Something truly special is happening right now in Trenton.

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Maybe you find it hard to believe something special is happening in Trenton. Most of the news involving Trenton is nothing short of heartbreaking. The homicide rate last year was staggering. I occasionally read “Homicide Watch Trenton” which thoughtfully memorializes each life lost in Trenton. These are not numbers we’re talking about. These are people. And this is a community. Trenton is likely merely miles from your home — I know it isn’t far from mine. I have a hard time ignoring the poverty, crime and desolation currently occurring there.

This past Saturday, my husband and I had the chance to participate in the kick off to the “Paths to Power” series hosting by Citizens Campaign and Impact Trenton and lead by Darren Freedom Green. It was outstanding and exciting. We met many involved individuals, community members in Trenton, dedicated to creating change in Trenton and inspiring that passion in others.

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The Citizens Campaign serves to empower citizens to make a meaningful change in their own community, to cultivate a culture of service and develop a new generation of leaders who focus on service rather than personal gain. Through conferences and meetings, as well as an online tool kit of literature and online classes, The Citizens Campaign has educated thousands of New Jerseyans on how to navigate the power structure of government and to exercise leadership in their own communities utilizing 5 distinct “Paths to Power.” In conjunction, Impact Trenton is an initiative of The Citizens Campaign aiming to build a pool of empowered citizen problem-solvers in the City of Trenton.

On Saturdays in February through March, the Citizens Campaign is hosting a series of instructional meetings in Trenton’s West Ward to discuss these “Paths to Power,” which include: 1) citizen legislators, 2) political navigators, 3) citizen journalists, 4) political party committee people, and 5) appointed officials. These paths and the discussions at the meetings serve to explore, empower and incite solutions to community problems in Trenton.

Ryan and I will be participating at the March 8th “Citizen Journalism” session. We’d love to see you there too. You can find more information below or go to (follow on twitter @citizencampaign).

Workshop series

Learn more at and follow on Twitter @impacttrenton

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, serves on the volunteer Board of Trustees of the Lawrence Hopewell Trail (LHT), holds a seat on the Hopewell Borough Board of Health, and is a member of the Hopewell Valley Municipal Alliance.