Trenton native Jennifer Williams snagged and important and potentially game-changing endorsement in a competitive four-way race to represent the 4th Ward on Trenton City Council. The endorsement from the LGBTQ Victory Fund will bring national attention and resources like money and manpower to a race that’ll help determine the future of Trenton municipal government.
A nationwide, non-partisan organization, LGBTQ Victory Fund is tasked with increasing the number of openly LGBTQ elected officials at all levels of government while ensuring they reflect the diversity of those they serve.
Sean Meloy is their VP of Political Programs.
“LGBTQ people, especially trans people, have never had equitable representation in government, with the battle wounds to show for it,” Mr. Meloy told InsiderNJ. “LGBTQ Victory Fund is proud to support Jennifer’s historic candidacy. We are confident that once she shatters a lavender ceiling come November, she will be a strong voice for equality in the city council and ensure that all residents are considered when policy decisions are made.”
In 2018, voters elected Reed Gusciora, Trenton’s first openly gay mayor. However many of those same voters also chose Kathy McBride and Robin Vaughn, two of the most virulently anti-gay democratic lawmakers in the state. Ms. MsBride, who’s also City Council President, is currently running for Mayor against Mr. Gusciora who’s up for reelection.
Thanks to Ms. McBride and Ms. Vaughn, Trenton is one of the messiest, most dysfunctional municipal government in the state.
Micah Rasmussen, one of New Jersey’s political sages, has a bird’s eye view of Trenton’s City Council dysfunction from his perch as director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics and Rider University.
“Jennifer has been a voice of reason in her hometown and the entire region for a long time,” Mr. Rasmussen told InsiderNJ. “We badly need to restore sanity on City Council, and I say we because we all have a stake in what happens to our capital city. Jennifer gets it. She grew up in Trenton, is raising her family in Trenton, and I think she has a great shot at getting elected and making a difference in Trenton. In a non-partisan field of less than familiar faces, I think her top ballot position will help her.”
Ms Williams rival for the North Ward seat include Algernon Ward Jr and Divine Allah, a close ally of Council President McBride. Also in the mix is Merkle Cherry who many Trenton insiders have dubbed the pacesetter in the race.
Speaking of Trenton insiders, Jeannine LaRue of the newly-minted board chair of the Garden State Equality Action Fund, GSE’s political wing.
“Jennifer WilIiams’ candidacy gives hope to the future that good government is about diverse representation of quality citizens who want to make their communities better,” Ms. LaRue said. “She has served the City of Trenton through her leadership on the Zoning Board. Jennifer’s vision for the Capital City is that government can and must do better. Her voice will be one of reason and strategic thinking.”