NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – You know that crosswalk on Livingston Avenue connecting the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center with the Heldrich Hotel?
The one that looks like a piano keyboard that adds just a touch of fun and whimsy to the city’s arts district?
That was Suzanna Sicora Ludwig’s idea.
She has been leaving her mark on the city since she assumed her place on the City Council at the annual reorganization meeting in 2017, whether it has been her support for the city’s municipal identification program, her role on the Planning Board, her guidance on the board at City Market, her work with nonprofit organizations such as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) or myriad other ways.
Sicora Ludwig, the council vice president who is running for re-election on a ticket with fellow incumbents John Anderson and Glenn Fleming, is eager to take on some of the challenges facing New Brunswick.
With the vote-by-mail primary coming up July 7 and the election in November, she is already looking ahead to the prospect of succeeding Anderson as the City Council president in 2021.
“As president, among other objectives, I would like to see the council have more of an impact in the community, be more present,” Sicora Ludwig told TAPinto New Brunswick. “I hope I am able to work closely with the mayor’s office to embrace this type of involvement in an effort to facilitate and expand communication between the governing body and the public.
In addition to working with Mayor Jim Cahill’s staff, she would like to launch a program in conjunction with the city’s elementary schools in which the students form a sort of town hall to discuss municipal governance relevant to New Brunswick, civics and other programs and activities. The idea is foster awareness and perhaps ignite the children’s engagement.
“I think it would also be useful to work with the many local non-profits as guest speakers to provide a general idea of how we help each other, and what is available for anyone in need,” Sicora Ludwig said.
Similarly, she said she would seek to engage with women of the city. Through regular meetings and events, she would seek to connect them with women who hold political positions in New Brunswick. This would be a way to reach out to the women in the city who want to be involved but are not aware of the opportunities, she said.
“This has the potential to bring women together, make us stronger and provide a platform for networking on a comfortable scale,” Sicora Ludwig said.
Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and its effects on the city’s economy, will be something the council will be addressing for some time to come. Ludwig Sicora says the city must look for creative ways to help get business owners back on their feet as Gov. Phil Murphy continues to repeal some of the social distancing executive orders.
“It has had a devastating impact on all parts of our city, but being on the Planning Coard and the City Market Board, I see the impending challenges for our businesses as we look to transition toward reopening within permitted guidelines,” she said. “The businesses in town have stepped up during this crisis even though they themselves are experiencing economic struggles. In order to facilitate a more viable transition, I would like to see a plan that utilizes certain street closures and expanded sidewalk areas for common outdoor dining space. Spaces like this also provide an area for safe walking and biking with an opportunity for added foot traffic which in turn has a positive impact on small businesses.”