NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – As Suzanne Sicora Ludwig was being sworn in as the new City Council President last week, her thoughts turned to her late husband.
In 23 years of marriage, Suzanne and Keith were bound together by so much – their love of laughter, their love of a good tailgate with friends before a Rutgers game, their love of their furry friends their shared their home with.
Suzanne and Keith's hearts were also connected by their service to the city.
Keith, who was a firefighter and EMT in New Brunswick for 25 years, passed away after being injured in a snowmobile accident in 2008.
Suzanne, who proudly took her place as the leader of the city’s governing body at the re-organization meeting last week, said continuing to serve New Brunswick makes her feel close to the man everyone knew for his trademark his big smile and bigger heart.
“When the opportunity presented itself for me to serve the city in the capacity of a Planning Board member and committeewoman, he pointed me in the right direction and said, ‘You will be great, just be yourself. This is only the beginning,’” she said. “To that end, being elected to the City Council about 10 years after his death, and now Council President, mean that much more to me in my heart. At the same time, it is very difficult to hold back the tears because of the connection between him, me and my service to the city we loved so much.”
Sicora Ludwig was elected a committeewoman in Ward 1 District 4 for the Middlesex County Democratic Organization in 2007 and has been re-elected each term to date. She was also appointed to the Planning Board about 12 years ago.
She began serving on the City Council on Jan. 4, 2017.
She was re-elected for a four-year term this past fall in a vote-by-mail election. She and running mates John Anderson and Glen Fleming ran unopposed.
Anyone who has attended (in-person or virtually) a City Council meeting knows that Sicora Ludwig is not afraid to speak her mind during council meetings, whether it’s a local matter (the plans to build the Cancer Pavilion on Somerset Street, for instance) or a national issue (pro-Trump supporters’ siege on the Capitol building last week).
During her time on the City Council, she has supported the city’s municipal identification program and served as liaison with City Market, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the central business district as a great place to live, work and visit.
Although her familial roots in New Brunswick stretch back 150 or so years, back to when her great-grandfather owned Toth's Butcher Shop on George Street, Sicora Ludwig said it’s difficult to pinpoint why she has dedicated herself to serving the city.
“It was never something I had to think about, it was just something I knew I had to do,” she said. “As with all steps in life, there is a natural progression that leads us in one director or another. My entire life has been driven to organize and lead endeavors. I believe it is innate.”