Elizabeth, New Jersey

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Elizabeth, New Jersey
City
City of Elizabeth
Elizabeth Station
Elizabeth Station
Official seal of Elizabeth, New Jersey
Seal
Map of Elizabeth in Union County(click image to enlarge; also see: state map)
Map of Elizabeth in Union County
(click image to enlarge; also see: state map)
Census Bureau map of Elizabeth, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Elizabeth, New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°39′59″N 74°11′37″W / 40.666261°N 74.19353°W / 40.666261; -74.19353Coordinates: 40°39′59″N 74°11′37″W / 40.666261°N 74.19353°W / 40.666261; -74.19353[1][2]
Country  United States of America
State  New Jersey
County Union
Founded 1665
Incorporated March 13, 1855
Government[5]
 • Type Faulkner Act (Mayor-Council)
 • Mayor J. Christian "Chris" Bollwage (term ends December 31, 2015)[3]
 • Administrator Bridget Zellner[4]
 • Clerk Yolanda Roberts[4]
Area[2]
 • Total 13.464 sq mi (34.873 km2)
 • Land 12.319 sq mi (31.907 km2)
 • Water 1.145 sq mi (2.966 km2)  9.51%
Area rank 180th of 566 in state
1st of 21 in county[2]
Elevation[6] 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010 Census)[7][8][9][10]
 • Total 124,969
 • Estimate (2013)[11] 127,558
 • Rank 4th of 566 in state
1st of 21 in county[12]
 • Density 10,144.1/sq mi (3,916.7/km2)
 • Density rank 37th of 566 in state
2nd of 21 in county[12]
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 07201 - Union Square station
07202 - Bayway station
07206 - Elizabethport station
07207 - P.O. Boxes
07208 - Elmora station[13][14]
Area code(s) 908[15]
FIPS code 3403921000[16][2][17]
GNIS feature ID 0885205[18][2]
Website www.elizabethnj.org
View Near Elizabethtown, N. J., oil painting by Régis François Gignoux, Honolulu Museum of Art

Elizabeth is a city in Union County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 124,969,[7][8][9] retaining its ranking as New Jersey's fourth largest city (by population).[19] The population increased by 4,401 (+3.7%) from the 120,568 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 10,566 (+9.6%) from the 110,002 counted in the 1990 Census.[20] It is the county seat of Union County.[21][22]

In 2008, Elizabeth was named one of "America's 50 Greenest Cities" by Popular Science magazine, the only city in New Jersey selected.[23]

History[edit]

Elizabeth, originally called "Elizabethtown" and part of the Elizabethtown Tract, was founded in 1665 by English settlers. The town was not named for Queen Elizabeth I as many people may assume, but rather for Elizabeth, wife of Vice Admiral Sir George Carteret, 1st Baronet and one of the two original Proprietors of the colony of New Jersey.[24] She was the daughter of Philippe de Carteret II, 3rd Seigneur de Sark and Anne Dowse. The town served as the first capital of New Jersey.[25] During the American Revolutionary War, Elizabethtown was continually attacked by British forces based on Manhattan and Staten Island, culminating in the Battle of Springfield which decisively defeated British attempts to gain New Jersey. After independence, George Washington embarked from Elizabethtown by boat to Manhattan for his 1789 inauguration.[26] There are numerous memorials and monuments of the American Revolution in Elizabeth.[27]

On March 13, 1855, the City of Elizabeth was created by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, combining and replacing both Elizabeth Borough (which dated back to 1740) and Elizabeth Township (which had been formed in 1693), subject to the results of a referendum held on March 27, 1855. On March 19, 1857, the city became part of the newly created Union County. Portions of the city were taken to form Linden Township on March 4, 1861.[28]

The first major industry, the Singer Sewing Machine Company came to Elizabeth and employed as many as 2,000 people. In 1895, it saw one of the first car companies, when Electric Carriage and Wagon Company was founded to manufacture the Electrobat, joined soon by another electric car builder, Andrew L. Riker. The Electric Boat Company got its start building submarines for the United States Navy in Elizabeth, New Jersey beginning with the launch of USS Holland (SS-1) in 1897. These pioneering naval craft [known as A-Class] were developed at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth between the years 1896–1903.[29] Elizabeth grew in parallel to its sister city of Newark for many years, but has been more successful in retaining a middle class presence and was spared riots in the 1960s.

