East Orange, NJ, February 25, 2019 – Mayor Ted R. Green gave his 2020 State of the City Address on Thursday, February 24, 2020 to a standing-room only Jean L. James Theater at Cicely L. Tyson School’s Performing Arts Center.
In his remarks, Mayor Green centered on the administration’s progress including an A+ Standard and Poor’s long-term credit rating, minimal increases in municipal taxes, infrastructure repairs and the city’s $1 billion redevelopment project pipeline. The Mayor proudly shared that grant awards doubled from 2018 to over $12M in 2019 and that the Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training had increased employment placements for East Orange residents by nearly 20%.
He also touted improvements made in the area of public safety – announcing a new free smoke alarm installation campaign from the East Orange Fire Division for the hearing-impaired and over two dozen new recruits. The room erupted with thunderous applause as he reminded the crowd that East Orange has one of the highest numbers of female firefighters in the state and a police force represented 25% by women. To further demonstrate the city’s commitment to our EOPD and EOFD divisions, Mayor Green announced the promotions of over a dozen firefighters and police officers citing their hard work and dedication during the State of the City address.
Mayor Green kept the mood optimistic, but was adamant about his administration’s plans to address societal issues like mental health, drug abuse, and homelessness, including the displacement of families from New York City’s Special One-Time Assistance Program, or SOTA. Stating clearly, that while “[East Orange] is not a city that turns our backs on people,” Mayor Green reiterated how it is not only our moral obligation, but also our legal obligation, to make sure that every resident is provided a safe and healthy living environment.
Notably, the Mayor focused portions of his speech on educational highlights and accomplishments of East Orange youth, many of who were included in the ceremonial event as performers, honor guards, and special guests.
The Mayor wrapped up his address by explaining his top priority: the people who live and work in East Orange.
“When people think about East Orange, I want them to think clean, safe and healthy,” said Mayor Green. “When people think about East Orange, I want them to think sustainable and financially sound! When I think about East Orange, I don’t think small, I think big!”
Mayor Green shared his vision that East Orange is destined to become the urban model for social and economic inclusion; a city where the wellness and enjoyment of each household is maximized, each family is nurtured and empowered, every entrepreneur flourishes, and every newcomer and visitor feel embraced.
“Can we fulfill this vision?” Mayor Green asked the crowd in closing. “I say, ‘Yes, we can!’ Will we remain clean, safe and healthy? I say, ‘Yes, we will!’ Are we building a greater East Orange? I say, ‘Yes, we are!’ We are one city, one community, with one goal and that goal equals progress. And all of you are a part of that progress!”