New website to tout all that's good about NJ

The News Leader

June 21, 2010 5:26:32 AM PDT
You're from New Jersey. You happen to love your state. And when it's the punch line of any joke from a TV talking head or your uncle from Arkansas, you're not laughing.

Fear not, oh thick-skinned Jerseyites - the Garden State now has a place where it won't get picked on. is a new website designed to rally state residents who are tired of the putdowns about pollution, wisecracks about wise guys, and cheap shots about corruption. And with growing companion Facebook and Twitter pages, state residents can now sound off online about their embattled Jersey pride.

No matter what exit they're off of.

"It seems like everyone else is saying what New Jersey is all about except people from New Jersey," said Gerry Wilson, CEO of Red Bank-based High Point Auto Insurance. "We just thought it was a good idea to fight the stereotypes."

High Point is the founding sponsor of this initiative, with seven other corporate sponsors joining the fight. They have put up two billboards on the New Jersey Turnpike and one on the Atlantic City Expressway, each featuring its very green Jersey Doesn't Stink logo.

Online, the main page features a video of a talking air-freshener, played by pine-fresh actor Anthony DeVito, who goes around Hoboken and New York City gathering opinions about New Jersey.

Most of them are not positive, but DeVito declares at the end that he is "sick and tired of all the Jersey bashing out there...the fight begins now."

So more videos are coming.

As of Wednesday, was approaching 1,000 people who are "standing up for New Jersey," and the Facebook page had over 1,400 fans. Wilson said people can post their own videos or voices on the pages. There are also promotional items such as T-shirts, hats and mugs for sale "at cost," according to Wilson.

"It's just a good opportunity for people to fight back and say what they think about New Jersey instead of what other people outside the state are saying," he added.

Wilson acknowledged the timing of the campaign does have to do somewhat with the proliferation of television shows that present the state in a light that is, well, slightly rough around the edges.

Wilson said he believed the same "stupid, silly stereotypes" when he moved here from Michigan 10 years ago. But now, he's Jersey proud.

"Then I realized about how wrong I was," he said. "This is a fantastic sate. I love living here. The people are great. There are so many different things to do - and don't even get me started about the food."