Geography[edit]

Elizabeth is located at 40°39′59″N 74°11′37″W / 40.666261°N 74.19353°W / 40.666261; -74.19353 (40.666261,-74.19353). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 13.464 square miles (34.873 km2), of which, 12.319 square miles (31.907 km2) of it was land and 1.145 square miles (2.966 km2) of it (8.51%) was water.[1][2]

Elizabeth is bordered to the southwest by Linden, to the west by Roselle and Roselle Park, to the northwest by Union and Hillside, to the north by Newark (in Essex County). To the east the city is across the Newark Bay from Bayonne in Hudson County and the Arthur Kill from Staten Island, New York. The borders of Elizabeth, Bayonne, and Staten Island meet at one point on Shooters Island, of which 7.5 acres (3.0 ha) of the island is owned by Elizabeth, though the island is managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.[30]

Climate[edit]

The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Elizabeth has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[31]

Business and industry[edit]

Industrial "backyard" East of Elizabeth, New Jersey

Since World War II, Elizabeth has seen its transportation facilities grow; the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal is one of the busiest ports in the world, as is Newark Liberty International Airport, parts of which are actually in Elizabeth. Elizabeth also features Little Jimmy's Italian Ices (since 1932), the popular Jersey Gardens outlet mall, Loews Theater, and the Elizabeth Center, which generate millions of dollars in revenue. Companies based in Elizabeth include New England Motor Freight.

Together with Linden, Elizabeth is home to the Bayway Refinery, a Phillips 66 refining facility that helps supply petroleum-based products to the New York/New Jersey area, producing approximately 230,000 barrels (37,000 m3) per day.

Portions of the city are covered by the Urban Enterprise Zone, which cuts the sales tax rate to 3½% (half of the 7% charged statewide) and offers other incentives to businesses within the district.[32] The Elizabeth UEZ has the highest business participation rate in the state, with approximately 1,000 businesses participating in — and benefiting from — the program. The UEZ has helped bring in more than $1.5 billion in new economic development to the City and has brought in over $50 million in sales tax revenue that has been reinvested in funding for additional police, streetscape and other infrastructure improvements.[33]

Celadon, a mixed-use development containing 14 glass skyscrapers, offices, retail, a hotel, boardwalk and many other amenities is proposed to border the east side of the Jersey Gardens mall, directly on the Port Newark Bay. It is planned to break ground in the summer As of 2008 on the ferry, roads and parking, and will continue construction for at least twelve more years.[34]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1810 2,977
1820 3,515 18.1%
1830 3,455 −1.7%
1840 4,184 21.1%
1850 5,583 33.4%
1860 11,567 107.2%
1870 20,832 * 80.1%
1880 28,229 35.5%
1890 37,764 33.8%
1900 52,130 38.0%
1910 73,409 40.8%
1920 95,783 30.5%
1930 114,589 19.6%
1940 109,912 −4.1%
1950 112,817 2.6%
1960 107,698 −4.5%
1970 112,654 4.6%
1980 106,201 −5.7%
1990 110,002 3.6%
2000 120,568 9.6%
2010 124,969 3.7%
Est. 2013 127,558 [11][35] 2.1%
Population sources: 1810-1970[36]
1810-1920[37] 1810[38] 1820[39]
1830[40] 1840[41] 1850-1870[42]
1850[43] 1870[44] 1880-1890[45]
1890-1910[46] 1860–1930[47]
1930–1990[48] 2000[49][50] 2010[7][8][9][51]
* = Lost territory in previous decade.[28]

2010 Census[edit]

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 124,969 people, 41,596 households, and 29,325 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,144.1 per square mile (3,916.7 /km2). There were 45,516 housing units at an average density of 3,694.7 per square mile (1,426.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 54.65% (68,292) White, 21.08% (26,343) Black or African American, 0.83% (1,036) Native American, 2.08% (2,604) Asian, 0.04% (52) Pacific Islander, 16.72% (20,901) from other races, and 4.59% (5,741) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 59.50% (74,353) of the population.[7] The city's Hispanic population was the tenth-highest percentage among municipalities in New Jersey as of the 2010 Census.[52]

There were 41,596 households, of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% were married couples living together, 22.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.5% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94 and the average family size was 3.43.[7]

