MEET MICHELLE

Progressive Democrat for Change

 

I'm a second generation Italian American, with Princeton roots that go back 100 years. My family emigrated from Pettoranello, Italy, and were the stone masons and gardeners who built Princeton University.  These Italians, like my mother's family, settled in the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood.  This neighborhood is an important anchor of our Princeton heritage.     

Over time, I've seen my extended family and friends get priced out of Princeton. I've watched McMansions replace more modest sized homes, and I've witnessed many of our iconic small businesses close their doors for good.   

 

These losses, and the erosion of  Princeton's socio-economic diversity strike a deep chord with me.  They are the reason I have chosen to run for Princeton Council.  I am motivated by a desire to preserve Princeton’s unique small town qualities through conscientious progress, and a keen understanding of how its diverse residents and business community are essential to this process.

I have a set of skills, aptitudes, and expertise needed to complement the current Council, and add a new Democratic voice with fresh ideas and the follow through to get them done.

I have built multiple small businesses, several of which I started overseas, including national festivals involving hundreds of vendors and which required collaborating across government and private sectors,  new product launches in Mexico, and

a retail store in Florida. I’ve raised six figure sponsorships, negotiated infrastructure contracts, and built extensive promotional campaigns. 

 

Not only have these businesses given me profit and loss responsibility for multi-million dollar budgets, and honed my negotiating and management skills, they have made me more collaborative and creative. I am no stranger to finding solutions that bring together multiple stakeholders and finding common ground between competing agendas.

 

I have been serving our community in a variety of capacities, including the Zoning Board, and as a Board member of the Princeton Merchants Association. I have also been an active Board member of the PCDO and served as Nominating Committee Chair.  Last fall I was very active with several of the Democratic Congressional candidates. And, most recently I produced the first-ever Princeton Restaurant Week, 

 

As an experienced entrepreneur, my skill set can assist the Council navigate as we enter into negotiations with the University, arrive at affordable housing solutions and work with local merchants to the benefit of our local economy.

I have an M.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. and a B.A. in Political Science from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA.  This year my husband George and I will celebrate our 25 years of marriage.  We are very proud of our three sons, Costas, a Junior Economics major at Boston University, Elias, a Senior and Andreas, a Sophomore, at Princeton High School.

 

 

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