Email - Jennifer.Bradshaw@Patch.com
Phone - (732) 551-7746
Hometown - Middletown, NJ
I'm kind of a transplant. Raised in Monmouth County, I came to New Brunswick about eight years ago to get my degree at Rutgers. In that time, I came to know where to get the best burrito in town, the best sandwich from the famed Grease Trucks (Falafel, lettuce, tomato on pita topped with both white sauce and red sauce. Try it for breakfast!) and the knowledge that if you arrive on Easton Ave. past 8 p.m. on a Thursday night, you can't buy a parking space. After graduating and moving back to the Shore for two years, the area called me back, and I've lived here for the past five years. It's a privilege to live in such a diverse, lively and cultured area. It's a mixture of so many different groups of people and ways of life that both encompasses and goes beyond the University that calling it anything other than "New Brunswick" is inaccurate. New Brunswick is a city in every possible sense of the word, and teems with life.
I graduated from Rutgers University in 2006 with my bachelor's degree in communications, specializing in print journalism. That same year, I went to work for Gannett New Jersey's largest paper, The Asbury Park Press, working my way up from writing everything from bake sale announcements and obituaries, to stories out of the state capital as the Press's education reporter, a gig I enjoyed immensely. To really get to know a community, you have to be tapped into its schools, and nearly a dozen communities let me in by allowing me to come write about their children and their educational initiatives.
Prior to the Press, I helped manage RLC-WVPH FM, 90.3 The Core in Piscataway, the college's student-run radio station, where I moonlighted as both a DJ and manager of the music department.
I am very excited to bring my career back to the city where I began dealing in media. The New Brunswick Patch will chronicle daily life in New Brunswick: the good, the bad, and the definitely diverse, but all a part of what keeps people coming back.
At Patch, we promise always to report the facts as objectively as possible and otherwise adhere to the principles of good journalism. However, we also acknowledge that true impartiality is impossible because human beings have beliefs. So in the spirit of simple honesty, our policy is to encourage our editors to reveal their beliefs to the extent they feel comfortable. This disclosure is not a license for them to inject their beliefs into stories or to dictate coverage according to them. In fact, the intent is the opposite: we hope that the knowledge that their beliefs are on the record will cause them to be ever mindful to write, report and edit in a fair, balanced way. And if you ever see evidence that we failed in this mission, please let us know.
How would you describe your political beliefs?
I would categorize myself as an independent. However, I have fiscally conservative tendencies and I believe in smaller, non-obtrusive government, but I tend to lean a bit left of center on national issues.
How religious would you consider yourself? (casual, observant, devout, non religious)
I occasionally attend services with my family, but would not consider myself active in the faith.
Local Hot-Button Issues
What do you think are the most important issues facing the community?
Urban enterprise is a huge issue facing New Brunswick, as is the issue of quality public schooling (New Brunswick is an Abbott district).
Where do you stand on each of these issues?
I am a believer in free public education of the highest quality, particularly for children in urban and high risk areas, a belief that stems from my days as an education reporter where I saw firsthand the institution's successes and failures. The state's public education model need to be fixed, as it currently encompasses a lot of fiscal waste and inadequate resources being allotted to areas where education has to reach beyond the classroom and into the home of the student. However, this begs the question of what the role of a school must be in relation to the role of the family and what to do when a family is not able to meet the needs of the child. Does a school then step in to parent, or is is not their responsibility? And where will the money to adequately support these children come from? It's a very difficult issue.