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Poll: Gov. Chris Christie and His Interest in Camden -- What’s the Real Deal?

Why is the governor investing so much money -- and political capital -- in the troubled city of Camden?

Gov. Chris Christie has devoted a significant amount of the state’s resources to Camden, still rated the poorest city in America. The latest is a new pledge to renovate Camden High School with at least $50 million (down from a previous pledge of $100 million). He’s also ordered a state takeover of the school system, provided funds for a county takeover of the city police department, supported investment in the city through massive tax incentives, and supported initiatives at Cooper University Hospital and Rutgers-Camden campus.

What do you think of the governor’s support of Camden?

  • It’s one area in which he’s getting it right. Camden is a major South Jersey city that was long overdue for significant investment. Look at the results: crime is down, redevelopment is occurring at a significant rate, and the governor has the enthusiastic support of a well-respected mayor. Why criticize?

  • Christie is doing this not because he cares what happens to Camden, but at the behest of Democratic powerbroker George Norcross. This is simply transactional politics. It would be nice if it works but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • We need a real urban agenda in this state. One that looks at all of our urban needs and tries to address them equitably and systematically. Trenton, Paterson, Jersey City all need money and attention and are ignored. And they could be better investments.

  • It’s a ridiculous waste of effort and money. Camden is a very small, poor city with chronic issues. All Christie is doing is throwing good money after bad -- for political expediency.

  • New Jersey’s cities have been lost for a long time and they are unlikely to come back. We need to focus on aging bedroom communities, which is the next problem area for the state. Let’s fix what we can fix.

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