Empowered citizens are changing the game as Civic Trustees in cities across New Jersey.

Civic Trustees are a new force for strengthening our cities’ ability to tackle tough issues.  They are committed to identifying evidence-based solutions to their city’s problems, and working together to implement them with a "no-blame" approach. They make a pledge to serve their city, with their fellow Trustees, by working together to make their city stronger than it is today.

Supported by The Citizens Campaign’s platform of civic power tools and training, and its pro bono government attorneys and policy experts in urban government, Civic Trustees are changing the game by:

  • Engaging in bottom-up conversations about issues they care about
  • Conducting evidence-based research on these issues to identify what is working in other cities
  • Shaping the solution to make it more feasible to get results. This is called “doing the doable”.
  • Working with The Citizens Campaign’s Legal Task Force to turn the solution into a “ready to adopt” legal form such as an ordinance, executive order, or resolution
  • Approaching challenges with a “no blame” perspective in order to keep the focus on the solutions
  • Partnering with local government to get results that are: (1) evidence-based, 2) cost effective, and 3) beneficial to the whole community
  • Achieving success via adoption of their solutions by city council, school boards, planning boards and other government agencies
  • Sharing the ongoing story of city government innovation through civic leadership written by City Storytellers 

Are you ready to change the game?

 Now accepting applications for Civic Trusteeship in Asbury Park, Trenton, Perth Amboy and Newark

The Civic Trustee Application provides you with an opportunity to describe your leadership experience, time availability, and overall interest and commitment to Your City.

The Civic Pledge is a commitment to serve Your City, with your fellow Trustees, working towards finding solutions to the challenges you identify and prioritize.



 Demonstrated Leadership Capacity

Leadership is demonstrated in many ways. You don’t need to hold office or run a company to be considered a leader.  Civic Trustees are leaders in their community who have been successful in helping other people to accomplish a goal.  This sort of leadership can come from captaining a team, starting a club, or organizing a fundraiser – anything where you have had to help others get something done. 

Passionate Commitment to Your City

Civic Trustees have a special relationship with their city.  Whether you live, work, or attend school there, all Civic Trustees share a passion and commitment to making their city stronger than it is today.

Time to Make an Active Contribution

Many people will have the leadership ability and passion to make excellent Trustees, but they will not have the availability to make a commitment to their city at this time in their life. Civic Trusteeship does not require an enormous amount of time (monthly meetings -excluding the holiday months of August and December- include a light dinner and run from 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM), but it does require that you make an active contribution to Your City and your fellow Trustees.




In order to maintain the integrity and credibility of Civic Trusteeship, Civic Trustees cannot hold public office or run for office while participating. Disqualifications are:

  • Candidate for or holder of an elected office
  • Member of the City Council or School Board
  • Chair of Zoning or Planning Board
  • Chair of Redevelopment Authority, Parking Authority, Economic Development Authority, Housing Authority, Rent Control Board and/or Utility Authority
  • Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer or Spokesperson of a local political party
  • Spokesperson or Public Information Officer for a candidate or elected official
  • Chairperson or Treasurer of a campaign committee for candidates seeking/holding office
  • City Department Head
  • Local Union President
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