Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey

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Mayor Ted R. Green

East Orange, New Jersey is governed under the City form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a mayor and a city council made up of ten members, two representing each of the city's five geographic political subdivisions called wards. The mayor is elected directly by the voters. The ten members of the city council are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis, with one seat in each ward coming up for election every other year.[1][2]


  • Ted R. Green, 2018 to present
  • Lester E. Taylor III, 2014 to 2018
  • Robert L. Bowser, 1994 to 2014
  • Cardell Cooper, 1990 to 1994. Cardell Cooper was the youngest mayor of East Orange, New Jersey.[3] He would later be appointed by President Clinton to be Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.[4]
  • John C. Hatcher, Jr., 1986 to 1990
  • Thomas Henry Cooke, Jr. (1929–2020), 1978 to 1986. He was an American Democratic Party politician elected as Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey in 1977, and again in 1981, after serving as a member of the Essex 'County Board of Freeholders.[5]'
  • William Stanford Hart, Sr. (1925–1999), 1970 to 1978. He was an American Democratic Party politician elected as Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey in 1969 and again in 1973. He became the first African American to win election as mayor of a major New Jersey city when he won in 1969. He served as President of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials.[6]
  • James Whyte Kelly Jr. (1911–1990), 1958 to 1970. He was an American Democratic Party politician who served as Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey, from 1958 to 1970. In 1965, Kelly, a widower, married Essex County Freeholder Margaret G. Marucci, a widow.[7] Kelly served as President of the Essex County Board of Taxation in the 1950s.[8]
  • William Mallery McConnell (1891–1978), 1952 to 1958.[9]
  • Charles Henry Martens (1883–1955), 1918 to 1952.[10]
  • Julian Arthur Gregory (1874–1955), 1914 to 1918.[11]
  • Worrall Frederick Mountain (1874–1935), 1911 to 1914.[12]
  • William Cardwell (1856–1931), 1905 to 1911.
  • Edward Everett Bruen (1860–1938) 1899 to 1905. Edward Everett Bruen was the first mayor of East Orange, New Jersey.[13]

Theodore R. "Ted" Green III (2018 to present)[edit]

Ted R. Green was raised in East Orange, New Jersey and attended East Orange Public Schools. He graduated from East Orange High School in 1981 and furthered his education by attending Cheyney University in Pennsylvania, where he majored in Business Management. He then attended Rutgers University where he received his certification as a Housing Counselor. Over the past 20+ years, he has distinguished himself as a professional in the field of Property Maintenance and Housing Revitalization. From 1990 until 1997, Ted Green served as the Assistant Compliance Officer for the City of East Orange. From 2002 until 2006, he was the Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Irvington Townships’ Housing Division. In 2011, Ted Green graduated from Lincoln University and received his Master of Arts Degree in Human Services.

Ted Green has been active in East Orange political and civic affairs for over 25 years. He is a member of the Third Ward Democratic Municipal County Committee and is active in East Orange Block Associations and Civic Groups. He is also a former Aide to New Jersey State Senator Richard Codey and served as an appointed member to the East Orange Housing Authority to which he would also serve as Council Liaison.

On January 1, 2006, Ted Green was sworn in as a member of the East Orange City Council representing the Third Ward.  As Third Ward Councilman, Ted Green served as Chairman of Business and Development for the City, and on January 1, 2015, he was elected as the Chairman of the East Orange City Council, a position he held for two years. On January 1, 2018, he was sworn in as the 14th  Mayor of the City of East Orange after winning an overwhelming 96% of the vote.

