Neumann Will Address Princeton’s Housing Issues
To the Editor:
I do not know Anne Waldron Neumann personally. However, my wife Marjorie and I are supporting actively her candidacy for Princeton Council in the election on June 7th because of all the candidates, she has expressed most clearly and persuasively a plan to deal with the housing situation in town. Princeton prospers in part because of its diversity. Princeton pleases in part because of the look of its neighborhoods, which is inviting rather than forbidding. The current spate of teardowns (increasing alarmingly in the last year) threatens both of these aspects without offering any advantages to Princeton. There are other important issues to consider in this election, but I think that we must capture this moment to have a Council member who will address the housing issue in a timely and productive fashion. Anne’s vision for Princeton includes these principles:
- We lower property taxes so that Princetonians of all ages, ethnicities, and income levels can remain here.
- Our municipal government talks to us and listens to us speak.
- We benefit from neighborhood advisory councils.
- Our town council negotiates firmly and openly with Princeton University.
- We zone proactively, shaping development to suit our needs.
- We protect existing neighborhoods with anti-McMansion laws.
- We provide affordable housing.
- We help residents age in place.
- We facilitate pedestrian, bicycle, and public transit and ensure their safety.
- Our downtown has local businesses where we can shop and meet.
- We benefit from a volunteer advisory board on economic development.
- We balance economic development and social well-being with environmental protection.
- It all sounds good to me.
Elect Anne Waldron Neumann on June 7th.
Very Sincerely Yours,
Crumiller Committed to Community Service
To the Editor:
Princeton Democrats are fortunate to have four excellent people running for two spots on Princeton Council, but I write today to single out one outstanding candidate who I have had the pleasure of knowing for many years: Jenny Crumiller. I first met Jenny Crumiller in her days as a community activist. Since then I have worked closely with her through her time as a Democratic Party leader, and served with her on Princeton Borough Council. While her roles have changed over the years, Jenny Crumiller’s commitment to community service has not wavered. She has always been a diligent and hard-working advocate for Princeton’s neighborhoods, and has been unafraid to ask tough questions and make hard choices.
In her current work on Council, Jenny Crumiller sits on two committees of the Planning Board: the Master Plan Subcommittee and the Zoning Amendment Review Committee. Both boards require deep dedication and strong awareness of how policies on paper impact day-to-day life, and Jenny Crumiller has a proven record of defending the character of our town. She also serves on the least glamorous, but arguably the most vital, of our local boards: the Sewer Operating Committee. Without exploring the work of the SOC in depth, let me just say that the fiscal and public health of our community is greatly dependent upon them, and it is important that experienced Council Members such as Jenny Crumiller continue to serve on this body.
Over the years, Jenny Crumiller and I have not always found ourselves on the same side of the many issues that have arisen in Princeton. But we have maintained a strong working relationship and personal friendship in spite of the occasional policy difference. As elected leaders, this is what we are expected to do, but such collegiality is becoming rare these days. With Jenny Crumiller, Princeton has an elected official who recognizes that those who come before her to voice their opinions share with her a common goal, the greater good of all Princetonians, and for that they deserve her respect and a fair hearing.
And for her years of hard work and love of Princeton, Jenny Crumiller deserves another term on Council. I will vote for her, and I hope you will too.
Very truly yours,
Andrew Koontz, Mercer County Freeholder
Quinn Devoted to Community Service
To the Editor:
To run for Princeton Council, and to be elected and serve, is an act of connecting, giving, helping, and ultimately, service. When I think about the candidates for Princeton Council in this way, I know a vote for Tim Quinn will be a vote well-cast.
In recent letters, I’ve seen residents comment on Tim’s committed service to Princeton, from his work at the library to that on the Board of Education and Planning Board. One thing people may not know is that Tim’s service extends to some of the most vulnerable members of the Mercer County community, the young people who take shelter through the services of the Anchor House in Trenton.
I’ve known Tim for 10 years, getting to know him through his Anchor House work and being roommates with him on the Anchor House Ride for Runaways. The annual bike ride fundraiser helps support Anchor House’s critical programs and services, and I know how much work Tim puts in to make the Ride a success. Tim’s the secretary of the Anchor House Foundation and Co-Chair of the Ride for Runaways, so while a week of riding can be a lot of fun, it’s also a week of work for Tim. He’s been involved for 25 years and always puts the mission of the Anchor House and service to kids first.
I feel it is this type of service and commitment to the community that speaks highly of Tim, and that recommends him as an excellent choice for Council.
Fraga Will Work Hard and Listen
One of the reasons why we decided to live in Princeton is because of the town’s international character. The range of different accents you can hear is immense and it makes you smile when you realize where everybody comes from.
