Camden Mayor Dana Redd will not seek a third term as the city’s major. Redd made the announcement at Camden’s City Hall at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Redd, who was born and raised in Camden, built a reputation as the “comeback mayor” due to the revitalization efforts she made for the city. Freeholder Jeff Nash described Redd as a tenacious and tireless leader who helped stabilize city finances, transitioning Camden from a city with bad credit to the new home of Subaru, Holtec International and the Philadelphia 76ers’ practice facility.
“Her legacy is the revitalization of Camden City,” Nash said. “Not only in terms of the economic development that we’ve seen, two billion dollars of private investment in the city and the creation of those jobs but community policing.”
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The creation of a regional police force in 2013 drew recognition from President Obama and helped Camden, once one of the country’s most dangerous cities, become a model for community policing. Residents who spoke to NBC10 said Camden still has issues but credited Redd with helping the community become stronger.
“If we could point to one thing, she has uplifted the spirit of the city,” said Carla Rhodes.
Residents say her replacement will have big shoes to fill.
“My heart is full,” said Ronja Butler. “We will miss her greatly.”
Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli released a statement on Redd Wednesday.
“On behalf of the entire Freeholder Board, I want to thank Mayor Dana Redd for her tireless energy and selfless sacrifices to the City of Camden over the last seven and half years and two terms in office," Cappelli wrote. "The city and its residents have benefitted immeasurably under her inspired leadership, navigating it through crisis and shepherding it through unprecedented growth."
"America’s greatest mayor transformed Camden from a municipality in dire straits with some of the nation’s largest challenges to a city fulfilling its promise of improved public safety, enhanced educational opportunities and better access to economic prosperity. During her tenure, the number of new projects announced and new investments being made in Camden is extraordinary in modern time. Her impact will have long-lasting effects on the city, and her legacy will benefit its residents for generations to come.”