A PROFILE OF MUSTAFA BRENT, 5TH WARD CITY COUNCILMAN
My story isn’t solely about one man’s accomplishments, but rather a culmination of examples in sacrifice, dedication, and hard work of people driven to make their community better. I vividly remember my parents telling me, “Son, your greatest achievements and accomplishments will come from your service to others.” My father, a chemist by degree, used to remind me that he purposely left a lucrative job at DuPont to pursue a life of service. My mother, a lifelong educator, would sacrifice her last to provide for neighbors, family members, and her students. The youngest of four children, I was proud to have a family that was full of love, respect, tolerance, and generosity.
As a 30+ year resident of New Jersey, I was afforded a unique opportunity to be raised in three culturally diverse cities: Newark, Irvington, and East Orange. After graduating from Malcolm Shabazz High School in Newark, I attended Howard University in Washington D.C. During my second year there, I was awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious Madinah University in Saudi Arabia, where I received a degree in Language and International Studies. Upon my return to New Jersey, I taught Arabic and Science to 5th, 7th, and 9th graders at an East Orange private school; a few years later, I expanded my duty to serve by becoming a Newark firefighter.
It was during my early years in the fire service that I received my greatest inspiration. After being burned in a fire, I realized that firefighting, although a noble and honorable profession, was not enough to settle my deep desire to serve. While recovering from my burn injuries, I became more active in community-based initiatives and outreach programs. This ultimately led to my being appointed to the East Orange Board of Education. During my service as Vice-President of the East Orange Board of Education, I worked hard to better the education process and landscape of our city and of the Fifth Ward. Two of my shining achievements during my tenure as a Board of Education member was the building of a new George Washington Carver School (expected completion in 2020) and the introduction of the Energy Savings Insurance Program (ESIP) into the school district which at its full capacity will save the district up to one million dollars a year over the course of 15 years.
As a former Board of Education member and a first-time City Councilman, I set three goals that pertained to quality of life issues during my first campaign for City Councilman a little over three years ago, namely public safety, employment, and redevelopment/revitalization.
(1) Public Safety — I promoted a community-friendly environment initiative by helping to author a Memorandum of Understanding between East Orange, Newark, and Bloomfield to conduct joint border patrols which targeted focus areas along the borders of our city. With the leadership of Mayor Ted Green, support of my fellow Council colleagues, and implementation of our brave law enforcement agencies; the program has resulted in 59 arrests, 89 guns off the street, and seized almost $800,000 dollars in drugs.
(2) Employment — As Chair of the Public Works Committee and with the support of my Council colleagues and the administration, we instituted a program to bring our street cleaning services in-house instead of contracting them out, thus resulting in not only job creation for our residents, but also hundreds of thousands of dollars in overall savings for the City.
(3) Redevelopment and Revitalization of the City in General, and the 5th Ward in Particular
Along with my Council colleagues of the 4th and 5th Wards, I established an ad-hoc committee, namely Greenwood Redevelopment Committee. This committee was designed to work with developers who sought to develop in the Greenwood Redevelopment Zone to ensure that our community receives the highest quality of products and the maximum return on its investments. Along with over one billion dollars earmarked for invested major developments throughout the City, I have made redevelopment in East Orange a mainstay in my goals as a City Council member. And, East Orange is well on its way to being in a class of its own.
When I am not spending time with my wife and five children at various community events, helping fellow citizens with specific issues and concerns, attending events at local schools, or even mentoring young men and women; you can find me performing my duties as a Newark Fire Captain. It is because of this love for family, community, and my unwavering dedication to others that I am running for a second term as 5th Ward Councilman here in the great City of East Orange. So, join me as we move our City…Forward Together, Divided Never! As one city! One Community! With one Goal! Progress!