East Orange Mayor-elect Lester Taylor today formally announced that former state Assemblywoman and Gubernatorial Cabinet member Dr. Stephanie Bush-Baskette, Esq., Ph.D. will chair a transition team tasked with assembling the Essex County city’s new government.
Taylor said Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-34) and East Orange City Council President Quilla E. Talmadge will serve as honorary chairs of the transition.
“Dr. Bush-Baskette and the committee chairs all share my commitment to building a city government that is open, ethical and accountable to our residents,” said Taylor (pictured), who will be sworn in on Jan. 1 as the city’s first new mayor in 16 years. “I have no doubt that together we can make our city safer, more affordable, provide jobs and improve the quality of life for our families and seniors.”
Bush-Baskette is the founding president of Sojourn Institute LLC, and on the faculty at Rutgers University. Elected to three terms as an Assemblywoman, she left the Legislature to join Governor James Florio’s Gubernatorial Cabinet as the State Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, becoming the first African-American woman to serve in a New Jersey Gubernatorial Cabinet.
“I’m proud to be joining Mayor-Elect Taylor in his efforts to build a responsible government that works for all East Orange residents,” said Bush-Baskette. “Mayor-Elect Taylor has a vision for where this city can go and the dedication to get the job done. I am thrilled to be able to use my experience and expertise to build a city government that East Orange families can count on.”
In addition, Taylor named the heads of the following eight committees who will work under the guidance of Bush-Baskette:
- COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Gerald M. Balmir, government and community affairs director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)
- COMMITTEE ON FINANCE, HUMAN RESOURCES & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES: Cheryl G. Fuller, Director of Finance, Administration and Chief Financial Officer for Hudson County
- COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION: Jacqui Greadington, educator and advocate
- COMMITTEE ON RECREATION & YOUTH: Vinnie Brown, Grammy Award winning Artist, Activist, Host and MC
- COMMITTEE ON LAW & COURTS: Joyce Wilson Harley, Esq., attorney and Vice President of Administration and Finance at Essex County College
- COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY: Newark Chief of Police Sheilah A. Coley
- COMMITTEE ON HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES: Dr. Denise A. Davis, Dr.PH, MPH, MPA
- COMMITTEE ON THE ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS: Marjorie Perry, president and CEO of MZM Construction & Management Company, Inc.