Gang member offers to help save 4 libraries

A gang member?s offer to help save four Trenton libraries has drawn sharp criticism from some community leaders.

Briggs Branch, Cadwalader, East Trenton and Skelton libraries all face closure due to a lack of funding.

During a city council meeting Thursday night, a self-proclaimed member of the Bloods gang named ?Eugene? offered to raise money from his friends and organize fundraising rap concerts.

Community members are torn about Eugene?s offer. Some want to keep the libraries open at any cost, while others feel his donation would be tainted by the illegal acts of his gang. Among those opposed are Trenton City Council President Paul Pintella and Kathy Spalding, manager of the Briggs Branch Library.

?There will be no affiliation with regards to associating ourselves with gang members to help solve our budget crises," Pintella says.

Spalding agrees with Pintella, noting that it might send the wrong message to accept Eugene?s donation.

"It?s a shame that he had to identify himself as a gang member ... because if he was just a community member saying, ?I can help, I know people, I can raise funds, let?s have a concert,? I think everybody would react positively," Spalding says.

Trenton police have not been able to determine if Eugene has a past criminal record without knowing his last name.A meeting is set for Sept. 23 to discuss the fate of the libraries with the library director.

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