In the city, 25.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.2 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.[7]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $43,770 (with a margin of error of +/- $1,488) and the median family income was $46,891 (+/- $1,873). Males had a median income of $32,268 (+/- $1,205) versus $27,228 (+/- $1,427) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $19,196 (+/- $604). About 14.7% of families and 16.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 18.5% of those age 65 or over.[53]

2000 Census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census[16] there were 120,568 people, 40,482 households, and 28,175 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,865.5 inhabitants per square mile (3,809.5/km2). There were 42,838 housing units at an average density of 3,505.2 per square mile (1,353.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 55.78% White, 19.98% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 2.35% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 15.51% from other races, and 5.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 49.46% of the population.[49][50]

The nation where the highest number of foreign-born inhabitants of Elizabeth were born was Colombia, which was the birthplace of 8,731 Elizabeth residents as of the 2000 Census. This exceeded the combined total of Mexico and Central America of 8,214. It also far exceeded the next highest single nation count of Cuba at 5,812. The largest number for a non-Spanish speaking country and third highest overall was immigrants from Portugal numbering 4,544. The next largest groups were Salvadoran immigrants numbering 4,043, Peruvians 3,591 and Dominican immigrants of whom there were 3,492.[54]

There were 40,482 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.9% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.45.[49][50]

In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 33.7% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.[49][50]

The median income for a household in the city was $35,175, and the median income for a family was $38,370. Males had a median income of $30,757 versus $23,931 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,114. About 15.6% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.2% of those under age 18 and 17.2% of those age 65 or over.[49][50]

Districts and neighborhoods[edit]

The city of Elizabeth has several distinct districts and neighborhoods.

Midtown / Uptown[edit]

Art Deco Hersh Tower[55]

Midtown (Broad Street and Morris Avenue), also occasionally known as Uptown, is the main commercial district. Midtown is a historic section as well. It includes the First Presbyterian Church and St. John's Episcopal Church, and its St. John's Episcopal Churchyard. The First Presbyterian Church was a battleground for the American Revolution. Located here are also the 1931 Art Deco Hersh Tower,[55] the Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy, and the Ritz Theatre which has been operating since 1926. Midtown/Uptown includes the area once known as "Brittanville" which contained many English type gardens.

Bayway[edit]

Bayway is located in the southern part of the City and borders the City of Linden. From US 1&9 & Allen St, between the Elizabeth River & the Arthur Kill, it has maintained a strong Polish Community for years. Developed at the turn of te 20th Century, many of the area residents once worked at the refinery which straddles both Elizabeth & Linden. There are unique ethnic restaurants, bars, and stores along Bayway Avenue, and a variety of houses of worship. Housing styles are older and well maintained. There are many affordable two to four-family housing units, and multiple apartment complexes. The western terminus of the Goethals Bridge, which spans the Arthur Kill to Staten Island can be found here. A small section of the neighborhood was isolated with both the completion of the Goethals Bridge in 1928 and the construction of the New Jersey Turnpike in the 1950s. This section known as "Relocated Bayway" will soon be a memory and piece of history as many of the residents have been relocated themselves to make way for the expansion of the Goethals Bridge.

DownTown / Elizabethport[edit]

Downtown / E-Port (a.k.a The Port & Elizabethport) is the oldest neighborhood in Elizabeth and perhaps the most diverse place in the City. It is a collection of old world Elizabeth, new America, and a mix of colonial-style houses and apartment buildings that stretch east of 7th Street to its shores. The name derived from its dependency of businesses catering to sea going ventures. It was a thriving center of business between approximately the 1660s through the middle of the 20th Century. This area has had a great deal of improvement in the last fifteen years. Many homes have been refurbished or replaced with new, more ornate constructions. Housing projects that stood for years along First Street were demolished and replaced with attractive apartment complexes for those with low to moderate incomes. New townhomes on the waterfront have been developed & new 2 family homes are currently under construction. The area formally had three subdividing neighborhoods called Buckeye, New Mexico & Diamondville. It is the former home of the Singer Manufacturing Company, makers of Singer sewing machines.

