The signature issue of my run for Township Council is addressing the relationship between municipal government and our residents—ensuring that our leadership reflects the values and the experiences of those for whom they are making decisions, and focusing on promoting inclusive, respectful and open dialogue. 

The problems surrounding the related issues of engagement, communication and transparency are not unique to West Windsor—they are endemic in our country—but I believe they need to be THE priority if we want our township government operating in a way that reflects our needs and priorities.

Addressing these problems is admittedly tough. Our residents are busy commuters and parents, many are non-voting immigrants. We need creative ideas if we are to reach our residents in a fragmented media market. I was saddened to read The News’ announcement in October that they are cutting back to a monthly publication schedule. We are a township that struggles with open, trusted sources for information—outside of our police department’s public Facebook page.

To this end, I’ve promised several concrete deliverables in this area of relationship building with a my “Contract to West Windsor” (see One idea I’ve proposed is holding office hours around town (for example, I’ve been visiting our train station on Wednesday mornings since June to make myself regularly available to commuters).

It is because I value transparency that I have chosen to be open on the campaign trail about my political affiliation. Why am I sharing my “Democrat” affiliation in an election that is ostensibly non-partisan? It’s because I want to be honest. For my candidacy, Democrat is a biographical description that is relevant to you understanding who I am—as much as mother and scientist.

It has been important for me to stand as a Democrat during these dispiriting times for our country—as a scientist who wants my leaders at all levels of government to have the relevant policy-making expertise to serve, and as a mother who values and supports the most vulnerable in our community. If I win your vote, I want to win your vote for the right reasons.

There have been a number of email/print communications about this election that have been circulated anonymously to residents. To be clear, Alison, Yan Mei and I have had nothing to do with these communications, directly or indirectly. We comply with NJELEC laws by adding “Paid for by…” in all campaign communications. Sadly, there are residents who think that our candidates might support these kinds of anonymous communications. This is emblematic of the cynicism in our government that I’m trying to directly address this election cycle. 

I urge my neighbors to get informed from verified sources, as this is a key local election. 

Shin-Yi Lin

Lin is a candidate for West Windsor Council