UNION COUNTY, NJ -- Democrats from across Union County are expressing their condolences on the passing of Assemblyman Jerry Green, a force in county politics for nearly three decades.
State Senator (D-22) Nick Scutari released the following statement about Assemblyman Green, whom he succeeded earlier this year as Union County Democratic Committee Chairman:
Today, I join with many across Union County and New Jersey in mourning the passing of my friend, Jerry Green. He was so much more than just a colleague and mentor to succeeding generations of politicians – he was a true gentleman legislator who should be remembered for championing progressive policies aimed at helping those in need.
As the Chairman of the Housing Committee, he proved himself as a strong and fair statewide leader in the fight for affordable housing, often siding with those who felt their voices are never heard. As Chairman of the UCDC, he prided himself on working closely with all the municipal leaders as well as those at the countywide and state level. He was perhaps the first to see the potential for Democratic victories in places like Summit, Westfield, Springfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Berkeley Heights, and so many more.
I’ve known Jerry for a very long time. He was a Union County Freeholder, my predecessor as county chairman, and a respected member of leadership in Trenton. He was also a very private individual, but fiercely loyal to his friends. Jerry was a star athlete who passed on college to get trained and certified as a union-shop butcher. He went on to open his own businesses, including a popular tavern, as well as manage residential properties. And even though those seeking the highest offices would come to him for advice and counsel, he never forgot what was most important to him – his family, and the pride he had in them. I will miss him and am proud to say I was his friend.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his beloved wife, Wanda, and the entire Green family.
Green's colleague in the state Legislature, Assemblyman Jim Kennedy (D-22), shared his gratitude:
“I am simply devastated to hear of the passing of my district mate, mentor, and friend Jerry Green. During our time together in the Legislature, I learned so much from him. The lessons he taught me about policy, politics, and the fundamental need to help those who are less fortunate will forever be invaluable to me...
I will miss fighting for the citizens of the 22nd Legislative District with Jerry at my side. I know I speak for so many of our constituents in saying that we lost a true leader in our community. It was an honor to work alongside him. I want to send my deepest condolences to the Green family.”
In Fanwood, Mayor Colleen Mahr expressed her thoughts on behalf of the Borough's Democrats:
Today I join with my colleagues in District 22, Union County and the State of New Jersey to mourn the passing of Assemblyman Jerry Green. After a long career as a self-made successful businessman, in 1989 Jerry turned to public service. In 1989, Jerry was elected Union County Freeholder and three years later he moved to the General Assembly where he has held that seat until his passing.
A long-time proponent of policies to support the voiceless, Jerry was particularly devoted to the idea of fairness in housing. He believed that families with children, teachers, and police deserve decent housing in a secure environment. His efforts helped to establish the Council of Affordable Housing (COAH), which has generated thousands of housing units for those in need.
I had the honor to work with Jerry for many years and most recently shared leadership with him on the Union County Democratic Committee. I learned a great deal from his experience and will miss his astute counsel. On behalf of myself and the residents of the Borough of Fanwood I extend my sympathies and gratitude to Jerry’s wife, Wanda, and the entire Green Family.
In Scotch Plains, Township Manager Al Mirabella expressed his thoughts:
“Jerry Green was an outstanding legislator who cared deeply for the residents he served. I will miss his leadership as well as his friendship. Assemblyman Green was a champion for the people and will long be remembered for his contributions to Scotch Plains and New Jersey. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Wanda Green and the entire Green Family during this sad time."
Additionally, Mayor Al Smith, a Republican, made the following statement:
“Assemblyman Green was very willing to listen to my concerns of behalf of our mutual constituents. I’m sad for his passing – my condolences to his family.”