In 1990, Mayor Green founded the Green's School of Martial Arts, positive programs and activities for youth in East Orange. He has implemented community outreach initiatives and sponsored multiple pieces of legislation, including:

  • Ordinance 41:2015 prohibiting the sale, offer or possession of any toy gun or imitation firearm which looks real to a minor or adult within the City of East Orange. This legislation was endorsed by now Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver and presented on the State Senate Floor.
  • Legislation to protect homeowners from foreclosure through the City's Moratorium Act and sponsored a resolution through the Law and Legislative Committee to provide tax abatement assistance to East Orange residents.
  • Co-Sponsored legislation for funds received from the federal stimulus plan to include job training and apprenticeship programming for local residents.
  • Sponsored a resolution in support of President Barack Obama's gun control and mental health initiative.
  • Developed and instituted an expungement programs for ex-offenders in an effort to incorporate them back into the community and to make them assets to the community.
  • Sponsored a Back to School initiative and the "Fathers Walk" to give the fathers of East Orange School District students the opportunity to walk their children to school on the first day of school and meet their teachers, classmates and other fathers in the community.

Mayor Green has received citations, awards and accolades, including:

  • 2003 HANDS Incorporated Award for Community Leadership and Service.
  • 2004 Golconda Temple #24 Community Service Award.
  • 2004 M.A.U.I.I. Community Service Award.
  • 2004 New Jersey Governors State Public Service Recognition Award.
  • 2007 NAACP of the Oranges and Maplewood President's Award.
  • 2009 East Orange YMCA Minority Achiever of the Year Award.
  • 2016 President Obama's My Brother's Keeper Community Service Award.
  • 2017 1000 Shades of Women Community Empowerment Award.
  • 2018 Upsilon Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity's NJ Outstanding Public Official Award.
  • 2018 Project Re-Direct Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • 2018 St. Mark African Methodist Episcopal Church Men's Day Award.  

While on City Council, Mayor Green has served as a member of every standing committee including Liaison to the Mayor, the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the New Jersey Legislature, the United States Congress, the East Orange Parking Authority, the Board of School Estimates, the Personnel Committee and Negotiations Team. Mayor Green currently oversees a $150 million budget, and within his first year in office as Mayor, has saved the city over $140,000 by bringing street sweeping back “in house” as opposed to paying a contractor to clean the streets in the community.

Mayor Green also developed the “Mayor on the Block” clean up and community engagement initiative. With members of Property Maintenance, Public Works, Health and Human Services, Public Safety, and Constituent Services, Mayor Green walks through sections of each ward on a bi-weekly basis to assess needs and concerns of residents and address areas that need cleaning, rehabilitation and improved safety. The goal of Mayor Green is to cover every block in every ward. In 2018, Mayor Green covered more than 65% of the city.

Under his administration, crime decreased an additional 17% between 2018 and 2019 with more than 50 new police officers on the streets, while $1 billion of private capital is being invested in the city.    

A member of the Eta Pi chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Mayor Green is married to June Green and is the father of sons Eric Lamar and Salahuddin and the grandfather of four.

Lester E. Taylor III (2014 to 2018)[edit]

At the age of 39, Lester E. Taylor III became the second youngest mayor in the city's history. Taylor earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Montclair State University[14] and a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law. Both a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and a Trustee for the New Jersey School Boards Association-North Region Association of School Attorneys, Mayor Taylor is also a partner at Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader.[15] Taylor also launched several new initiatives, the Quality of Life Task Force,[16] the East Orange College and Career Readiness Network,[17] and the Mentor Summit.[18]

Thomas H. Cooke Jr.[edit]

Thomas H. Cooke Jr. (October 13, 1929 - May 18, 2020) was an American Democratic Party politician who served as Mayor of East Orange, New Jersey, from 1978 to 1986. He was elected to the East Orange City Council in 1961, at age 32, and was re-elected in 1969 and 1969.

