The Princeton Community Housing Development Corp. and Princeton Community Housing join with the larger community to mourn the death of former mayor of Princeton Borough Marvin Reed. A champion of and advocate for affordable housing enabling, among other things, the expansion of Princeton Community Housing’s senior community, Harriet Bryan House, Marvin was a model public servant. The phrase from Otto von Bismarck, “politics is the art of the possible” comes to mind. Marvin Reed’s artful, solutions-oriented approach to government and public service was to build consensus around achievable projects that benefit people and continue efforts to build support for what’s right, despite opposition, helping to broker productive accommodations as circumstances change.
Marvin was a longstanding supporter of the idea of local transportation. The Free B, the municipal local Princeton jitney service instituted in 2008with the support of Princeton University (unfortunately suspended currently due to the pandemic), was an initiative spearheaded by Marvin Reed. Although it had been contemplated that the Free B bus service would be instrumental in providing transportation to local rail commuters to the Princeton Dinky station, it turned out that fewer commuters than anticipated used the Free B service. However, by cutting some of the routes for rail commuters, the town was able to expand neighborhood Free B service, including an increase in the number of shuttle runs from Elm Court and Harriet Bryan House to the Princeton Senior Resource Center.
Indeed, it was a godsend for residents of other Princeton Community Housing communities as well. In her capacity as a member of the municipality’s public transit advisory committee, Princeton Community Village resident Debbie Disher attended the ceremony unveiling the new bus named in honor of Marvin Reed that was donated to the town by Princeton University in 2016. Disher commented that she rides the Free B shuttle all the time. “It is so dependable and always there,” Disher said. “I come to the library a lot and can get anywhere I need to go in town. It’s great because you don’t have to worry about parking.”
We miss Marvin Reed and extend heartfelt condolences to his family.
Valerie Haynes, Princeton Community Housing Community Board Chair
Alice K. Small, Princeton Community Housing Development Corp. Board Chair
Sara Just, Princeton Community Housing PR and Advocacy Committee Chair
Ed Truscelli, Princeton Community Housing Executive Director