Respect. Honor. Commitment. Trenton.
On City Council and in our city, we must respect each other and ourselves. No questions asked.
We must bring honor to ourselves, our neighborhoods and our city. Honor doesn’t cost a thing, but brings you so much.
We must make a commitment to our city, our fellow citizens and ourselves to go the extra mile and work to make Trenton better every single day. A great journey takes a first, committed step.
ISSUES & IDEAS
Stabilized and More Homeownership
In the next City Council’s term, we must have decision-making that helps our city to create more affordable housing and more home ownership. In our state, we have a difficult tension between Trenton and our surrounding suburbs over affordable housing. Trenton needs to have affordable market-rate housing to placate our own needs, but we also must create the conditions for developers to come and build higher-quality projects at an affordable price. Renters and potential homeowners will both benefit.
According to the recent U.S. Census, only 39% of Trentonians own their home. That is abysmal and we must increase that percentage so more Trentonians who want to own a home can do so and eventually build legacy wealth for themselves and their families. Let alone have good, decent housing to live in. I believe that City Council has a critical role in such development through its review of development project that involve our city government and advising the Administration on whether to proceed or not.
City Council must not become a roadblock to positive development, but should never cede its role as a check and balance regarding new or speculative projects in Trenton.
Equality in Public Safety
Re-making Trenton into a place where more Trentonians can live, work and play doesn’t just hinge on economic development – we must become a safer city. City Council can have a major impact on that through the City's fire department and police department budgets. We must ensure that our firemen and women, along with our police department - have the best equipment and training that our city can afford in a timely manner.
That said, City Council also has a role in how personnel issues are guided from the top down on occasion through its power of approving the hiring of leaders for our police and fire department. A major factor in the decisions that is how our emergency responders will respond to incidents and issues. Especially, in regard to law enforcement.
Every Trentonian wants streets that are not only paved - but are safe to walk down. Every Trentonian should feel safe and at ease when they see a member of our police force – no matter what that Trentonian looks like, who they are or where they live.
My approach to policing and protecting our community is this:
EQUALITY in our public safety.
As one Trentonian said to me recently, "Are our police "Protect and Serve" police or something else?" Though many of our officers are good ones who serve us well in our community, many Trentonians fear encountering our force. In the next City Council term, I will do my best to build upon the work of many others to help create and foster trust between our police and our citizenry. We must do so if we are to have a truly safe city for citizen and officer alike.
Arts, Athletics & Hustle
In Trenton, we are rich - in the number of successful artists, performers and athletes we claim as our own; the outstanding talent that is developed here; and the amount of unlimited grit, hustle, and drive in so many Trentonians. How else can one explain how Athing Mu, Terence “The Heat” Cauthen, Ike Williams, Ernie Kovacs, Sarah Dash, Judith Light, Daniella Cotton, Richard Kind and so many others having so much success? We have much to be proud of and many fellow Trentonians whom we can celebrate!
We must continue and encourage this Administration and future Administrations to expand and support our city’s artistic and historical offerings when times are easy and hard. We already have some good things happening now like Art All Day, the Levitt AMP Concert Series, Trenton Film Festival, Artworks, Passage Theater, the Old Barracks and so many others. Thank you to all those involved in our arts and athletics communities for your hard work and inspiration while representing Trenton so well. On City Council, you will always have a friend in me.
Trenton Costs Too Much, Gives Too Little
I have met too many people of all ages who complain about our high real estate taxes and insurance costs. I have also met former Trentonians who moved from our capital city and can’t see themselves coming back. They feel this way because our taxes are too high and they don’t get enough for their taxes. We need to improve our tax structure and increase our ratables before another generation of Trentonians decides to move to the suburbs or beyond.. Trentonians of all ages should be able to afford to stay here if they want to and get more for their investment in our city.
Additionally, many long-time residents feel that they haven’t gotten their money’s worth for decades. While we can’t change our state’s tax system overnight – we can help look for ways to find relief for our city’s property owners. Especially, our senior homeowners who deserve to be able to afford their real estate taxes in their golden years. Our next City Council must work with the next Administration to find opportunities for equitable solutions to real estate taxes increases. If we do not, we may not survive as a functional, solvent city and Trenton may become economically-stratified into a city where only the wealthy may own their homes.