In 1967, Cooke became a candidate for the New Jersey General Assembly, running in Essex County District 11D. Cooke and his running mate, Frank J. Dodd, a future New Jersey Senate President and 1981 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, easily defeated Francis T. Craig in the Democratic primary.[19] In the general election, the two seats were won by Republican Kenneth Wilson (19,281) and Dodd (19,101), with Republican Donald MacArt, a former East Orange Council Chairman(17,845) and Cooke (17,816) losing.[20]

He was elected to the Essex County Board of Freeholders in 1970, and was re-elected in 1973.[21] He was not a candidate for re-election to a third term in 1976 after losing the backing of the powerful Essex County Democratic Chairman, Harry Lerner.[22]

He ran for Mayor in 1977, defeating Lerner's candidate, two term Mayor William Stanford Hart Sr. in the Democratic primary.[23][24] He won renomination in the 1981 Democratic primary by just 321 votes, and lost the Democratic primary for Essex County Executive to incumbent Peter Shapiro by a 2-1 margin.[25]

Cooke made an unsuccessful comeback bid in 1997, challenging incumbent Mayor Robert L. Bowser in the Democratic primary. He finished fifth in that race with just 520 votes (4.8%). Bowser defeated Sheila Oliver 3,991 (37%) to 3,939 (36%).


  1. ^ 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 148.
  2. ^ Ward Boundaries Archived 2012-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, City of East Orange. Accessed December 17, 2011.
  3. ^ "Cardell Cooper". Boston, Massachusetts. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2011-10-16. In 1989, Mr. Cooper was elected mayor of East Orange, New Jersey, making him the youngest mayor in the city's history. The citizens of East Orange re-elected him to a second term in 1993. During his two terms as mayor, East Orange experienced a resurgence of civic pride and community involvement.
  4. ^ "President Names Cardell Cooper Assistant Secretary at HUD". Retrieved 2012-01-02.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Pat Gleeson, "Hopes Are Rising for East Orange". New York Times, 18 December 1977.
  6. ^ "Mayor of East Orange to Head Black Caucus of Elected Officials". New York Times. 4 December 1972.
  7. ^ "East Orange Mayor Weds Essex County Freeholder". New York Times. 3 January 1965.
  8. ^ "East Orange Man Heads Essex County Tax Board". New York Times. 14 May 1950.
  9. ^ "Elderly Find a Kitchen At Their Door". New York Times. 11 May 1972.
  10. ^ "East Orange Picks Martens". New York Times. November 4, 1936. Retrieved 2011-10-16. Mr. Martens was a candidate for his tenth two-year term as Mayor of East Orange.
  11. ^ Hester Eloise Horsford and Herman B. Walker: Forerunners of Woodrow Wilson (East Orange, N.J.: Record Print, 1914), pp. 76-79
  12. ^ "East Orange Memorial Dedicated". New York Times. November 12, 1932. Retrieved 2011-10-16. The principal speaker at the ceremonies was Judge Worrall F. Mountain who was Mayor of East Orange when the United States entered the war. ...
  13. ^ "Edward E. Bruen, A Realty Dealer. First Mayor of East Orange Established Firm 53 Years Ago. Dies at 78. Served Elevated Lines. Secretary to Thomas Peeples of Manhattan Company. Descendant of Settlers". New York Times. May 12, 1938. Retrieved 2011-10-16. Edward E. Bruen, first Mayor of this city and dean of real estate men in this area, died last night at his home here after a five months' illness. He was in his seventy-ninth year.
  14. ^ Lester Taylor '97
  15. ^ Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader
  16. ^ On tax day, East Orange Mayor unveils quality of Life initiative and proposed tax increase, [1]
  17. ^ Public-private partnership will address East Orange college attendance rates officials say, [2]
  18. ^ East Orange mentoring forums to reach out to kids at risk city says, [3]
  19. ^ "1967 Primary Election Results" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  20. ^ "1967 General Election Results" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2013.
  21. ^ Gleeson, Pat (18 December 1977). "Hopes Are Rising for East Orange". New York Times.
  22. ^ Gleeson, Pat (18 December 1977). "Hopes Are Rising for East Orange". New York Times.
  23. ^ Gleeson, Pat (18 December 1977). "Hopes Are Rising for East Orange". New York Times.
  24. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. (22 April 1977). "DeRose Becomes 11th Democrat Seeking Nomination for Governo". New York Times.
  25. ^ Norman, Michael (13 August 1982). "IN EAST ORANGE, MAYOR LEADS A 'WAR' ON SLUMS". New York Times.