The fact that this year Leticia Fraga is running for the Princeton Municipal Council is further evidence of this town’s diversity. I believe Leticia’s contribution to the Council would be crucial. She has shown her hard work in her different roles through the years. On the Human Services Commision she has fought to make sure everyone’s rights are guaranteed. At the Library, she has helped issue Mercer ID cards every other Thursday. She is focused on helping all individuals access housing, advocating for the need to have paid sick days, and advocating for the environment. Last but not least, she blends in with the community whether she is biking, face painting or standing against salary theft. These are the reasons that make her the candidate I most respect.
As a good Latina, Leticia will listen and work kindly with this town and she will support those who contribute with their very needed labor that makes our town appealing and dynamic. Therefore I encourage all Princetonians and Latino Princetonians to register and vote for her in the election for Council on June 7.
Crumiller Responsive to Residents’ Concerns
I am writing to endorse Jenny Crumiller for re-election to the Princeton Town Council. In the past few years there has been significant development in my neighborhood that concerns me. Being new to an understanding of Princeton politics, I asked my neighbors for advice. They all told me that I should contact Jenny Crumiller, as she would be able to offer me practical advice on how to respond. Following their advice, I reached out to Jenny and found her responsive and helpful in addressing my concerns.
Going forward I believe Princeton has serious issues we need to address. One of these that we see all around us is the ubiquitous teardowns of small houses with replacement mansions that are changing the charming small town feel of Princeton. Others that concern me are the increasing traffic with its impact on walkability, and the ever increasing property taxes and reduced affordability of houses. I know there aren’t easy solutions to these problems, but with Jenny’s record on the Town Council I am confident that we have a candidate with the experience to address these.
If you believe in maintaining the quality of life in Princeton that makes this a great place to live, vote for Jenny Crumiller in the upcoming Democratic Primary on June 7.
Quinn Works to Build Consensus
To the Editor:
We support Tim Quinn for Princeton Council because of his exceptional public service to Princeton in several critical areas. In addition to his service with distinction on the Board of Education for nearly seven years, Tim has been serving on the Planning Board for the last three years. Because of his work ethic and consensus building leadership abilities, he has become Chair of the Planning Board’s Zoning Amendment Review Committee as well as being appointed to the newly formed Neighborhood Study Zoning Group. As a member of the Planning Board’s Subdivision Committee, Tim pushed for greater public transparency and better notification to neighbors of changes that will affect them.
One of Tim’s issues of concern is housing “tear downs” and the type of replacement housing which can substantially change the character of neighborhoods and could ultimately price out current and future residents of moderate income. In these roles, Tim has demonstrated firm commitment to manage change while preserving neighborhood character to keep middle class residents at the forefront of his decisions. His work will help to determine the future of Princeton’s housing, demographics and character for decades.
Tim was selected for these positions for his good judgment, community values, good listening skills and the ability to work well with a variety of people and organizations with different viewpoints to build consensus, which is no small thing in our current world.
Tim got his early political experience working for George McGovern as a 14 year old canvassing in the mill towns outside Philadelphia. He has shown through his public service to this community that he is an outstanding candidate to represent and work hard for all in Princeton.
We support Tim Quinn for Princeton Council and urge others to do likewise when they vote on June 7, or earlier by Absentee Ballot.
Grace and Frank Sinden
Fraga a Woman of Action
Only two weeks remain until we head to the polls for the New Jersey primary elections. Like us, you’re probably wringing your hands about recent developments at the national level.
While we can’t claim any special insight about that contest, we’re happy to report that closer to home the choice looks a lot clearer.
Two seats are open on the Princeton Council. Of the four candidates vying for your vote, we feel strongly that Leticia Fraga is the best choice.
Leticia built her career in government, working at the municipal, county and federal levels. In Seattle, throughout Washington State and overseas, she developed the kinds of expertise in civil rights enforcement, police-community relations, fair housing, and human service provision that Princeton sorely needs.
As chair of various commissions and boards, from the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund to the YWCA, Princeton Community Housing, Send Hunger Packing Princeton, and the Civil Rights Committee of Human Services, Leticia has impressed colleagues with her willingness to work hard, listen carefully, ask tough questions, reflect honestly, and speak with candor.
Don’t let her wide smile and warm demeanor fool you: Leticia can be tenacious, and she is a woman of action. She is responsible for the return of the Mercer County ID program to town. Since being introduced in Princeton in 2011, community IDs have been embraced by cities from New York to Philadelphia as a means of fostering inclusion among residents. Now, thanks to Leticia, each week a team of volunteers from Princeton High School, Princeton University and the wider community issue IDs to qualified residents out of a space in our wonderful Public Library.
