June 24, 2020

Noting that Cohen and Fraga Have “Carved Out Specific and Vital Roles” on Council

To the Editor,

Princeton voters will decide whether to grant Councilmembers David Cohen and Leticia Fraga a second term. In making this important choice, I urge all voters to consider what each of the candidates brings to the table at this critical time for the Princeton community and for the Princeton government.

With a background as a professional architect, David has been instrumental in developing plans for affordable housing that are rooted in smart growth and thoughtful design that serves residents, neighbors, and the community at large. He was Council’s representative on the team that crafted the Climate Action Plan and has been a leading voice on implementation, including spearheading initiatives for safer streets for pedestrians and bicyclists, enhanced stormwater management, and resiliency planning for seniors and other vulnerable populations.

Leticia has taken the lead in ensuring every Princeton resident is counted in the 2020 Census, which will determine Princeton’s share of federal and state funding for the next decade. As liaison to the Board of Health as well as the Commissions for Human Services and for Civil Rights, Leticia worked across departments to ensure the municipality responds in a comprehensive way to the COVID outbreak, especially making sure Princeton’s most vulnerable residents are connected to services that keep them healthy, fed, housed, and safe. As the first Latinx councilwoman and first Latinx to serve as police commissioner in Princeton, Leticia brings an important voice to Council decision making.

David and Leticia have each carved out specific and vital roles on the Princeton Council that are particularly needed at this particular time. No one else currently serving on or running for Council can step into these roles. Politics is often a matter of timing, and I firmly believe that David and Leticia are the right people at the right time.

Although they have different backgrounds and different skills, one thing David and Leticia share is their selfless commitment to the community. This commitment is evident in how they approach issues that come before Council – never through the lens of how a particular issue would impact them personally or their own neighborhoods – but with a view towards how those most in need would be helped or hurt.

Especially at this moment when we face multiple challenges as a community — global pandemic, economic fallout, and racism — we need David and Leticia. We need their calm and thoughtful decision-making. We need their experience. And we need their strong, progressive voices. I hope you will join me in wholeheartedly supporting their re-elections.

Liz Lempert