The Elizabeth Marina, which in the past was filled with trash and debris along its walkway, has also beautified and many celebrations are held year round, from a Hispanic festival in the late spring to the lighting of a Christmas tree in the winter. Living conditions in this area continue to improve year after year. Historically, there was a Slavic community here, centered by a church (Sts. Peter and Paul Byzantine) and a Lithuanian (Sts. Peter and Paul, R.C.) and Polish (St. Adalbert) Roman Catholic Church still stands in the neighborhood. St. Patrick Church, originally Irish, dominates the 'Port and was built in 1888.

Elmora & The West End[edit]

Warinanco Park, Elmora

Elmora is a middle/working-class neighborhood in the western part of Elizabeth. The main thoroughfare, Elmora Avenue, boasts some of the best restaurants, shops and boutiques. A few of the City’s most luxurious high-rise building complexes- affording views of the New York skyline - dot the edge of this neighborhood and are convenient to the Midtown NJ Transit Train Station. The neighborhood area forms a "V" from its approximate borders of the Central RR tracks to Rahway Av.

Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Patrick's Church, Elizabethport

Elmora Hills[edit]

The northwestern part of Elmora is known as Elmora Hills. It is a strongly middle- to upper-middle-class neighborhood. Originally called Shearerville, the name Elmora came from the developers of the area, the El Mora Land Company. This area was annexed from Union, returning to Elizabeth in the early part of the 20th Century. This was done to increase the city's tax base as major improvements to infrastructure were necessary at the time.

Frog Hollow[edit]

Frog Hollow is a small community of homes east of Atlantic St, west of the Arthur Kill, and south of Elizabeth Avenue. Its name is derived from the excellent frog catching in its marshes as well as the excellent oyster & fishing of the past. The area expanded east and includes the area formally known as Helltown. Helltown included many of the docs, shipyards as well as several drydocks. The area developer was Edward N Kellogg who also laid out the neighborhood in Keighry Head. Frog Hollow contains older style, affordable homes, rentals and some quality restaurants in a working-class community. The statue honoring former Mayor Mack on Elizabeth Avenue is a landmark in the community. Frog Hollow is also convenient to the Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park.

Keighry Head[edit]

The name is attributed to James Keighry of the Isle of Kerry, Ireland. He was a notable resident who owned a business facing the square formed at the junction of Jackson, Madison, Chestnut & Magnolia Avenues. The approximate borders of this neighborhood extended north from East Grand St to Flora St and from Walnut to Division St. Developed by Edward N. Kellogg, many of the streets were named after family & friends. Keighry Head is located close to Midtown, containing affordable one and two-family homes, and apartment houses, convenient to the Midtown shopping district, and transportation.

War monument; north Elizabeth

North End / North Elizabeth[edit]

The North End also known as "North Elizabeth" is mainly a diverse working-class neighborhood. The borders are approximately the Arch north to the city line between North Broad St & US 1 & 9. Developed mostly in the 1920s for workers in the Dusenburg automobile plant (later Durant Auto, Burry Biscuits & Interbake Foods). Initially not having an ethnic composition, the area was heavily settled by the Irish and then Portuguese. The North End has easy access to New York and Newark via its own NJ Transit train station, Routes 1&9 & the NJ Turnpike. The neighborhood also has Crane Square, the Historic Nugents Tavern, and Kellogg Park and its proximity to Newark Airport. There is currently a plan in place to develop the former Interbake Foods facility into shopping and residential town houses and condominiums. This community contains many larger one and two-family homes that have been rebuilt over the past decade. North Elizabeth also features many well-kept apartment houses and condominium units on and around North Avenue that are home to professionals who work in New York or the area. In addition, the only Benedictine women's community in New Jersey is located at Saint Walburga Monastery on North Broad Street.

Peterstown[edit]

Peterstown (also known as "The Burg") is a middle/working-class neighborhood in the southeastern part of the city. Its borders run west of Atlantic St. to South Spring St & from 1st Av to the Elizabeth River. The name is derived from John Peters who owned most of the land with George Peters. They divided the land and developed in during the end of the 19th Century. The area of Peterstown was once predominantly occupied its earliest settlers who were German and during the 1920s was gentrified by newly immigrated Italians. Peterstown has clean, quiet streets and has many affordable housing opportunities with a “village” feel. The area contains the historic Union Square, home to produce stands, meat markets, fresh fish and poultry stores. Peterstown is also home to the DeCavalcante crime family, one of the most infamous Mafia families in the United States.

