What people say about Jenny: Letters

Whatever the Endeavor, Crumiller Provides A Breath of Fresh Air and An Open Mind

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 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.

Dan Preston

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

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

If Crumiller Has a Weakness in Politics, It Lies in Her Aversion to Self-Promotion

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 nonprofit groups 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.

Virginia Kerr

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 against Iraq, and play in 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. I am the mother of one, stepmother of two, and I can only marvel.

Jenny went on to become active in local politics. She broke through the impenetrable PCDO by recruiting people to join. She opened up the organization, created the PCDO book club, and established ad hoc committees about 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

Supporting Jenny Crumiller in the Democratic Primary Because of Her Record of Promoting Progressive Values

To the Editor:

We are supporting Jenny Crumiller in the upcoming Democratic primary election. Jenny has a strong record of promoting progressive values, from her decades-long support and involvement with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Princeton Committee, her anti-war activities, her opposition to the use of torture, and her support for progressive Democratic candidates, to her current work on the Council.

Jenny brought forth Princeton’s resolution supporting the Anti-Corruption Act, which is federal campaign finance reform legislation. Princeton became the first town in New Jersey to pass this resolution, which now has growing support across the country. She also introduced an anti-fracking ordinance and a resolution opposing the pipeline on the Ridge and calling for additional safety measures. She has supported anti-wage theft measures as well as policies limiting local police involvement in immigration enforcement. She is pro-environment and supported the composting program as well as preserving open space on the Ridge.

As the newly consolidated town was forming its new police department, she brought the ACLU-NJ in to consult with the council and promote recommended police practices for the department. She compelled the police to include race and gender statistics for police stops in their monthly police reports. She promoted a police ride-along program so that Council members as well as members of the public could ride along on a police shift to promote transparency in policing.

Jenny is currently a strong supporter of the earned sick leave ordinance, brought to Princeton by the Working Families Alliance, which would require Princeton employers to provide paid time off when employees are sick or need to care for a sick family member, a fair and humane measure that in our view is required by human decency.

We agree with these positions and that’s why Jenny has earned our enduring respect and our strongest support in this election. We encourage fellow Democrats to vote for Jenny on June 7.

Beth and Jim Healey

Jenny Crumiller a Strong Advocate for Requiring Paid Time Off for Employees Who Are Unwell

To the Editor:

I encourage voters to reelect Jenny Crumiller to Princeton Council. Jenny is an intelligent, kind person, who works hard and listens to all sides respectfully. I support her stands on many issues, but as a doctor who practiced for many years first as an internist, and later as a pathologist, I am particularly pleased that Jenny has been a strong advocate for an ordinance to require Princeton’s employers to provide paid time off for employees who are unwell or whose children are unwell. This makes sense both for the wellbeing of both employees and also for general public. Such a measure will decrease the spread of communicable diseases by keeping adults and children home instead of in the workplace or in schools.

I hope readers will vote for Jenny so she can continue good work on Council.

Lilia Belov, MD

 

Jenny Crumiller Understands Challenges Facing Princeton and Is Equipped to Address Them

To the Editor:

We write to urge Princeton voters to consider at least three reasons to support Jenny Crumiller for re-election to Town Council.

First, she is an extraordinary talent. Jenny finished college while she and her husband Jon were raising three children in Princeton. She finished her degree at Rutgers and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Second, she is dedicated to community. Long before running for office, Jenny was a go-to volunteer in school and church activities. As a concerned citizen, she never failed to answer the call to protect neighborhoods, promote diversity, or defend civil rights.

Third, she is an effective member of Council. In her first four years, Jenny has worked hard for the success of consolidation; and she is determined that it continue to deliver quality services at affordable cost. She has helped produce affordable housing for our most vulnerable citizens. She is working with our mayor and others to address neighborhood preservation. She has collaborated with the University on accessible public transit and with the police department on improving the safety of our streets for bicycles and pedestrians.

