Do the Right Thing, Trenton: Reelect Figueroa Kettenburg

This coming November, voters in Trenton’s South Ward will have the opportunity to re-elect Jenna L.

Marge Caldwell-Wilson

Figueroa Kettenburg once again as their representative on Trenton’s City Council. Unfortunately, they will likely, once again, be subjected to a despicable campaign of lies and division, thanks to the upcoming announcement by the same individual who was admonished and rejected during the South Ward race of 2022. Disinformation campaigns like these do a great disservice to all of us, so let me be the first to warn voters of what to expect and encourage everyone to examine the candidates’ records when considering whom to believe.

Earlier this year, I announced that I would Chair Jenna’s re-election campaign for Trenton’s South Ward City Council seat. Even before Jenna decided to enter politics, I witnessed her record of commitment to her family, friends, neighbors, and to the broader South Ward of Trenton. Over the past several years, whether it was a large-scale clothing drive for residents who were displaced by a fire, to joining concerned citizens who assisted the city with vacant lot clean ups, to rescuing abandoned animals in need of a home, Jenna’s record proved that when she commits to something, she sees it through to the end.

Word got back to me that during a recent visit to a South Ward pastor, her opponent was accompanied by another local pastor who helped launch a new and even more disgusting version of the smear campaign voters rejected the last time. Apparently, the lessons of the past have gone unlearned. I find it ironic that her opponent, during a meeting before clergy, would choose to violate the Ninth Commandment: Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor. A shameful act that adds to an already shameful record.

The incumbent’s record, when it comes to providing government services directly to address the needs of her constituents, is impressive. By contrast, her challenger has a record of bringing only shame and division to our community.

Jenna’s record ensuring repairs and improvements to infrastructure benefits all South Ward residents. She started by ensuring roads were repaved (so far 22 roads and counting). She ensured repairs of multiple sidewalks in the South Ward. In response to residents’ requests for safer streets, she has overseen the installation of stop signs and 4 way stop signs in high-risk intersections as well as assisting residents in petitioning for speed bumps. She reports utility vehicles that park on congested, residential streets preventing residents from parking on their very own block after dark. She amplified parking enforcement and continues to work to create permit only parking areas. Jenna has worked to clean up multiple alleyways filled with debris and illegal dumping. She has helped increase fines for improperly putting out trash on non-trash pickup days.

The Councilwoman’s record of increasing public safety shows she takes her role as Councilperson seriously. Jenna made sure that abandoned homes that were attracting illegal and unscrupulous behavior were boarded up to protect South Ward residents, with five of these properties already demolished this year and more to come. She followed through with residents’ requests to have trees trimmed to have safer, well-lit streets at night. She established a working relationship with PSE&G to resolve light outages and reported light post repairs. She continues to hold homeowners responsible for the maintenance of their properties, and authored and passed an illegal animal breeding ordinance that comes with hefty fines.

Not only does Jenna’s record reflect her commitment to bringing government services directly to her constituents, facilitating improvements to infrastructure, and improving public safety for everyone in the South Ward, her record demonstrates her vision and understanding of how larger issues affect the daily lives of the residents that she serves.

What also sets her apart from her rival was an organized effort to bring the Department of Treasury’s ANCHOR program to four separate locations that would enroll close to one-hundred residents into the state’s rebate program thus helping to offset the cost of living. But she didn’t stop there, Jenna and Trenton Digital Initiative (TDI) secured thirty-plus refurbished laptops for residents of South Village. This thoughtful effort helped close the digital divide for constituents who now have access to technology and the internet.

Building upon her already stellar record as a champion of both Organized Labor as well as Women’s issues, Jenna has taken the opportunity voters gave her to achieve notable accomplishments in these areas not only for residents of Trenton’s South Ward, but for all residents of Trenton and beyond. Under her leadership, our City Council passed Trenton’s first Project Labor Agreement, ensuring not only fair wages for workers, but better and safer work for all of us in Trenton. As a volunteer with a local nonprofit, Womanspace, she co-chaired the 2023 Communities of Light in the South Ward, bringing awareness and assistance to victims of Domestic Violence.

In stark contrast to the Councilwoman’s record, her newly announced opponent has only one record on which voters can judge, a police record related to domestic violence.

I ask residents of the South Ward to join me in repudiating Jenna’s opponent’s campaign. Such an individual has no place serving the public or being in any position that requires the public trust. Furthermore, a divisive campaign based on lies, especially any campaign that would rely on members of the clergy to help spread these lies, has no place in Trenton. I also want to make one thing very clear: anyone assisting this campaign of disrepute will soon learn that voters have long memories.

When South Ward residents choose whom to vote for on Tuesday, November 5, I trust they will consider the records of the candidates asking for their trust. Council Vice President Figueroa Kettenburg has a proven record of providing excellent constituent services, fulfilling her commitment to good government, running a campaign based on a record of achievements, and being entirely inclusive of all residents in the City of Trenton. Her opponent has only one public record on which to consider: a police record.

Marge Caldwell-Wilson is the former Trenton North Ward Councilwoman and past President of CWA-1087.

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2 responses to “Do the Right Thing, Trenton: Reelect Figueroa Kettenburg”

  1. Marge, thank you for writing a clear and concise endorsement of Jenna. She has gone to bat for the South Ward and she deserves to stay in her position.

  2. Very bad write bad write up. How do you introduce your candidate bashing your opponent? Too concluding by bashing as well!!! For the record in order too be placed on the ballot now there will be full back ground check on candidates. Good luck too everyone.

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