The Point / The Crossroads[edit]

The Point formally known as the Crossroads is centrally located and defined by New Point Road & Division St. It is located close to Midtown and contains many new affordable two-family homes, apartment houses and is undergoing a transformation. The former Elizabeth General Hospital site is currently being demolished and awaiting a new development.

Quality Hill[edit]

Home to St. Mary's & the "Hilltoppers" this area once was lined with mansions. The approximate borders were South Broad St to Grier Av & Pearl St to what is now US 1 & 9. During its development in the 1860s it was the most fashionable area of the city to live. It is now a strong & quiet middle class community experiencing a re-development with many new condominiums.

Westminster[edit]

Developed by Edward J. Grassman, Westminster got its name from the City’s largest residential estates, of the Tudor style and was inhabited by many residents who traced their ancestry to England. This neighborhood borders Hillside with the Elizabeth River running its border creating a dramatic splash of greenery and rolling hills off of North Avenue, near Liberty Hall. Residents use this area for recreation, whether it is at the newly christened Phil Rizzuto Park area, or for bird watching or for sunbathing by the river. It is one of the more affluent areas of Elizabeth.

Government[edit]

Elizabeth City Hall

Local government[edit]

The City of Elizabeth is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Mayor-Council system of municipal government. The City government of Elizabeth is made up of a Mayor and a City Council. The Elizabeth City Council is made up of nine members, who are elected to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis with elections held in even years. The three Council members elected at-large and mayor come up for election together in leap years and two years later the six members who are elected from each of Elizabeth's six wards are all up for election.[5]

As of 2014, the city's Mayor is Democrat J. Christian Bollwage, a lifelong resident of Elizabeth who is serving his fifth term as Mayor, serving a term of office that ends December 31, 2016.[56] Council members are Council President William Gallman, Jr. (Fifth Ward; D, 2014), Carlos Cedeño (Fourth Ward; D, 2014), Frank Cuesta (at-large; D, 2016), Nelson Gonzalez (Second Ward; D, 2014), Manny Grova, Jr. (at-large; D, 2016), Joseph Keenan (Third Ward; D, 2014), Frank Mazza (Sixth Ward; D, 2014), Patricia Perkins-Auguste (at-large; D, 2016) and Carlos Torres (First Ward; D, 2014).[57][58][59]

Federal, state and county representation[edit]

Elizabeth is located in the 8th Congressional District[60] and is part of New Jersey's 20th state legislative district.[8][61][62] Prior to the 2010 Census, Elizabeth had been split between the 10th Congressional District and the 13th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.[63]

New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York).[64] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Cory Booker (D, Newark; took office on October 31, 2013, after winning a special election to fill the seat of Frank Lautenberg)[65][66] and Bob Menendez (D, Paramus).[67][68]

For the 2014-2015 Session, the 20th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Raymond Lesniak (D, Elizabeth) and in the General Assembly by Joseph Cryan (D, Union) and Annette Quijano (D, Elizabeth).[69][70] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township).[71] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[72]

Union County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders, whose nine members are elected at-large to three-year terms of office on a staggered basis with three seats coming up for election each year, with an appointed County Manager overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Chairman and Vice Chairman from among its members.[73] As of 2014, Union County's Freeholders are Chairman Christopher Hudak (D, Linden, term ends December 31, 2014),[74] Vice Chairman Mohamed S. Jalloh (D, Roselle, 2015),[75] Bruce Bergen (D, Springfield Township, 2015),[76] Linda Carter (D, Plainfield, 2016),[77] Angel G. Estrada (D, Elizabeth, 2014),[78] Sergio Granados (D, Elizabeth, 2016)[79] Bette Jane Kowalski (D, Cranford, 2016),[80] Alexander Mirabella (D, Fanwood, 2015)[81] and Vernell Wright (D, Union, 2014).[82][83] Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi (D, Union, 2015),[84] Sheriff Ralph Froehlich (D, Union, 2016)[85] and Surrogate James S. LaCorte (D, Springfield Township, 2014).[86][87] The County Manager is Alfred Faella.[88]

Politics[edit]

