June 18, 2014

Panel Discussion, “Trenton From the Grass Roots”

The Princeton Area Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) is inviting the public to a panel discussion called ”Trenton from the Grass Roots” on Sunday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Suzanne Patterson Center, 45 Stockton Street.

The panel members will be architect John Hatch, a partner in Clark Caton Hintz and HHG Development Associates, specializing in the adaptive reuse of historic structures; the Reverend Toby Sanders, former president of the Trenton School Board and currently president, United Mercer interfaith Organization (UMIO), pastor, Beloved Community Church; Tracey Syphax, president, Capitol City Roofing (and ex-con) and the subject of a book called From the Block to the Boardroom — The Tracey D. Syphax Story; Nakia White, chief municipal prosecutor, City of Trenton; and Jeff Laurenti – former director of Foreign Policy Programs for The Century Foundation and former co-chair, Mercer for Obama — Moderator.

Mr. Laurenti will be posing several questions to the panel intended to reveal their visions of Trenton from the grassroots. Following comments by the panel, Mr. Laurenti will open questions from the floor. Kip Cherry, one of the organizers of the panel and a member of the PCDO’s executive committee, commented, “the concept behind the panel is to create a better understanding of the social, economic, and political dynamics of Trenton from the grassroots level, while focusing on positive opportunities and various good news announcements coming out of Trenton.”

Jon Durbin, president of the PCDO, noted that “Trenton has a solid multi-ethnic, multi-racial base and there are a multitude of nonprofit organizations that serve both Princeton and Trenton. He also cited, as a part of the good news,” recent announcements regarding the long-stalled replacement of Trenton Central High School and the resolution of the status of the city-financed Lafayette Yard hotel, recently relinquished by Marriott.”

“Our hope is to enhance communication with the potential for creating helpful future partnerships between people in Trenton and Princeton,” Ms. Cherry said. Mr. Laurenti noted that the event “fortuitously culminates a weekend of activities in Trenton that underscore its prospects for renewal,” citing the annual “Art All Night” event at the historic Roebling Wire Works the night June 21-22, and the “New Jersey 350th Celebration” at the Capitol complex, the afternoon of June 22.

Mr. Durbin noted that nonprofit organizations that serve both Princeton and Trenton are specifically invited to take part in the event and offer their insights. All nonprofit organizations and the general public are invited. The event is free.