It was a historic night in the capital city as Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora and seven council members, including Jasi Edwards, Crystal Feliciano, Jenna Figueroa Kettenburg, Teska Frisby, Yazminelly Gonzalez, Joseph Harrison, and Jennifer Williams were inaugurated at the War Memorial on Friday, February 10.
Capping off a long drawn out election that saw several runoffs, lawsuits and mudslinging, Trenton has officially inaugurated its mayor and council members during an inspiring ceremony.
Mayor Gusciora was first to get inaugurated. He was sworn into office by Jersey City Mayor, Steven Fulop. In his inaguration speech Gusciora promised that he was looking forward to working with the new council. “The past four years were tough. My administration and this new council are determined to break the barriers of division and put this city on a solid track forward.”
At-Large Councilwoman, Crystal Feliciano, opened up her speech with a godspel song and promised the crowd that this wouldn’t be a rubber stamp council. She also a promised that she would do her best to make the state of New Jersey pay its fare share back to Trenton, which drew a round of applause from the audience.
When At-Large Councilwoman, Yazminelly Gonzalez, was called up to take her oath, she received a thunderous cheer from the crowd. Gonzalez appeared relieved that the election was finally over after enduring an onslaught of media attention regarding her qualifications to run for office due to her residency status at the time of her candidacy filing.
“I told you all that this election wouild not be easy,” she revealed. “Not that I thought it would be, but sheesh! It’s been a long journey and as many of you know I think that I’ve been probably been drugged the most during the entire campaign. It was definitely a challenging, but great learning experience. And I am so grateful for God’s grace and mercy on me and this entire campaign.”
What made the night historic was Gonzalez being elected the first Latina to hold an at-large position on city council. Jasi Edwards, at 34-years-old, is the youngest woman to sit on city council, and North Ward Councilperson, Jennifer Williams, is the first transgender person elected to Trenton city council. This is also the first time in Trenton city council history where women will hold six out of seven elected positions. As someone who helped to organize voter registration drives and candidate forums last year it was inspiring to see the culmination of the various campaigns. It goes to show that success isn’t given to the swift, but to those that endure. We wish the administration and council members much success.