As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 44,415 registered voters in Elizabeth, of which 24,988 (56.3% vs. 41.8% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,430 (5.5% vs. 15.3%) were registered as Republicans and 16,985 (38.2% vs. 42.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 12 voters registered to other parties.[89] Among the city's 2010 Census population, 35.5% (vs. 53.3% in Union County) were registered to vote, including 47.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.6% countywide).[89][90]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 24,751 votes here (80.8% vs. 66.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 5,213 votes (17.0% vs. 32.3%) and other candidates with 166 votes (0.5% vs. 0.8%), among the 30,640 ballots cast by the city's 50,715 registered voters, for a turnout of 60.4% (vs. 68.8% in Union County).[91][92] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 23,524 votes here (74.3% vs. 63.1% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 7,559 votes (23.9% vs. 35.2%) and other candidates with 202 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 31,677 ballots cast by the city's 48,294 registered voters, for a turnout of 65.6% (vs. 74.7% in Union County).[93] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 18,363 votes here (67.2% vs. 58.3% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 8,486 votes (31.0% vs. 40.3%) and other candidates with 144 votes (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 27,334 ballots cast by the city's 45,882 registered voters, for a turnout of 59.6% (vs. 72.3% in the whole county).[94]

In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 10,258 ballots cast (66.8% vs. 50.6% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 4,386 votes (28.6% vs. 41.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 376 votes (2.4% vs. 5.9%) and other candidates with 131 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 15,355 ballots cast by the city's 46,219 registered voters, yielding a 33.2% turnout (vs. 46.5% in the county).[95]

Police Department[edit]

The Elizabeth Police Department was established in May 1858.[96]

Fire Department[edit]

The Elizabeth Fire Department (EFD) provides fire protection and emergency medical services to the City of Elizabeth, NJ, operating out of seven fire stations, located throughout the city, under the command of one Deputy Chief and one Battalion Chief per shift. EFD operates and staffs a fire apparatus fleet of seven engines, three ladders and one rescue unit. Reserve and unstaffed rigs include a Haz-Mat Unit, Special Operations/Collapse Rescue Unit, Air Supply Unit, Tactical Rescue Unit, Quick Attack pickup truck, Foam Tender Unit, Neptune Pump Unit, Ironman Trailer, 12" Hose Wagon, and various special and support units, as well as a Reserve Apparatus fleet of three Reserve Engines and a Reserve Ladder.[97] The Elizabeth Fire Department was established in 1837 when Engine Company #1 was organized. In 1901, the volunteer department was no longer adequate and the department reorganized into a paid department on January 1, 1902.[98]

Fire station locations and apparatus[edit]

Engine company Ladder company Special unit Command unit Address
Engine 1 Ladder 3 24 S. Broad Street
Engine 2 651 S. Broad Street
Engine 3 Ladder 2 Haz-Mat. 1, Air Supply Unit, Decon. Trailer 442 Trumbull Street
Engine 5 Tac. 1, Quick Attack Unit, Foam Tender, Foam Units 147 Elizabeth Avenue
Engine 6 472 Catherine Street
Engine 7 Ladder 1 Rescue 1, Rescue 2 (Special Operations), Special Operations/Collapse Unit Car 42 (DC), Car 43 (BC) 411 Irvington Avenue
Engine 8 524 W. Grand Street

Emergency Medical Services[edit]

Emergency Medical Services are provided by the Elizabeth Fire Department's Division of Emergency Medical Services. This is a civilian Division of the Fire Department and handles approx 40,000 calls a year. The Division is made up of an EMS Chief, 5 Supervisors, 28 Full Time Emergency Medical Technicians, and approximately 12 Per Diem EMTs. The Division, at its maximum staffing, aims to operate four ambulances and a supervisor on days (7A-7P) and three ambulances and a supervisor on nights (7P-7A).

Education[edit]

The John E. Dwyer Technology Academy and Dunn Sports Center

The city's public schools are operated by Elizabeth Public Schools, serving students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district is one of 31 former Abbott districts statewide,[99] which are now referred to as "SDA Districts" based on the requirement for the state to cover all costs for school building and renovation projects in these districts under the supervision of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority.[100][101]

As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 34 schools had an enrollment of 23,386 students and 1,846.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.67:1.[102]

