Opinion: Members of Princeton Community Housing thank the late Marvin Reed for his contributions

We, the Boards of Trustees of Princeton Community Housing Development Corp and Princeton Community Housing (PCH), join with the larger community to mourn the death of former mayor of Princeton Borough, Marvin Reed.

A champion of and advocate for affordable housing, enabling, among others, the expansion of PCH’s Princeton senior community Harriet Bryan House, Marvin was a model public servant. The phrase from Otto von Bismarck, “politics is the art of the possible” comes to mind.

Marvin Reed’s artful, solutions-oriented approach to government and public service: build consensus around achievable projects that benefit people and continue your efforts to build support for what’s right, despite opposition, helping to broker productive accommodations as circumstances change.

Marvin was a longstanding supporter of the idea of local transportation. The Free B, the municipal local Princeton jitney service instituted in 2008 (unfortunately suspended currently) with the support of Princeton University, was an initiative spearheaded by Marvin Reed. Although it had been contemplated that the Free B bus service would be instrumental in providing transportation to local rail commuters to the Princeton Dinky station, it turned out that fewer commuters than anticipated used the Free B service. However, by cutting some of the routes for rail commuters, the town was able to expand neighborhood Free B service, including an increase in the number of shuttle runs from Elm Court/Harriet Bryan House to the Princeton Senior Resource Center.

Indeed it was a godsend for residents of other PCH communities as well. Princeton Community Village resident Debbie Disher attended the ceremony unveiling the new bus named in honor of Marvin Reed, which was contributed to the town by Princeton University in 2016, in her capacity as a member of the Public Transit Advisory Committee. Disher commented that she rides the Free B shuttle all the time.

“It is so dependable and always there,” Disher said. “I come to the library a lot and can get anywhere I need to go in town. It’s great because you don’t have to worry about parking.”

We miss Marvin Reed and extend heartfelt condolences to his family.


Valerie Haynes
PCH Community Board Chair

Alice K. Small
PCHDC Board Chair

Sara Just
PCH PR and Advocacy Committee Chair

Ed Truscelli
PCH Executive Director