EAST ORANGE, NJ — On New Year's Day, the City of East Orange and the East Orange City Council ushered in a new wave of legislators including the youngest Council person in the history of the City.

January 1 is traditionally inauguration day in cities across New Jersey.  The City of East Orange and the East Orange City Council swore in Brittany Claybrooks, the youngest person to be elected to the City Council and Vernon Pullins, a career educator and lifelong East Orange resident.  

Councilwoman Claybrooks is replacing Councilwoman Jacquelyn E. Johnson, who did not seek re-election and is stepping down after serving nearly 20 years as a member of the City Council representing the 2nd Ward.  Councilman Pullins is replacing Quilla E. Talmadge in the Third Ward, who has served the City Council for more than 20 years and served a stint in the Assembly as well.  Ms. Talmadge did not seek reelection.  

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Councilwoman Claybrooks is an Urban Planning Project Manager and worked on Capitol Hill. She received a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning and Development from New York University.  She also served in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in the office of Nancy Pelosi.  Councilwoman Claybrooks said, “Being a member of the City Council means having one of the many opportunities to add to the positive change we are already creating in our community.”  She continued, “Being on the Council means being one voice for the people who put us here.  My “yay” and “nay” will carry the interest of the collective and I don’t take that for granted.”  

Councilman Pullins attended and graduated from East Orange.  He has a JD from Rutgers School of Law in Newark and also holds an undergraduate degree from Rutgers and serves as Supervisor of Guidance for Newark Public Schools.  He is a career educator and served as President of the East Orange Board of Education.  Councilman Pullins remarked, “I am looking forward to a year of service and results, a year of positive collaboration with the Mayor’s administration, my City Council colleagues and the great residents of the Third Ward, as we strive to continue to grow together as one city, one community with one goal; and that goal is progress!”  

Both Councilwoman Claybrooks and Councilman Pullins begin their terms immediately.