A proud resident of East Orange's First Ward, Lester E Taylor III, was sworn into office as the 13th Mayor of the City of East Orange. At the age of 39, he became the second youngest mayor in the city's history.
Vision and Progress
Under his administration, East Orange is swiftly moving into a new era of unprecedented progress. Mayor Taylor's mission is to enhance the quality of life in East Orange by providing outstanding service to its residents, community, visitors, and business partners. His vision is that East Orange will set the standard for urban excellence and become a destination city.
Over the past three years, Mayor Taylor has focused on quality of life issues, education and economic development to put East Orange on a path to fiscal stability and sustainability. Within the first six months of his first year in office, the Mayor, with the support of The East Orange City Council, overhauled the East Orange Water Commission and made long overdue investments in the East Orange Golf Course to re-establish those two entities as revenue-generating community assets.
Supporting Working Families
Under his leadership, East Orange is leading a national labor and public health movement to benefit working families. In September 2014, East Orange became the 4th city in the State of New Jersey and the 8th in the United States to pass the earned paid sick leave ordinance, a law that will help to build healthier and stronger communities. In January 2016, East Orange became the 1st city in the state - and perhaps the nation - to ratify a new contract agreement with CWA to raise municipal wages to $15 an hour.
With over $400 million of new construction in every ward of the city, the Taylor Administration has focused on bringing a new chapter to the City of East Orange. New construction includes 2,500+ residential units, 2,000 rehabbed units, and more than a dozen commercial and retails projects in the pipeline. East Orange General Hospital, which was acquired by Prospect Medical Holdings, is investing $50 million in infrastructure enhancements, operational efficiencies and local hiring.
Safer and Cleaner Community
Crime continues to decrease with overall crime dropping 20% in each of the last three years. Federal funding in the amount of $5 million has allowed the Department of Public Safety to hire 47 new police officers and 20 new firefighters.
Due to the outstanding work of the newly-established Division of Vacant and Abandoned Properties, the city has aggressively addressed the issue of blight and is holding owners accountable. The division's efforts have been recognized nationally and the New Jersey League of Municipalities awarded the city with the 2016 Innovation in Governance Award.
Broadening Educational Horizons
Mayor Taylor has cultivated a strong community network of support for children and students in the city, and often volunteers his time speaking with students on the importance of education and developing leadership skills. He has forged ties with key partners and is creating new job opportunities for residents, including partnering with unions, developers and businesses to promote local hiring and expanding exposure to college options and hands-on experiences through the Summer Work Experience Program and the Annual HBCU College Fair. His goal is to build a stronger workforce better prepared to compete in the local, regional and global 21st century economy.
As an attorney, Mayor Taylor has built a statewide reputation helping to rehabilitate communities, cities and schools. A member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Mayor Taylor also serves as a Trustee for the New Jersey School Boards Association - Northern Region Association of School Attorneys. In 2010, he was recognized by New Jersey Law Journal as one of the state's "Top 40 Lawyers Under 40."
Mayor Taylor earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Montclair State University and a Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law.
Active Community Involvement
The recipient of numerous awards for his civic involvement, Mayor Taylor is an active volunteer in the community and is currently a board member of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson and East Orange General Hospital.
A former board member of the East Orange YMCA, the Historical Society of East Orange, Inc., and the East Orange Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Taylor currently represents the City of East Orange as a member of the:
- African American Mayors Association
- International Council of Shopping Centers
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- National Conference of Democratic Mayors
- New Jersey Conference of Mayors
- New Jersey Urban Mayors Association
- Salvation Army of the Oranges and Maplewood
- U.S. Conference of Mayors
He enjoys spending the rest of his time raising his three children, Amani, LT and Lena, with his wife, Bibi.