June 9, 2021

Candidate Leighton Newlin Will Bring Wealth of Experience to Town Council

To the Editor:

It’s as though Leighton Newlin has been preparing for this opportunity for a lifetime. Leighton grew up in Princeton — in the very neighborhood in which he now lives.

After graduating from Princeton High School, Leighton moved to Pennsylvania to attend Lincoln University, an HBCU. Following graduation from Lincoln, the entrepreneurial Leighton founded a haberdashery in Boston and opened and managed two stores. He then partnered with an iconic athletics brand and launched concept stores in California, Massachusetts, and New York, where he learned valuable organizational skills in order to successfully navigate a large multi-national corporation.

He returned to Princeton 24 years ago to be near his aging parents and began serving on the board of the Princeton Housing Authority, where he has been chair for the past 19 years. He also serves on the boards of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association, the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, and The Paul Robeson House. Twenty four years is long enough to pass through several economic downturns and it’s when Leighton learned to make difficult decisions as to where to best use the ever-shrinking federal funding. It is where he learned that, while there are always important projects to address, a balance must be found between that which is wanted and that which is needed.

In addition to his volunteer roles, community leadership, and advocacy, Leighton was employed as the director of special services for CEC, a leading national provider of rehabilitative services for offenders in re-entry and in-prison treatment facilities. Frequently dealing with tense and complex situations, Leighton mastered the art of mediation. He understands how to listen to people to uncover the root problem and is exceptionally skilled at connecting problems to resources for resolution.

When Leighton does not know or understand something, he makes it his business to learn. An example of his dedication to education has been the last two months during which time Leighton walked each of the 22 voting districts in Princeton. He took the time to listen and learn about any issues residents wanted to discuss. Leighton is also a skilled public speaker, dedicated advocate of equity, and a strategic thinker. When you combine his life skills and experience, it is clear that he is well rounded, determined, altruistic, and that he has the attributes to be a strong and empathetic leader.

We feel fortunate that Leighton has decided to bring his wealth of experience to town Council. We believe that he will be a steward of smart growth and development. We know that Leighton will lead with an eye to providing support for those who need it — whether it be a struggling small business, a retiree who wants to remain in Princeton, or a growing family looking for housing that is affordable. He will lead with the dedication and commitment he has demonstrated to Princeton across his lifetime.

For these reasons, we endorse Leighton Newlin for Council.

Ross Wishnick
Edgerstoune Road

Felicia Spitz
Haslet Avenue