may know Jennifer (Jenni) Rogers, owner of Randolph Tennis/Pickleball Center, a six court indoor club. Her business has been shut down by Governor Murphy since March 14. With no opening date in site, bills mounting and a large staff of tennis professionals who have been out of work for a few months, it became a matter of desperation to get them back to work.
When Governor Murphy issued an executive order allowing outdoor tennis, Jenni took on the expense and turned her parking lot into two lined courts with temporary fencing to get her staff working again. When she did this, she hung up her business name and logo on it. Instead of hanging up wind screens, Jenni decided to gather banners of other NJ Businesses which are also closed to show support and representation to hang along the fences as a silent protest. She gained so many banners and heard so many stories of hurting businesses that she decided to gather some of them together and have a rally of support on May 30.
These business are being ignored by the Governor. If they could just get a date about when they could reopen and let them know what the restrictions would be would have been a help. But small businesses are never mentioned at the news conferences.
There were business owners and politicians who both spoke and supported the cause. Jenni even gave away $2,500 of her own money to a struggling business at the end of the event.
The event was a positive experience. Jenni gave out face masks and marked six feet spaces with tape in the parking lot and marked the grass area with paint to encourage social distancing.
One week later she came home to TWO summons that carry up to $2,000 in fines along with up to one year in jail.
After sleeping on it and seeing the overwhelming support, Jenni has decided to fight the fines and to file a civil rights lawsuit to continue to fight for all of our rights to not only open our businesses but to speak freely.
This however will not be cheap. She will need our help paying both her fines and her attorney fees to see this through to the end. As you can image, it takes a lot of courage to take a stand like this especially when your own business is completely shut down. We are asking all of you to contribute whatever you can so we can help Jenni in this fight and defense of not only herself but all of us.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!
- Mark M
- stephen Godsall
- Elena Rice