Government

Press Releases

D. Bilal Beasley Community Center Dedicated in Irvington Park

f87504a6de9000468c3b_bilal_beasley_community_center.jpg
"D. Bilal Beasley Community Center" dedication with County Executive (c), family, wife A. Baseemah (c-left) & local elected officials Credits: Anthony Puglisi
f87504a6de9000468c3b_bilal_beasley_community_center.jpg

IRVINGTON, NJ –  The parks building in Essex County Irvington Park has been dedicated and renamed the “D. Bilal Beasley Community Center” in honor of the late D. Bilal Beasley, who served as an Irvington Councilman and Essex County Freeholder.

The renaming of the facility was done on April 6 after a renovation of the building was completed. The upgrades are part of the county's ongoing initiative to enhance park facilities so they continue to meet the needs of the community.

The original one-story section of the Irvington Park Field House received a complete facelift, including new doors and windows, ceiling and floor tiles, painting and restroom fixtures. In addition, the kitchen was upgraded so that the Essex County Division of Senior Services can bring its Café in the Park congregate meal program for senior citizens to the Park. The building was expanded in 2006 when a two-story, 2,100-square-foot addition was constructed.

Sign Up for E-News

The Essex County Department of Public Works designed the improvements to the building. Daskal Construction from Wallington received a publicly bid contract for $486,247 to perform the construction work. The Essex County Department of Public Works monitored the project to answer questions and avoid delays. The project was funded with a grant from the Essex County Community Development Block Grant Program. Work started in November 2015 and was completed in five months.

“Bilal Beasley was a dedicated public servant who always worked to improve the quality of life for residents. He worked constantly with the administration to enhance Irvington Park and would have loved this project because of the direct impact it has on the community,” County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo said. “Now, whenever someone visits the park or comes to this building for a program or an event, they will be reminded of Bilal Beasley and all the great things he did for the residents of Essex County,” he added.

“On behalf of my family, we say thank you for honoring our father in this way,” said Mr. Beasley’s son Omar Bilal, who was accompanied by his mother A. Baseemah Beasley and scores of family members.

“My father told me that he enjoyed public service, but his favorite time was serving as a Freeholder because he was pleased to be part of so many changes that were being made. Let this community center be a beacon for senior citizens and youth,” he added.

“Bilal was the essence of integrity, honor and unity. He understood that if you stand together, you can move a community further than if you stand alone,” NJ State Senator and Essex County Deputy Chief of Staff Teresa Ruiz said.

“He committed his life to serving his community, supporting his family,” Assembly Speaker Emeritus Sheila Oliver said. “These are the things that made Bilal Beasley the great man that he was. He would be pleased about today, looking down upon us,” she added.

“This is a great day because generations after generations of people will know who Bilal Beasley was and will understand his legacy,” NJ State Senator Ronald Rice said. “This park will live on as testimony to his dedication to the township and county,” Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker said. “The main thing about Bilal was the respect he gave to people and respect he earned from them,” Assemblyman Ralph Caputo said.

“I am proud to be here to celebrate the life of a hero and true civic leader who loved his township, his county and his family. Today is a true testament to his legacy,” Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones said.

“The Freeholder Board applauds the vision of the County Executive to honor Mr. Beasley. It was a ‘no-brainer’ to approve the ordinance honoring the late great Mr. Beasley and celebrate his life,” Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake said.

“I am proud to be part of the Irvington family and pay homage to our great leader and friend, D. Bilal Beasley. He had a vision 40 years ago to improve the residents’ quality of life. He didn’t just talk it – he practiced it!” Freeholder Lebby Jones said.

Calling Mr. Beasley his mentor, Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss said Mr. Beasley “was such a great leader that it is an honor for me to stand here and pay tribute to him.”

Mr. Beasley’s career as an elected official began in 1988 when he was elected to the Irvington Municipal Council. During his tenure on the Council, he served as President for his last two years in office. In 2002, he was elected to the Freeholder Board to represent District 2 and continued to serve until 2014 when he decided not to seek re-election. In 2009, he was elected to the NJ Municipal Legislators Hall of Fame for his 26 years of public service as a Councilman and Freeholder. In 2007, he ran for the NJ State Senate against incumbent Ronald Rice and was narrowly defeated. Mr. Beasley was also involved in Essex County politics, serving as the Democratic Committee Chairman in Irvington since 1994.

He was one of the founding members Newark Emergency Services for Families, a Newark-based organization that assists disadvantaged families with housing, nutrition support and other services. He also worked for the Newark Housing and Redevelopment Authority, from which he retired in 2002, and as a Commissioner on the Irvington Housing Authority since 1998. He also was involved in the Irvington Chapter of the NAACP, Chairman of the Irvington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Committee, a member of the South Ward Joint Block Association and member of the Friends of Irvington Park. Mr. Beasley was a partner in a family-owned shoe care business located at Newark Liberty International Airport.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Lola's Buy 1 Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off With Coupon

May 26, 2018

FAIRFIELD, NJ - Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is offering Buy One Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off with coupon. Lola's Sprinkles are always FREE! 

The coupon expires on June 18, 2018, and coupon offers cannot be combined. All guests must present this coupon to redeem.

Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is located at 244 Route 46 East ...

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice

*Gelato 

*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Stands in Newark

May 26, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site—the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ca99dbbe4665a685b474_screen_shot_2018-05-22_at_9.15.03_pm

Mon, May 28, 10:00 AM

Township Hall, West Orange

2018 Memorial Day Observance

Community Calendar

Carousel_image_3dd755d9dc476b5f4dc3_unnamed__4_

Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education

Carousel_image_28c899d8572458eda4f7_mini_magick20180422-110109-8dtxfl

Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&M@royalwedbot.co.uk.  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...