John A. Girgenti was born in Paterson on August 8, 1947. He attended Hawthorne High School, where he was a three sport athlete in track & field, baseball, and football. He continued his studies at Seton Hall University, receiving a B.A. degree in Political Science, cum laude, in 1969, and completed his M.A. in Government and Public Administration from St. John’s University in 1972.
John Girgenti was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly in 1977, and re-elected six times. In the Assembly he served as Chairman of the Municipal Government Committee and Deputy Majority Leader. As an Assemblyman, John Girgenti sponsored legislation that created the Victims of Crime Compensation Board, successfully imposing the first “tax on crime.”
In March of 1990, he was chosen by district Democrats to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of Frank X. Graves, Jr. John A. Girgenti was sworn into the Senate on April 5th. He was elected to his first full-term in the Senate on November 5, 1991 and has since been re-elected five times.
Senator Girgenti was one of the first State senators to call for enhanced fingerprinting requirements for state employees involved with domestic security following the 9/11 terror attacks. Senator Girgenti has also fought hard to update and modernize New Jersey’s background check laws so that towns and communities can identify potential threats before it is too late. The Senator was instrumental in putting forth legislation that mandates and provides funding for sprinkler installation in New Jersey college dormitories. He has also sponsored other landmark legislative measures that include Megan’s Law, Amber Alert, and the Paterson Urban Enterprise Zone Program. Senator Girgenti spearheaded the reinstatement of the Paterson Motor Vehicle Agency and was the momentum behind its re-opening in 2008.
In response to the growing gang problem in New Jersey, Senator Girgenti has been at the forefront of formulating pragmatic legislative solutions to eliminate criminal street gangs, sponsoring a consortium of bills to effectively address the issue. The measures range from requiring municipal boards of education to offer instruction in gang violence prevention, to the source of bail funds for individuals who commit certain serious crimes, to the upgrading of penalties for illegal firearms possession, transfer, and use. In 2006 Senator Girgenti formed a “Gang Task Force” composed of experts from government, law enforcement, education, local clergy, and recreation to review and evaluate legislative measures aimed at circumventing gang activity.
Senator Girgenti is currently the Chairman of the Law & Public Safety Committee and Vice Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Girgenti also serves on the Senate Transportation Committee.
John Girgenti served as President of the Passaic County Young Democrats for four years ending in June 1978. He was the State President of the Young Democrats in 1975, and since that year, has served as an executive member of the Passaic County Democratic Committee. He is also the Hawthorne Democratic Leader.
Senator Girgenti served on the Hawthorne Board of Education from 1973 to 1976 and was the board’s vice president from 1974 to 1976.
John A. Girgenti married the former Rose Nagle in 1982.
Senator Girgenti represents the 35th Legislative District, which includes Glen Rock, Haledon, Hawthorne, North Haledon, Prospect Park, Paterson, and Totowa.
Chief of Staff: Jill Ippolito
Legislative Aides: Peter Oneglia, Esther Perez
507 Lafayette Avenue
Hawthorne, NJ 07506
Phone: (973) 427-1229