A native speaker of Spanish, Leticia has led “Know Your Rights” trainings for various at-risk groups in town. She has also done outreach to and advocated on behalf of more than twenty unaccompanied minor refugees who fled violence in their home nations and now attend Princeton Public Schools.
As Vice Chair of Princeton’s municipal Human Services Commission, Leticia has spearheaded the movement to revive an independent Civil Rights Commission. Created in the late 1960s to mediate allegations of discrimination in housing, employment, education, and access to services, that Commission lost its independent stature in the 1990s. Leticia understands that an independent Civil Rights Commission fosters community trust and saves taxpayers money by avoiding costly lawsuits.
Our country stands at a crossroads. Bigotry is on the march. We have the opportunity to make history. In a town that talks a lot about diversity, Leticia will be the first person of Latino/a heritage on Princeton Council.
Leticia understands that our town thrives on opportunity, affordability, transparency and inclusion.
We support her because we admire her talents, appreciate her values, and trust her instincts. At the end of the day, what else is there?
We hope you will join us in electing Fraga for Council on Tuesday, June 7th.
Anastasia Mann, Lilac Lane
Janice Fine, Nassau Street
Carol Golden, Snowden Lane
Patricia Fernandez-Kelly, Mason Drive
Dorothea von Moltke, Linwood Circle
Crumiller Works to Seek Solutions
To the Editor:
I am writing to support Jenny Crumiller’s candidacy for re-election to Princeton Council. As an elected official, Jenny has been a forceful advocate for the preservation of our neighborhoods, our environment, and our identity as a progressive and inclusive community. She understands the complexities of the issues that face Princeton and can be counted on to continue a record of smart and thoughtful service to her constituents.
Jenny’s interest in preserving Princeton as an affordable community with excellent public schools and a small town atmosphere started shortly after she moved here. I first met her in 1992 when she helped lead a grueling neighborhood struggle to save the residential character of Harris Road. The experience led Jenny to municipal politics where she has worked consistently to inform citizens of proposals that will affect them, intelligently vet development projects, and spend taxpayer dollars wisely.
Thanks to Jenny’s willingness to examine financial details, Princeton received a payment of $85,000 for its easement to the Post Office building instead of the zero dollars offered by the developer. Thanks to her leadership, Princeton is about to open a much-needed group home for the developmentally disabled. And, thanks to her persistence, Planning Board hearings are now televised. These are just a few of her accomplishments, many behind the scenes and unsung, during her term on the Princeton Council.
If Jenny has a weakness in electoral politics, it lies in her aversion to self-promotion. She would rather get the job done than worry about who gets credit for it. Her extensive community service and involvement with local nonprofits includes more than a decade of active service on the board of the Princeton Committee of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a creative effort to bring media attention to opposition to the 2003 Iraq war, and extensive collaborative work to help promote progressive policies and candidates.
Jenny is the person you want to have on speed dial to talk to when faced with a problem or challenge. She is a doer who works on the solution side of the aisle. I urge Princeton Democrats to support her for re-election to another term on Council.
Quinn a Natural Leader
To The Editor:
I write in support of Tim Quinn for Princeton Council. I first met Tim when I served as Chair of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library. In addition to his considerable skills as a communicator, it became obvious to me that he is a natural leader as well. We collaborated on many fund-raising projects for the Friends His suggestions and solutions to questions were always thoughtful and in the best interests of everyone involved.
Tim’s leadership was certainly apparent when he led the successful effort to keep the library open after superstorm Sandy With the library director out of state, Tim spear-headed the huge effort to keep our library open and running. For days after the storm, he was there around the clock, making sure we had a warm, safe place to shelter and stay connected to the outside world. He won a national award for that work. It came as no surprise to me. I had seen his leadership skills for years.
He will make a splendid member of Princeton Council.
Crumiller a Dedicated Public Servant
To the Editor:
I write in support of re-electing Jenny Crumiller to Princeton Council in the Democratic Primary on June 7.
Whatever the endeavor, Jenny provides a breath of fresh air and an open mind. Not one to take the status quo as a given, Jenny is always asking, how can we do things better? And how can we get more people involved and included?
This has been true throughout the 25 years that I’ve known and collaborated with Jenny. It began with neighborhood preservation efforts in the 1990s. In the next decade, she motivated the production of an antiwar TV ad featuring dozens of local people, and then spearheaded efforts efforts to open up and democratize the local Democratic Party. She brought a level of professionalism and organization that made the Princeton Democratic headquarters in 2004 and 2008 a regional hub for campaign volunteers.
