Hi, I'm Caren
WHERE I COME FROM
Hello! I’m Caren Fitzpatrick, and I’m your Atlantic County Freeholder at Large.
I’m the director of finance & administration at Meet AC, the organization that is charged with bringing meetings and conventions to Atlantic City. We’re an economic development agency and are committed to the success of Atlantic City. I’ve done this sort of work for more than 20 years in both for profit and nonprofit organizations, giving me deep and varied experiences in budgeting, forecasting and fiscal responsibility. I am a fiscal conservative.
I’ve lived in Atlantic County all my life, including years spent living in Pleasantville, Somers Point and Linwood. I graduated from Mainland Regional High School, Atlantic Community College (as it was known in 1995)--AAS/Accounting, Thomas Edison State College-BS Business Administration, and Stockton University-Masters Business Administration. My father was a professor of philosophy at ACC, and taught me to question. Everything.
I’m married for almost 40 years to Brian. We raised two sons, Brian and Duncan, and in 2014, Brian gave me the daughter I never had, my daughter in-law, Meghan. I am now the proud bubbie of a beautiful granddaughter, Cassidy and precious grandson, Dylan.
I believe in people, their right to equal opportunities, and I enjoy the amazing diversity of our County. We are all better off when we learn about each other and celebrate our differences as well as our similarities.
I’m a feminist, meaning I support all people having an equal voice in their lives. We all prosper when we have a variety of opinions and thoughts regarding the decisions we make. Everybody brings something unique to the table.
I’m PERSISTENT! Some of the best advice I’ve received in my life was from my Aunt Judy, who told me “be pushy dear!” I don’t like to give up, and won’t give up when acting on behalf of the citizens of Atlantic County.
Please work with me to keep moving Atlantic County forward. I'll see you around the County!
Equality Meets Opportunity
Caren believes that everyone deserves a shot at the American Dream, but all too often we are not working with a level playing field. Advantages and privilege exist in certain communities, while others are left behind or left out. Good government has the ability to equalize the balance of power and give everyone the opportunity to succeed.
What Caren Fights For
Everyone has things that are important to them, and while we may disagree on details, what is important are your values. These are the things Caren thinks are important, not only to her, but to the voters of Atlantic County.
WORK IN THE CITY. LIVE IN ATLANTIC COUNTY.
Atlantic County should begin a marketing effort to invite the people and families who fled COVID in New York and Philadelphia to spend the shelter in place in our area. This experience has shown that we've found that we are able to work from home, no matter where our work is or where we physically live. We don't have the infrastructure necessary to travel to those cities for work, but we do have a virtual infrastructure. What a win-win we can orchestrate for people to bring that big city money home to Atlantic County while living here, a cleaner, safer, and more peaceful place to live and raise a family. This could be a silver lining in the crisis: an influx of taxpayers and local business support without a lot of capital expense.
MOBILE OB/GYN CARE FOR ATLANTIC CITY
The black infant mortality rate in AC is 4 times that of the State of NJ, and there hasn't been a child born in Atlantic City in some time. Bringing care back to the community in need will help keep both babies and mothers healthy. Although a Healthplex with maternity care is planned, a mobile unit could be on the street in weeks instead of waiting more than a year for construction.
IMPROVED AIR SERVICE AT ACY
Lack of passenger air service to the Atlantic County region costs millions of dollars annually in lost tourism revenue. Both leisure and convention business will flourish with regular air service. I've personally seen airports smaller than ACY in Colorado Springs and Santa Fe which have American and United airlines with two departures each daily. Why not here?
VOICE FOR IMMIGRANT AND MARGINALIZED RESIDENTS
Acting as an ally to the community working its way toward equality is an honor. Whether maneuvering government systems, accompanying someone through their journey toward personal power, or calling out inequitable treatment, I will always stand with our hard working immigrant residents.Review all renewing contracts to be sure they continue to fit the needs of Atlantic County. As contracts come up for renewal, conditions may have changed. Fiscal, environmental, social conditions should be evaluated thoroughly to ensure we are not doing the same thing over again when needs may be different.
ENSURE SHARED SERVICES EQUALITY AMONG MUNICIPALITIES
Expertise and purchasing power are assets of Atlantic County and should be used to benefit all 23 municipalities within the County equally.
LEAD NEW JERSEY IN SCHOOL DESEGREGATION
New Jersey is the fourth most segregated state in the country. There is a lawsuit against the State of NJ that would have an effect on every school district in the State. Schools can get in front of the situation and show the court a remedy before being forced into changes mandated by the court's decision. We are fortunate in Atlantic County that Galloway Township shows a good example of school diversity that reflects the makeup of the region and state.