Crump back as Newark city council president

By Seth Augenstein/The Star-Ledger 

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Councilwoman Mildred Crump, pictured in this file photo, was voted city council president again, after a three-year hiatus.
—Joe Epstein/For The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — In New Jersey’s largest city, Councilwoman Mildred Crump has returned to the council president’s seat.

Crump was voted in unanimously, 7-0, at the Monday night meeting, a city official confirmed this morning.

In 1994, Crump became the first black woman elected to the city council. She also became the first female city council president in 2006. She held the post until 2010.

She now fills the seat left vacant by Mayor Luis Quintana, who was unanimously voted to fill the void left when Cory Booker resigned to take his U.S. Senate seat in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Last week, Crump was also voted as the president of Women in Municipal Government, a national group, she said this morning.

According to the city website, Crump retired in 2003, after a 42-year career teaching Braille. She has a litany of other honors – she was named vice chairwoman of the National Democratic Municipal Officials in 2011, the same year she was elected to the Democratic National Committee.

Crump said she plans on trying to make council meetings more inclusive and civil than they have been, using her powers to set the agenda for meetings. She said council members should not be texting, or staring at the ceiling instead of being engaged and listening to one another.

"I believe in civil discourse," she said. "Unfortunately, I think that’s been missing."

Crump is currently under scrutiny by the state comptroller’s office, which is investigating whether she steered $17,000 in city funds to the Global Women’s Leadership Collaborative, a nonprofit group she helped found in 2008. The comptroller also cited her for directing $2,850 to the World Gospel Music Association, of which she is an active member, according to her City Hall biography.

Crump has called the accusations a "political lynching" — and lashed out publicly at political enemies.

"I will not let the evildoers … stop me from helping people," Crump said at a Nov. 7 City Council meeting. "I hope that God will be the arbiter of them all and will punish those deserving individuals."

 

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