Growing New Providence Democrats club seeks to elect first Democrats to council in more than 50 years
New Providence Candidates Forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, takes place at the DeCorso Community Center at 7:30 p.m.
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - New Providence Borough Council candidates, Keith Doll and Jamie Baer Peterson—with support from a growing base of New Providence Democrats—have knocked on the doors of more than 2,500 neighbors, nearly half of New Providence households, in the lead-up to the general election on Tuesday, November 7th. The Doll and Baer Peterson campaigns have taken shape as a result of these conversations, and both look forward to sharing their vision for the future of New Providence and its residents at the New Providence Candidates Forum this week. The Forum, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, takes place on Wednesday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the DeCorso Community Center. Doll and Baer Peterson seek to become the first Democrats elected to New Providence Borough Council since 1964.
“I believe we can maintain the character of New Providence, while also ensuring that representation on New Providence Borough Council reflects the growing diversity of our community – among ages, backgrounds, and beliefs,” said Keith Doll, democratic candidate for New Providence Borough Council.
“Now is the time to give the citizens of New Providence a choice, a new perspective, and a new voice in who will govern our community,” said Jamie Baer Peterson, democratic candidate for New Providence Borough Council.
Over the last few weeks, the Doll and Baer Peterson campaigns rolled out a series of introductions and policy positions in the form of candidate statements that are available via their websites (click here and here). Doll and Baer Peterson believe in the power of inclusivity, recognizing the enormous value of having differing voices and perspectives on the council that reflect the diversity within the community. The candidates are committed to positively impacting the lives of New Providence residents of all ages and cultures through integrity and championing mutual respect, and believe there are incredible opportunities to forge new ways for citizens, the council, and borough staff to work together. Sustainability is another pillar of their platform—recognizing how a greener, more walkable, and diverse downtown can truly enhance the quality of life of residents. Within all the issues they champion, transparency and accountability is paramount, and they are committed to utilizing proactive methods of communication to share and receive information with the people they represent.
Doll, 35, is a son, brother, husband, and father, who moved to New Providence in 2015 with his wife, Lauren, to start a family. They were overjoyed to welcome their first son, Jake, earlier this year. An oncology nurse at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center since 2009, Doll seeks to bring similar compassion, commitment, and an open communication style to New Providence Borough Council. The candidate recently was awarded an endorsement from Democrats 2000, an organization that recognizes young Democratic candidates who are bringing fresh ideas to public service in New Jersey. He is also training for the TCS New York City Marathon on the streets of New Providence, which runs on Sunday, November 5. Residents can follow his journey as he prepares for both races by searching the hashtag #RunWithKeith.
Baer Peterson, 57, is a 20-year resident of New Providence with her husband Mark and their three children: Paige (23), Emily (18), and Joseph (16). She has extensive leadership and volunteer experience within the schools, community, and her church, including chairing many committees for the PTA at both Allen W. Roberts and Salt Brook elementary schools, the New Providence High School musicals, Scouting, NJ Youth Symphony, and serving on the executive board of the NP Music Boosters for 10 years. She currently serves on boards at the Friends of the New Providence Memorial Library and Light Opera of NJ. Her volunteer work at her church is extensive, from being the music director for 10+ years, to creating, staffing, and managing a retreat for 100+ teenage girls and adult volunteers on a limited budget. Baer Peterson is a professional opera singer, stage director, music educator, and self-employed small business owner. She seeks to bring her perspectives as a mother, educator, artist, and concerned resident to New Providence Borough Council.
The New Providence Democrats reorganized shortly after the November 2016 election with a goal of enacting positive change at both the local and state level, and have continued to grow since the club’s revival. The club has held monthly general meetings, elected officers, established various committees, and filled all open District Committee member seats. The candidates and club members have participated in a variety of community events over the last few months, including the Memorial Day Parade in salute of veterans, and celebrated with residents at the New Providence Independence Day event and National Night Out. They have participated in volunteer opportunities around the borough, including the Sharing Network 5K Celebration of Life, voter registration initiatives, and at the Diversity Committee’s Columbus Day celebration. In response to the challenging summer train service disruptions, the candidates met and offered refreshments to NJ Transit commuters affected by the stressful changes. In addition to their canvassing and neighborhood listening tours, Doll and Baer Peterson have hosted “Coffee with the Candidates” all over the borough, meeting new neighbors and learning what they love about New Providence, and the issues they face that are most important to them.
The New Providence Democrats are seeking to elect the first Democrats to the council in more than 50 years. In the New Providence Primary Election in June, 647 Democrats voted, surpassing Republicans at the poll. The primary turnout was an increase of nearly 500% over the turnout of the last gubernatorial primary in 2013.
“The unmistakable energy of the New Providence Democrats comes from the many members who, like myself, are new to political activism, blended with long-time club members thrilled to see a revitalization of the Democratic Party in New Providence,” said Stacey Gunderman, chairwoman of the New Providence Democrats. “Diversity of perspective, insight, background, and life experiences is the greatest asset of our club, and what we seek to bring to New Providence Borough Council by electing Jamie Baer Peterson and Keith Doll on November 7.
Doll and Baer Peterson invite all members of the community to attend the New Providence Candidates Forum this Wednesday evening, and look forward to showing residents why they should vote Doll and Baer Peterson on November 7th.