East Newark elects first female mayor in history

EAST NEWARK, N.J. — For the first time in it’s 124-year history, East Newark is set to see its first female mayor.

The current mayor has held the office for 32 years, but Dina Grilo’s grassroots campaign changed that this week.

“I don’t have political aspirations. I was just doing it for the community,” Grilo stated today while reflecting on her campaign.

Community members kept coming to her with problems.  The recreation program being closed and a lack of community events were their chief complaints.

A shuttered children’s recreation center will be Grilo’s first focus as mayor. She also wants to see the revitalization of a massive factory that’s located off of Central Avenue. It’s been vacant for years.

“Things haven’t been moving the way they should be,” said one resident. “If you go to our neighboring towns they’re all redeveloping and this town is just sitting in the middle with nothing new.”

Residents appetite for change resulted in a rush to the polls during this week's primary and the tiny town of approximately 2,700 people -- spanning just 12 blocks -- elected its first female mayor.

“Having won just solidifies that, yes, change is coming,” said Grilo.

Grilo is running uncontested in the general election this November, which means she’s set to take her seat as mayor in January.

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