EAST ORANGE, NJ — During the month of October, the East Orange City Council passed a number of resolutions impacting East Orange residents. The one of two significant resolutions being highlighted today are a Resolution declaring the second Monday in October as "Indigenous Peoples" Day in the City of East Orange, replacing recognition of that day as Columbus Day. The resolution, sponsored by Councilwoman Jacquelyn Johnson, provides an opportunity for the city to pay homage to indigenous people who are an integral part of the American experience, nationally and locally. Indigenous Peoples' Day was first proposed in 1977 by a delegation of Native Nations at the International Conference on Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations in the Americas, sponsored by the United Nations. The resolution introduced and passed in the East Orange City Council also recognizes that East Orange was built upon the homelands and villages of the Indigenous Peoples of this region, without whom the building of the City would not have been possible. The resolution also recognizes the many contributions to the East Orange community by Indigenous Peoples' in labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and the deep cultural contributions that have shaped East Orange, as it is today, as well as country.
Also, during the month of October the City Council passed a resolution dedicating the Plaza in the front of City Hall to "Congressman Donald M. Payne International Plaza." The renaming, while passed in July, will be dedicated in 2020. Congressman Payne had a long and distinguished career as an executive, educator, and an elected official, both as a member of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, where he served three terms before becoming elected to the House of Representatives. The Resolution was introduced by Councilwoman Jacquelyn Johnson. According to Christopher James, Chairman of the City Council, Congressman Payne's dedication to the people, not only of his district, but also of the world, make renaming the Plaza symbolic of his position as a global citizen and representative. Chairman James said, "The people of East Orange and throughout his district, New Jersey, the U.S. and the world, are the beneficiaries of his dedication to service. I look forward to the formal renaming and invite you to join me and my colleagues for this special event. A special thank you to Councilwoman Johnson for presenting this Resolution and to my colleagues for passing the resolution."