Trenton Mayor on Economic Developement and LGBTQ Issues

Steve Adubato talks with Reed Gusciora, Mayor of Trenton, about the challenges facing the city; the role of the state government in economic development; and the importance of the LGBTQ community in politics today.

4/20/19 #306






"Welcome to State of Affairs. I'm Steve Adubato. We're coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio right here in Newark, New Jersey. We're gonna introduce a gentleman who knows Newark, but he's not from Newark. He is Reed Gusciora, who is the mayor of the capital city, Trenton. Good see you. Good to see you Steve. For those who don't know Trenton... by the way, you can see the Capitol dome behind us. Is it... that's the... Trenton's more than that right? It is. It's seven square miles. It's on the... it sits midway between Philadelphia and New York. We have four train lines, waterfront property. So it's a great place to come and invest. You also spent 22 years in the State Legislature before you became mayor? I represented the capital district. Yes. That's right. The number one challenge facing Trenton these days happens to be? Well it's a combination. Our water, public utility, is a challenge where we're trying to turn that around. We have economic development issues, crime, and also education. What are the biggest opportunities for Trenton? The fact that you can buy low and develop. We have a lot of potential developable lands. Seven entities came in for cannabis ventures. We have the Roebling factories that have been sitting there for 50 years. So we have a lot of investors that want to come in and gamble on Trenton. You know, it's interesting. I happened to be at a college basketball game, I have a... full disclosure, I'm a fan of Seton Hall University basketball. Myles Powell? Yeah. Right? From Trenton. He made a big shot one of the games against Villanova, and the announcer said, "There he is! Myles Powell. From Trenton." Trenton makes - the world...? ...takes. ...takes. Explain to folks what that means. And by the way is that still on the bridge? It's still on the bridge. And now it has LED lighting. So... [laughter] changes colors. Technology, innovation, okay? Explain to folks the short version, the Reader's Digest version, I'll age myself. When it comes to that whole... who makes and who takes? Well, we made the wire for the Brooklyn Bridge and the Roebling wire works, we also made Lenox china, Beam china, and a whole host of things that we make, Trojan rubbers were made in Trenton, New Jersey a long time... Really? I didn't know that. Exactly. And... but all those factories have shut down and a lot of that... a lot of those buildings are redevelopable, or can be mixed use, can be... a lot of opportunities are available. But talk about the role of government. You've made it clear, because you know state government better than most..."