Click play for audio version of this story
The most recent violent incidents in our capital city are tragic and heartbreaking. Regardless of the sources of any individual conflicts, these crimes also underscore why we must improve living conditions and the economies of our cities.
All of our citizens should have equal opportunities and not have to resort to violence as a solution to problems. If people are occupied by soul-satisfying, well-paying work every day, they will be building a great life for themselves and vastly improving their chances for a great future free of such violence. Trenton, my hometown, suffers from a double-digit unemployment rate, a household median income of roughly $35,000, a poverty rate of 27%, and an abysmal 37% rate of home ownership.
We must do better on improving the lives of many urban residents by having leaders in the Assembly who will work to drive greater economic development directly into our cities.
One way we can do this is by encouraging and incentivizing warehouse businesses, like the ones just off the New Jersey Turnpike, to stop building huge football-field size warehouses on our beautiful Central New Jersey suburban and rural farmland – and instead, build their future warehouses on former, reclaimed brownfields and large, vacant plots in our urban areas.
As a lifelong resident and civically engaged Trentonian, I can assure any such warehouse distribution company owner that our citizens would welcome them with open arms if they brought their warehouses and jobs to Trenton. There are good people in Trenton who would like to build careers and futures for themselves and their families if given a chance and real access to these warehouse distribution jobs.
That is what I will work for as their new Assemblyperson in LD15 if I am elected. We must be bold and change our destiny. If we do that now, then we can help to begin curbing the endless cycle of violence and multi-generational poverty afflicting so many of our fellow citizens.
Jennifer Williams is the Trenton Republican Municipal Chairman and a candidate for the New Jersey State Assembly in the 15th district.