EAST ORANGE, NJ -  Mayor Lester E. Taylor, III declared Tuesday, January 28, 2014 as “Joyce Alexander Walker Day” in honor of the late East Orange native and former Cherry Hill Councilwoman who lost her battle with cancer in December. In honor of Walker’s many accomplishments and contributions to her home city, Mayor Taylor presented a proclamation announcing “Joyce Alexander Walker Day” to Walker’s mother, Edna Alexander, at City Hall on Tuesday.

“Joyce Alexander Walker was a trailblazer whose many contributions are felt far and wide,” said Mayor Taylor. “She was a tireless and selfless advocate for her community and someone all young boys and girls can look up to as an inspiration. We are immensely proud to say that she began her life in East Orange and was a longtime resident of our city. Without a doubt, East Orange is a better place because of Joyce Alexander Walker.”

Although she spent her later years in Cherry Hill, Alexander Walker’s ties to her home city of East Orange were deep. Growing up on Madonna Place, she attended East Orange public schools before excelling as one of the first African American female students to attend Princeton University. She returned to East Orange after college, eventually owning a home in the Fifth Ward, where she was active in the community.

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Alexander Walker became the first ever African American elected to the Cherry Hill Township Council in 1997. Elected vice president of the council in 2002, she served until 2005. She then served as co-chairwoman of the Cherry Hill Democratic Committee and chairwoman of the township’s Board of Fire Commissioners until her passing. Passionate about politics and community service, Alexander Walker also took on leadership roles with several grassroots organizations.

“All those who knew Joyce knew her beaming smile and her sharp, analytical mind,” said Stephanie Bush-Baskette, Esq., Ph.D., East Orange City Administrator and longtime friend of Alexander Walker’s. “Public service, family and friends were central to her life. Today we give thanks to someone who gave so much of herself to others.”

For press inquiries, please contact Andrew Edelson at 973-266-5153.