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The Trenton Forward Plan

 

I’m running for mayor to move the city of Trenton in a vastly different direction: forward. For the last 10 years or more, our city has been eroding. With the right leadership, we can turn that around.

 

This race will be about the past vs. the future. As we look in the rearview mirror, we see decades of failure, thanks to self-centered politicians who were not focused on the issues that matter most to the people of Trenton. Going forward, we need a new leadership strategy that reflects a true partnership with citizens from all segments of our community, working together to solve the biggest issues we face.

 

This is the first part of my comprehensive plan to move the City of Trenton forward. In it, I cover four major goals and highlight some of the strategies to accomplish them:

  1. Tackle crime with a plan that sets forth realistic goals, for which we will hold ourselves accountable.

  2. Establish a public education system that closes the achievement gap and increases the graduation rate.

  3. Create jobs through a comprehensive economic development plan that increases median incomes.

  4. Reinvent government by establishing a city government that is efficient, accountable and ethical.

 

We cannot transform Trenton if we continue to be divided by race, poverty and politics. They say it takes a village to raise a child. I believe it takes the voices of four wards, 44 districts and 85,000 people to raise a city up to everything it aspires to be. We must reach outside our city’s borders to engage the entire region in moving Trenton forward. Our creativity is limited only by our imagination, and together we can imagine a better future.

Public Safety

 

Turning the “Capital City” into a “Safe City” is our number one priority. True public safety will require a multi-layered approach. Our point: the Trenton Police Department will be required to collaborate with regional authorities to devise smarter strategies. By way of example, the recent merger of Trenton’s Vice Unit with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office best reflects this approach. This initiative must be expanded to include state and federal agencies so we can have the resources Trenton needs to get illegal drugs and gangs off our city streets.

 

Gun violence, in particular, is a major concern for our city. This is an issue that matters to every member of our community. My administration will treat gun violence as a public health issue, understanding that youth violence, in particular, stems from risk factors at home or at school. Law enforcement will work in partnership with health and human services, as well as community organizations, in order to identify factors that lead to crime and solving them.

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Our goal is to reduce Trenton’s Crime Index by 40% over the next four years. Here are the actions we will take to get there:

 

Education

 

Education is another way of saying opportunity. However, in order for public education to truly work, it’s one opportunity that requires an elaborate partnership between parents, teachers, coaches and administrators. Much like five fingers aren’t strong on their own, they make a fist when you pull them together. Public education is no different. As it stands today, less than 50-percent of our young people are graduating high school. We can – and we must – do better.

 

Inspiring students to become life learners and take responsibility for their education will become a recurring theme for my administration. Our goal is to close the student achievement gap and increase graduation rates to 75-percent within the next four years.

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Here’s our plan:

 

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Jobs & The Economy

 

Part of moving Trenton forward is getting Trenton back to work. Today, Trenton’s unemployment rate is in double-digits, increasingly higher than the state average. What’s more, the city’s median income is through the floor at $36,727 (source: 2012 Census Data). To make matters worse, Trenton is actually losing wealth. The value of property on which we can charge a property tax has dwindled to $1,961,049,170, a 2.4% loss over one year (source: Trenton’s Tax Office).

 

Our goal is two-fold: to increase the city’s ratable base while simultaneously driving up median incomes. Here’s our plan to do just that:

 

Reinventing City Government

 

The residents of Trenton deserve a city government that works for us – not against us. For that to occur, we must reinvent, rethink and reorganize Trenton’s municipal government.

 

Under my administration, the-taxpayer-comes-first-mentality will be installed as the new model for customer service. Residents are customers first and we must do a much better job of serving their needs.

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Reinventing government isn’t going to be easy. But then again, nothing that truly makes a difference in people’s lives is ever easy.

Here’s our plan to reinvent municipal government: 

 

HELP MAKE THIS VISION A REALITY