With 5,300 students, Elizabeth High School was the largest high school in the state of New Jersey and one of the largest in the United States, and underwent a split that created five new academies and a smaller Elizabeth High School under a transformation program that began in the 2009–10 school year.[103] The school was the 294th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 302nd in 2008 out of 316 schools.[104] Before the 2008-09 school year, all of the district's schools (except high schools) became K–8 schools, replacing the middle schools and elementary schools. SchoolDigger.com ranked Elizabeth 449th of 558 districts evaluated in New Jersey.[105]

These and other indicators reveal a seriously declining performance standard in the city's schools. Data reported by the state Department of Education showed that a majority of students in a majority of the Elizabeth public schools failed basic skills tests.[106]

Private schools[edit]

Elizabeth is also home to several private schools. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark oversees the coeducational St. Mary of the Assumption High School and the all-girls Benedictine Academy.[107] The Newark Archdiocese also operates the K–8 schools Our Lady of Guadalupe Academy, St. Genevieve School.[108]

Following the closure of Saint Patrick High School by the Newark Archdiocese in June 2012 in the face of increasing costs and declining enrollment, administrators and parents affiliated with the defunct school opened an independent non-denominational school located on Morris Avenue in Elizabeth called "The Patrick School" in September 2012.[109][110][111]

The Jewish Educational Center comprises the Yeshiva of Elizabeth (nursery through sixth grades), the Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy (boys, seventh through twelfth grades), and Bruriah High School (girls, seventh through twelfth grades).[112]

Princeton University was founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey.[113]

Libraries[edit]

The Elizabeth Public Library, the free public library with a main library, originally a Carnegie library, and three branches[114] has a collection of 342,305 volumes and annual circulation of about 191,000.[114][115]

Commerce[edit]

Portions of Elizabeth are part of an Urban Enterprise Zone. In addition to other benefits to encourage employment within the Zone, shoppers can take advantage of a reduced 3½% sales tax rate (versus the 7% rate charged statewide).[32]

Transportation[edit]

Roads and highways[edit]

Elizabeth is a hub of several major roadways including the New Jersey Turnpike / Interstate 95, Interstate 278 (including the Goethals Bridge), U.S. Route 1/9, Route 27, Route 28 and Route 439. Elizabeth's own street plan, in contrast to the more usual grid plan, is to a large degree circular, with circumferential and radial streets centered on the central railroad station.

As of 2010, the city had a total of 153.78 miles (247.48 km) of roadways, of which 123.75 miles (199.16 km) were maintained by the municipality, 12.27 miles (19.75 km) by Union County and 11.80 miles (18.99 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 5.96 miles (9.59 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.[116]

Mass transit[edit]

Elizabeth Broad Street Train Station, completed 1893 or '94.

Elizabeth is among the U.S. cities with the highest transit ridership.

The city has two train stations on New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coast Line and the Northeast Corridor Line. Elizabeth station, also called Broad Street Elizabeth or Midtown Station, is the southern station in Midtown Elizabeth.[117] The other train station in Elizabeth is North Elizabeth station.[118]

New Jersey Transit is planning a segment of the Newark-Elizabeth Rail Link (NERL), designated as the Union County Light Rail (UCLR). The UCLR was planned to connect Midtown Station with Newark Liberty International Airport and have seven or eight other stations in between within Elizabeth city limits.[119][120] A possible extension of this future line to Plainfield would link the city of Elizabeth with the Raritan Valley Line.

New Jersey Transit provides bus service on the 111, 112, 113 and 115 routes to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, on the 24, 40, 48, 59 and 62 routes to Newark, New Jersey, with local service available on the 26, 52, 56, 57 and 58 routes.[121]

The Colombian airline Avianca operates a private bus service from John F. Kennedy Airport to Union City and Elizabeth for passengers on Avianca flights departing from and arriving to JFK.[122]

Local media[edit]

WJDM at 1530 on the AM dial is licensed to Elizabeth.

News 12 New Jersey is one of the most viewed weather and news channels in the city.

Elizabeth Public-Access Channel[edit]

Residents of Elizabeth can tune into the Public-access television cable-TV channel at anytime to view public information such as the city bulletin board, live meetings, important health information and tips. This service is provided by Cablevision Local Programming. The service can be found on channel 18. The channel also has features such as Top 10 Ranked Television Shows, Educational Facts, Quote of The Day, Gas Price Statistics, and tips for keeping the city safe and clean.

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Elizabeth include:

Sister cities[edit]

References[edit]

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