Others have written about her dedicated service in public office as a Councilwoman. Now she is one of four candidates seeking the two seats up for election this year. The fact that we have a robust field of candidates, competing openly, is thanks in large part to the challenge Jenny made to a then-closed party process over a decade ago. At the time, it wasn’t the popular thing to do, but it was obviously the right thing to do.
While Jenny has already accomplished a lot, it’s clear to me that she’s just getting started! Please join me in supporting her for another term on Council.
Quinn the Best Choice for Council
To the Editor,
I am convinced Tim Quinn is the best choice for Princeton Council. I met Tim at the Princeton Public Library when we worked together to bring the Festival Cultural Latino to Hinds Plaza. Not only was Tim very helpful in promoting a successful event, he was part of the library team that decided to co-sponsor the festival to celebrate all Latino people.
As I watched the campaign and learned about Tim’s experience as president of the Princeton Board of Education and on the Planning Board, I realized that he is the most qualified of the candidates. One of the best things I discovered about Tim is his humility — none of what he does is about him, it is all about Princeton.
I urge you to vote for Tim Quinn in June 7 Democratic primary.
Crumiller Determined to Tackle Issues
To the Editor:
Jenny Crumiller is seeking re-election in the Primary on June 7. As a Council colleague, I know firsthand of Jenny’s dedication, her insight, her sense of justice and fair play, her willingness to work hard on our toughest challenges, and the value her experience brings to our deliberations.
Jenny got her start in local politics as a neighborhood organizer, so I know that her concern for Princeton’s most vulnerable neighborhoods is genuine, deep, and began well before the tear-down craze. She volunteered to serve on Planning Board as a way to protect the character of our iconic neighborhoods, even when it meant additional evening meetings where tough decisions can often leave both sides feeling frustrated and angry. I admire Jenny’s determination to research issues, to understand the nuances of the law, and to advocate for change when she thinks we don’t have it quite right. She will also speak truth to special interest groups when she believes we do have it right.
Local government doesn’t offer many win-win opportunities. More often, we are balancing competing interests and making difficult decisions that involve trade-offs. Jenny has excellent instincts, whether she is negotiating on behalf of residents or crafting solutions of compromise. She is fearless when others falter and seeks compromise when others quarrel.
Jenny led the conversation on the purchase of a home for our residents with disabilities that also earned credits for our Affordable Housing obligation. Jenny had the idea that the Planning Board meetings should be televised for the benefit of our residents, and she didn’t stop pushing until it became a reality. Jenny understood instinctively that the Post Office easements had value and that we had an obligation to realize that value on behalf of our residents. She led the compromise that helped us acquire a valuable property for Open Space at a fair price.
Jenny is a hardworking public servant. She brings a unique perspective, always listening to the minority voices and advocating for the least among us. She is a fair and tireless worker on behalf of Princeton residents, as well as a valuable colleague. I am voting for Jenny, and I hope you will, too.
Jo Butler, Councilperson
Re-Elect Jenny Crumiller to Council
I first met Jenny Crumiller in 2003 when she was organizing a protest against George Bush’s push to declare war on Iraq. Her idea was unique: make a film of citizens saying why the United States should not go to war and play it on cable stations in Washington, DC, as an advertisement during the President Bush’s State of the Union Speech.
Everyone in Princeton was encouraged to participate, and they did. People came from the tree Streets, from the Western Section, from the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood, from the Borough, and from the Township to say why they were against the war.
The film was made, the ads were scheduled. And then, suddenly CNN said they couldn’t show the ad. This made news—it made the Bill Moyers program, where it was discussed in front of a national audience, instead of the local markets where it had been scheduled to run.
This was at the time when Jenny, who had three young children, was attending Rutgers, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Jenny went on to become active in local politics. She broke through the impenetrable Princeton Community Democratic Organization by recruiting people to join. She opened up the organization, created the PCDO book club, and established ad hoc committees to work on issues of concern. She also opened up the Democratic Party in Princeton to competitive elections.
She was active in supporting candidates on the national level—from John Kerry to Barak Obama—and recruiting candidates on the local level, Mayor Liz Lempert among them.
She supported consolidation of the two Princetons and won a council seat on the new municipal council. I am happy that she is running again because the important work of consolidation has not yet been completed and we need the continuity of her knowledge in this effort, as well as her creativity in problem solving.
One of Princeton’s most famous immigrants, Albert Einstein, said, “To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself.” To “punish” Jenny for challenging the political establishment, fate has made her an incumbent in a competitive race.
We hope you will join us in supporting Jenny Crumiller for Council—we believe she has the perception to work for change while at the same time respecting consistency and tradition.
Scotia W. MacRae
Richard S. Blofson