Jenny is Council’s representative on the Planning Board while also serving on a broad range of Council committees responsible for the nuts and bolts of government. She understands the challenges facing Princeton and is equipped to address them. She is committed to maintain Princeton’s historic character and to ensure its affordability for all citizens.

We have known Jenny for 30 years. She is accessible. She listens. She involves people. Princeton cannot ask for more in a public servant.

Walter and Mary Bliss

Jenny Crumiller Is an Advocate For The “Variety and Diversity That We Cherish”

To the Editor:

I am writing to support the candidacy of Jenny Crumiller for Princeton Council. She has consistently questioned authority and advocated zoning and other policies and regulations that will keep neighborhoods from becoming absorbed in a faceless city. She is a thoughtful steward of the community and an advocate for the variety and diversity that we cherish.

When she was elected president of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization some years ago, it was as a reformer to open up the group and make it more widely representative. I look forward to her election to Council to continue to play that role in the wider arena.

She is the candidate with the widest experience and the strongest record of accomplishments. It gives me pleasure to endorse her for another term on Princeton Council.

Peter Lindenfeld


Jenny Crumiller Understands Challenges Facing Princeton and Is Equipped to Address Them

To the Editor:

We write to urge Princeton voters to consider at least three reasons to support Jenny Crumiller for re-election to Town Council.

First, she is an extraordinary talent. Jenny finished college while she and her husband Jon were raising three children in Princeton. She finished her degree at Rutgers and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Second, she is dedicated to community. Long before running for office, Jenny was a go-to volunteer in school and church activities. As a concerned citizen, she never failed to answer the call to protect neighborhoods, promote diversity, or defend civil rights.

Third, she is an effective member of Council. In her first four years, Jenny has worked hard for the success of consolidation; and she is determined that it continue to deliver quality services at affordable cost. She has helped produce affordable housing for our most vulnerable citizens. She is working with our mayor and others to address neighborhood preservation. She has collaborated with the University on accessible public transit and with the police department on improving the safety of our streets for bicycles and pedestrians.

Jenny is Council’s representative on the Planning Board while also serving on a broad range of Council committees responsible for the nuts and bolts of government. She understands the challenges facing Princeton and is equipped to address them. She is committed to maintain Princeton’s historic character and to ensure its affordability for all citizens.

We have known Jenny for 30 years. She is accessible. She listens. She involves people. Princeton cannot ask for more in a public servant.

Walter and Mary Bliss

We Need the Unvarnished, Sometimes Unpopular Truths That Jenny Crumiller Is Willing to Articulate

To the Editor:

On a recent Saturday afternoon, I saw Jenny Crumiller’s husband Jon at Ace Hardware. He mentioned that they had participated in the “Let It Go: Princeton Community Yard Sale” and that Jenny had decided not to charge for anything. I immediately asked jokingly if they had put up a sign saying “Free stuff! Vote for Jenny!” We then agreed that there is no such thing as “free stuff,” and went our separate ways.

This brief conversation reminded me why we need to re-elect Jenny to Princeton Council. “The truth is there is no free parking. Someone has to pay for it,” Jenny said at a Council meeting in September 2015 during a discussion of the costs to the town of providing a subsidy for two hours of free parking to every Princeton Public Library cardholder.

Princeton Council is currently reviewing the budget, looking for ways to cut $150,000 so as to pare down an increase in property taxes.

Residents should be aware that only about 23 cents of every dollar collected in property taxes goes to the town. The Princeton School Board controls the lion’s share of our tax dollars, more than 50 percent and growing, and Mercer County gets the remainder. The largest increases in property taxes are beyond the control of Princeton Council.

Jenny will help us make budget decisions that support our values and get us the most for our money. She will listen to us, tell us the truth, and do her best to make wise decisions for our future. Vote to reelect Jenny Crumiller to Princeton Council!

Joanna Dougherty