BVM June 2016 - page 128

128 Business View Magazine - June 2016
East Orange, New Jersey
Setting the standard for urban excellence
Lester Taylor became the mayor of East Orange, New
Jersey on January 1, 2014. He is the 13th mayor in
the city’s history and the second youngest person
ever elected to run this four square-mile municipal-
ity of 65,000 people, some eight miles due west of
New York City. His vision for East Orange is that it will
set a new standard for urban excellence and become
a “destination city.” Taylor says that when he first as-
sumed office, he saw the need for a rallying cry that
would put in perspective the monumental tasks that
confronted his new administration. The first thing he
did was to embrace the concept of “urban” in order
to strip the term of some of its negative connotations.
“In New Jersey and other cities around the country,
when stories are written about ‘urban,’ they’re always
about blight,” he says. “But we look at urban as a posi-
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