Urban Republicanism in New Jersey

After participating in the 2002 Leadership Trenton program, I became convinced that Republican’s have much to offer cities. Urban Republican change the attitude towards cities away treating them as charity cases and instead viewing them as opportunities.  This can be done by promoting principles of fiscal conservatism, social liberalism and limited government. These principles shape our deep concerns about racism, sprawl, crime, pollution, welfare and drug addiction.

The Leadership Trenton program showed a serious divide between the interest of economic revitalization and social welfare. The emotion of racial victimization underlies the social welfare movement which deeply distrusts white Republicans. However there is a cold hard reality to building a sustainable urban tax base that is at the heart of the Republican fiscal conservative movement.

There are both black and white fiscal conservatives among Trenton’s and other urban small business communities. They denounce failed policies of publicly subsidized housing, poorly funded public safety and high taxes. Republicans support school choice as a radical change to a persistent problem and they support a pro-business stance that finds strategic advantage in urban site location. Rational Republicans also know that racially spurred sprawl has led to government expansion in the form of bloated transportation departments and segregated school districts.

Urban Republicans don’t have patience with social conservatives. They know that the anti-choice stance on abortion is out of touch with city dwellers. They support the LBGT and want government out of the bedroom. They know that addiction is a disease that can be cured. Most importantly they challenge racism not only on moral grounds but as damaging to our vitality as a people.

However, for Urban Republicans to make progress, our national leaders must root out the latent racism of the party. Republicans have a hard enough time talking about tough social issues without that albatross around our necks.

There are hard cold benefits to a state like New Jersey in helping our cities thrive.   Cities are where innovation happens best.  They’re economical to develop and don’t add to sprawl.  And best of all they conserve energy and reduce our carbon footprint.

A strong Urban Agenda appeals to the business community and many of the traditionally Democratic interests as well.   It’s what we need in New Jersey to grow our state and become national leaders for a better society.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

Leave a Reply