Lifelong Princeton resident Alvin McGowen to seek council seat

Alvin McGowen

Alvin McGowen, a lifelong resident of Princeton who was an assistant prosecutor for Mercer County for a quarter century, will seek a seat on the Princeton Council in the Democratic primary this June.

McGowen, a resident of the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood, is the sixth Democrat to announce a council bid after the two Democratic incumbents said last week that they will not seek reelection in November.

An advocate for affordable housing and smart planning, McGowen is the chairman of the municipality’s affordable housing board and has served on the board for two decades. He also serves on the boards of the Princeton Housing Authority and Princeton Future.

Affordable housing is at the top of the list of challenges Princeton will need to tackle in the coming years, McGowen said. The Mt. Laurel decision and pending litigation over affordable housing obligations for the municipality will be a challenge officials will need to address. The town will be required to build more affordable housing, but a judge has not ruled yet on how many units Princeton will be required to build. The decision could come any day.

“This will be a challenge given what some of the funding resources have been in the past, like low income tax credits,” McGowen said. “They will not be as valuable because of the president’s tax bill.”

Many residents are also dealing with increased property assessments and rising taxes, he said, adding that affordability overall is a concern. “Having grown up here, I’m acutely aware of the changes in town and the effects of gentrification,” he said.