The Role of Federal Government in Revitalizing Underserved Cities
Steve Adubato speaks with U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (D) – NJ, First Congressional District, who talks about his history with the city of Camden, NJ, the role of the federal government in revitalizing underprivileged cities, the political divide in our nation and his hopes for the future of the country.
"Steve Adubato here on location for State of Affairs. We're in Camden, New Jersey. We're sitting with United States Congressman Donald Norcross from the 1st congressional district. Congressman, before we talk about public policy and life in Washington, just tell folks your connection to Camden. Personal. Family. Yeah. Well I was born here. My father was raised here. My grandmother had a bakery right down on Kaighn Avenue. And I've lived here for the last decade. And it's a great place to live, and certainly a great place to look to the future of what America has to offer. It's right here in Camden. Congressman, let's do this. the role of the federal government? Mm hmm? In helping to revitalize, support cities like Camden, Newark, Jersey City, wherever you want to talk about, Trenton, New Brunswick. What is that role as you see it? Well the role that the federal government plays is not that unusual when you compare it to state government. We all have a stake in... You formerly served in the State Legislature? I was in the State Senate and the Assembly for a short time. But it's to serve those residents. So whether it's job creation, there are many things we can do on the federal level, from tax credits to creating grants, so that the fire department can expand and keep the people here safe. But it's also about creating an atmosphere for jobs. Hmm. To make sure that Camden City just like any other town or city here in the state of New Jersey, has the economic engine to create jobs. You know it's the best social program we could ever hope for is a good job that pays the bills. Right. And family can have health insurance and retire with dignity. So we set the stage, but it's up to the local environment to build it. Congressman, talk a little bit about the mood in Washington. About political polarization. Divisiveness. Yeah. Are we as divided and polarized as many of us think we are? At times we certainly are. Because? And I think that stage has been set by the president. You know, the president is the Leader of the Free World. And when you see such divisiveness coming out of the White House, it sets the stage for, not only the federal government, but the state government. Nobody wants to assess blame, myself more than anybody else, I want to make sure that we come together. You know, the idea of being polarized during election season, we understand. But after it... We happen... excuse me, we happen to be..."