February 13, 2019

Mia Sacks Becomes 4th Candidate In Campaign for Princeton Council

By Donald Gilpin

Mia Sacks

Mia Sacks, vice chair of the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee, active in numerous local organizations, and a third generation Princetonian, has announced her candidacy for Princeton Council.

She will join Michelle Pirone Lambros, Adam Bierman, and incumbent Tim Quinn in vying for the Democratic nomination for two available spots on Council. Council President Jenny Crumiller will be stepping down from Council at the end of her term in December. 

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) will vote to endorse two candidates at its March 17 meeting, with primaries for both parties taking place in June and the general election scheduled for November 5. There are no declared Republican candidates so far. 

Last year Sacks chaired Dwaine Williamson’s primary campaign for Council and co-chaired the successful joint Council campaign of Williamson and Eve Niedergang in the general election.

Sacks, a member of the Princeton Planning Board, serves on the Master Plan Subcommittee and this year will chair the Subdivision Committee, according to her press release. She is serving her second term as elected county representative for Princeton’s District 13, and last year she worked as a member of the Zoning Amendment Review Committee (ZARC).

“The challenge we now face is how to preserve the essential character and qualities that make Princeton desirable, without retreating to a nostalgia that paralyzes our capacity for action,” she wrote in announcing her candidacy. 

She went on to describe Princeton as being “at a crossroads” requiring “intensive, proactive coordination between the municipality, schools, our commercial sector, and the University.”

Princeton Council, she noted, should play “a key role in facilitating a coherent, community-wide planning process that is transparent, and leads to equitable, economically and environmentally sound outcomes.”

Sacks emphasized key issues that need to be addressed, including recent and projected population growth and its impact on traffic circulation, parking, and public facilities; changing demographics that mirror larger trends throughout the state; property tax increases; and the challenges facing local retail.

She described her work as a member of the Steering Committee of the Princeton Progressive Action Group (PPAG). “We have actively supported zoning changes to allow for the development of ‘missing middle’ homes,” she said. “As a member of Council, I will continue to push for measures that encourage diversity in Princeton’s housing stock.”

Currently the board secretary for Sustainable Princeton (SP), Sacks has been involved over the past 10 years in advocating for sustainability within Princeton, viewing sustainable development as “contingent upon a coordinated approach to planning and policy with maximum public participation.”

She chaired SP’s Waste and Energy Committees and is currently a member of the Resiliency Working Group for the Climate Action Plan. She has served on the Princeton Environmental Commission as their liaison to the Board of Health, on Princeton’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, and on the Complete Streets Traffic Calming Committee.

Sacks introduced the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program into Princeton Public Schools (PPS) after participating through a Dodge Foundation grant in its sustainability training program. She continues to coordinate the program with PPS Science Supervisor Edward Cohen, and, according to her press release, she has written numerous grants to support sustainability, health, and wellness within the PPS.

Sacks’ professional background includes working at a senior level in the nonprofit sector in New York City and abroad, at Human Rights Watch, the Open Society Institute, and the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Sacks attended Miss Mason’s School, Community Park Elementary School, John Witherspoon Middle School, and Princeton High School, graduating in 1983 before going on to earn her BA from Barnard College and MA from Columbia University in political science with a focus on Russian studies and international human rights.

Sacks’ campaign is co-chaired by Kathy Taylor and Wendy Kaczerski and managed by Bill Schofield. The team also includes Walter Bliss, Kathleen Cassidy, Tiki Firdu, Margaret Griffin, Valerie Haynes, Alvin McGowen, Leighton Newlin, Veronica Olivares-Weber, Tommy Parker, Valeria Torres-Olivares, Kate Warren, and Ross Wishnick.

Sacks lives with her husband Jeff and son Reed on Terhune Road in Princeton.