East Orange is a great place to live and work. Lester and his wife Bibi are proud to raise their three children, Amani (14), Lester IV (4) and Lena (2) here. Lester wants the best quality of life for his family and all East Orange residents.
However, many people in East Orange are struggling to pay their bills, are underemployed or out of work. Unemployment is estimated to be about 42% higher in East Orange compared to statewide.
Meanwhile our families often have to go to nearby towns to go out to eat, shop for groceries or see a movie. Our downtown corridors of Central Ave. and Main St. are filled with fast food restaurants and small convenience stores, while in a city once known for its cleanliness, retail signs and store facades haven’t been repaired in years and commercial lots remain vacant growing with weeds rather that new businesses that bring in much needed revenue for the city.
We must do better and we must have an achievable vision for the future.
Lester has that vision for what East Orange can be. Lester will implement innovative ways to attract businesses to our city and revitalize our downtown areas in order to bring in quality jobs for our residents that pay good wages and provide good benefits.
With easy access to Newark/New York City and major highways and public transit, there are many reasons why East Orange should be a wonderful place to raise a family, start a business or commute to work.
Lester’s plan includes using city, state and federal opportunities to provide incentives to new businesses and making use of untapped city assets like the golf course that are currently unused.
Our city isn’t doing enough to reach out to business owners and to help our residents start businesses of their own. Lester will reach foster relationships with the business community in order to attract and retain a diverse range of retail and commercial development including restaurants, cafes and grocery stores in order to make East Orange an even more wonderful place for our families.
To put our residents back to work, Lester will also invest in job-training programs, work with organized labor to promote apprenticeship programs and expand opportunities with local colleges and universities so that our residents can get the training and education they need to compete in today’s economy.
As an attorney who often provides his services pro bono to help people expunge their records, Lester knows all too well how hard it is for ex-offenders to find work after leaving the criminal justice system. Lester will focus on programs that reward employment and help people return to work so they can make a positive contribution to their families and communities rather than return to crime.