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  • Leighton Newlin For Princeton Council

Updated: May 10, 2021

Dear Friends,

I hope this message finds you well and safe! It’s hard to believe that next week is March and spring is around the corner. The chaos and turmoil are behind us, our democracy held, and we can now move forward with purpose and determination to get back on track. It is in that determined spirit and after literally decades of community advocacy and civic involvement in Princeton that I have decided to dedicate my efforts to the broader community by seeking election for Princeton Council.

My focus as a member of Council will be to help guide Princeton toward becoming a more fair and equitable community for all those who live here, have a business here, send children to school here, who want to remain here through retirement, and for all those who visit. I plan to do this by listening carefully to issues that people care about and then determining a path forward that reflects what I have heard. Issues of importance to me are affordable housing, gentrification, racial equity, fiscal accountability, and infrastructure. I want to build a multi-racial society here in Princeton that can serve as a model for how it should be done across the nation.

How to Support Me

Sign My Petition: For me to be on the ballot on June 8th, I need signatures on a nominating petition. My petition is available here, and you can sign and return it either electronically or by printing the form, filling it out by hand, and texting a picture of it to me at

Vote on March 14th: the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) will vote to endorse two candidates for the two seats on Council that will be up for election in the June 8th Democratic Primary. Please support me by attending and voting at this virtual meeting. To vote, you must have joined PCDO by Sunday, February 28th. Membership in the PCDO is free. You can join PCDO (or renew your membership) online here.

Get the Word Out (on your lawn!): I’d be honored if you would be willing to place a lawn sign in your yard to help me spread the word. Please click here (it’s the first bullet on the Petition form), include your address, and we will deliver a sign to you.

I am grateful for your support and would ask you just one more small favor: Please share this message with any friends who might like to know more about me. I welcome the opportunity to talk with you and to hear from you. Your suggestions, comments, and concerns are important to me! I am not just asking for your vote, I am asking for your active involvement and your prayers.

Peace and blessings,

Leighton Newlin

  • Leighton Newlin For Princeton Council

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

I will work for you and make a positive difference for all.

Open letter to My Democratic Colleagues and Friends:

I am excited to announce my candidacy for the Princeton Town Council. I believe in making a positive difference in my community and this belief has been a guiding principle for my life. I have demonstrated this belief and commitment to Princeton over the past two decades in the treasured Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood where I currently live and where I grew up. I have advocated for more focus on equity and inclusion at the town level and within the public schools.

To me, a well-functioning government fosters an environment of inclusion and comfort for all of its citizens. It both protects people by providing human services as well as works with its residents to enrich the structure and the foundation that helps them live better and more meaningful lives.

I believe in the principles upon which our country was founded, and I profoundly understand that some of these principles have yet to be enjoyed by all members of our society. Racism in America chokes our very existence, threatens our democracy, and makes opportunity, happiness and peace elusive for far too many. My focus as a member of Council will be to help guide Princeton toward becoming a more fair and equitable community for all those who live here and for all who visit.

I will approach the responsibility of public service with the dedication that it deserves. I will be honest and thoughtful. I will work with others to create best practices, which foster best outcomes and good governance. I recognize that in order to fully understand the details of policies, programs, processes, and other municipal actions, I will need to become a student of local government. I am already dedicating myself to this effort and approach this learning with purpose and joy.

I will govern with the understanding that equity and social justice are essential elements of a fair society. Affordable Housing will bring additional people into our community and allow residents to remain here throughout retirement. In filling new affordable housing units, it is my belief that we can leverage this opportunity to make Princeton more diverse, more inclusive, and more welcoming and I will work toward this goal.

I will work to ensure that every opportunity that arises in Princeton is available to all Princeton residents. Each day, I will ask myself: “Is it good for people, and does it make sense”? Equity and accountability will guide my actions and decisions. As Princeton grows towards its future, our task regarding smart growth and decisions should be made through a wide-angle lens which allows focus on these two pillars of democracy. I will work with the other members of Council to ensure that these important questions and values are present in discussions and decisions.

I welcome the opportunity to talk with and to hear from you. Your suggestions, comments, concerns are important to me as are any issues or questions that you may have. I am not just asking for your vote, I am asking for your active involvement and your prayers.

Peace and blessings,

Leighton Newlin


  • Leighton Newlin For Princeton Council

Excerpt from Princeton Town Topics, 1/13/2021 by Anne Levin

Princeton Councilwoman Eve Niedergang has announced she will run for re-election in the June 8, 2021 Democratic primary. Leighton Newlin, co-chair of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association and chair of the Princeton Housing Authority Board of Commissioners for the last 19 years, announced Tuesday that he will run for a Council seat.

There are two three-year terms on the ballot this year. Councilman Dwaine Williamson has announced that he will not run for a second term.

Newlin was born and raised in Princeton, attended Princeton Public Schools, and graduated from Princeton High School in 1969. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Shirley Satterfield, Newlin’s campaign chair, said, “As a resident of this historic town, the town of his birth, Leighton Newlin has long been a committed foot soldier for justice, diversity, and equality. I am confident that, as a member of Princeton Council, Leighton will serve with equal passion and commitment to the well-being of our entire community.”

Newlin recently retired after almost three decades as director of special services at a Residential Community Release Program in Newark that provided education and training to individuals preparing to re-enter society, as well as counseling focused on changing criminal and addictive behavior. As director, he was responsible for all aspects of administration and communication as well as managing a Community Advisory Board comprised of a network of community partners in the areas of labor, education, human, and social services in order to ensure maximum re-entry support.

Newlin’s campaign treasurer is Kate Warren. Others on his team include Linda Oppenheim, Bill Schofield, Ross Wishnick, Darius Young, Patricia Soll, and Dana Hughes-Morehead.

From 2014-2016 Newlin was part of a local group that worked successfully to have the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood designated as Princeton’s 20th Historic District. In addition to his work with the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Association, he serves on the boards of the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical and Cultural Society, and The Paul Robeson House. Newlin is serving his second term as an elected member of the Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee and recently stepped down from the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) executive board in order to run for office.

“We Democrats have a lot to celebrate at this time, but we need to work quickly to repair the damage of the last four years and to renew our commitment at the local level to ensure that every decision is viewed through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion,” he said in a press release. “I believe that Princeton’s leadership should reflect its people and that diversity on Princeton Council is necessary, critical, and beneficial. I also believe that my track record in community activism, and service, my skill set, background, and experience make me an ideal candidate for a position in local leadership.”

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