New Jersey General Assembly
The New Jersey General Assembly is the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature. Since the election of 1967, the Assembly has consisted of 80 members. Two members are elected from each of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts for a term of two years, each representing districts with average populations of 210,359. To be eligible to run, a potential candidate must be at least 21 years of age, must have lived in their district for at least one year prior to the election, have lived in the state of New Jersey for two years, they must be residents of their districts. Membership in the Assembly is considered a part-time job, many members have employment in addition to their legislative work. Assembly members serve two-year terms, elected every odd-numbered year in November. Several members of the Assembly hold other elective office, as they are grandfathered in under a New Jersey law that banned multiple office holding in 2007; the Assembly is led by the Speaker of the Assembly, elected by the membership of the chamber.
After the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and the President of the New Jersey Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly is third in the line of succession to replace the Governor of New Jersey in the event that he or she is unable to execute the duties of that office. The Speaker decides the schedule for the Assembly, which bills will be considered, appoints committee chairmen, runs the Assembly's agenda; the current Speaker is Craig Coughlin. Members of the NJ General Assembly receive an annual base salary of $49,000 with the Senate President and the Assembly Speaker earning more. Members receive $110,000 for staff salaries. In addition, they receive stationery and a telephone card, they receive other benefits. The total cost to the State of New Jersey for each member of the general assembly is $200,000 annually. See: New Jersey Legislature#Colonial period and New Jersey Legislative Council#Composition Committee chairs for the 2018-2019 Legislative Session are: Agriculture and Natural Resources - Asm.
Bob Andrzejczak Appropriations - Asm. John Burzichelli Budget - Aswm. Eliana Pintor Marin Commerce and Economic Development - Asm. Gordon M. Johnson Consumer Affairs - Asm. Paul Moriarty Education - Asw. Pamela R. Lampitt Environment and Solid Waste - Asw. Nancy Pinkin Financial Institutions and Insurance - Asm. John F. McKeon Health and Senior Services - Asm. Herb Conaway, MD Higher Education - Asw. Mila Jasey Homeland Security and State Preparedness - Asw. Valerie Vainieri Huttle Housing and Community Development - Asm. Jerry Green Human Services - Asw. Joann Downey Judiciary - Asw. Annette Quijano Labor - Asm. Joseph Egan Law and Public Safety - Asm. Adam Taliaferro Military and Veterans' Affairs - Asw. Cleopatra Tucker Oversight and Federal Relations - Asm. Joseph Danielsen Regulated Professions - Asm. Thomas Giblin Regulatory Oversight - Asm. Reed Gusciora Science and Technology - Asm. Andrew Zwicker State and Local Government - Asm. Vincent Mazzeo Telecommunications and Utilities - Asm. Wayne DeAngelo Tourism and the Arts - Asm.
Ralph Caputo Transportation and Independent Authorities - Asm. Daniel R. Benson Women and Children - Asw. Gabriela Mosquera Note: The first three subsections below end with a constitutional year: 1776, 1844 or 1947; the fourth subsection ends in 1966, the year of the U. S. Supreme Court decision that required legislative apportionment based on the principle of "one person, one vote"; the following is a list of Speakers of the Assembly since 1703. On December 6, 1775, Gov. William Franklin prorogued the New Jersey Legislature until January 3, 1776, but it never met again. On May 30, 1776, Franklin attempted to convene the legislature, but was met instead with an order by the New Jersey Provincial Congress for his arrest. On July 2, 1776, the Provincial Congress approved a new constitution; the Constitution of 1844 expanded the General Assembly to 60 members, elected annually and apportioned to the then-nineteen counties by population. Category:Members of the New Jersey General Assembly New Jersey State Constitution New Jersey Legislature official website Assembly Democrats official website Assembly Republicans official website New Jersey section of Project Vote Smart a national database of voting records and other information about legislators
Birmingham is a city located in the north central region of the U. S. state of Alabama. With an estimated 2017 population of 210,710, it is the most populous city in Alabama. Birmingham is the seat of Alabama's most populous and fifth largest county; as of 2017, the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 1,149,807, making it the most populous in Alabama and 49th-most populous in the United States. Birmingham serves as an important regional hub and is associated with the Deep South and Appalachian regions of the nation. Birmingham was founded in 1871, during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, most notably Elyton; the new city was named for Birmingham, the UK's second largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city. The Alabama city annexed smaller neighbors and developed as an industrial center, based on mining, the new iron and steel industry, rail transport. Most of the original settlers who founded Birmingham were of English ancestry.
The city was developed as a place where cheap, non-unionized immigrant labor, along with African-American labor from rural Alabama, could be employed in the city's steel mills and blast furnaces, giving it a competitive advantage over unionized industrial cities in the Midwest and Northeast. From its founding through the end of the 1960s, Birmingham was a primary industrial center of the southern United States, its growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South". Its major industries were steel production. Major components of the railroad industry and railroad cars, were manufactured in Birmingham. Since the 1860s, the two primary hubs of railroading in the "Deep South" have been Birmingham and Atlanta; the economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century. Banking, telecommunications, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education, insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.
S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast. In higher education, Birmingham has been the location of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and the University of Alabama School of Dentistry since 1947. In 1969 it gained the University of Alabama at Birmingham, one of three main campuses of the University of Alabama System, it is home to three private institutions: Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, Miles College. The Birmingham area has major colleges of medicine, optometry, physical therapy, law and nursing; the city has three of the state's five law schools: Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham School of Law, Miles Law School. Birmingham is the headquarters of the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeastern Conference, one of the major U. S. collegiate athletic conferences. Birmingham was founded on June 1, 1871, by the Elyton Land Company, whose investors included cotton planters and railroad entrepreneurs, it sold lots near the planned crossing of the Alabama & Chattanooga and South & North Alabama railroads, including land, a part of the Benjamin P. Worthington plantation.
The first business at that crossroads was the trading post and country store operated by Marre and Allen. The site of the railroad crossing was notable for its proximity to nearby deposits of iron ore and limestone – the three main raw materials used in making steel. Birmingham is the only place where significant amounts of all three minerals can be found in close proximity. From the start the new city was planned as a center of industry; the city's founders, organized as the Elyton Land Company, named it in honor of Birmingham, one of the world's premier industrial cities, to emphasize that point. The growth of the planned city was impeded by an outbreak of cholera and a Wall Street crash in 1873. Soon afterward, however, it began to develop at an explosive rate; the Tennessee Coal and Iron Company became the leading steel producer in the South by 1892. In 1907 U. S. Steel became the most important political and economic force in Birmingham, it resisted new industry, however. In 1911, the town of Elyton and several other surrounding towns were absorbed into Birmingham.
From the early 20th century, the city grew so it earned the sobriquet "The Magic City". The downtown was redeveloped from a low-rise commercial and residential district into a busy grid of neoclassical mid- and high-rise buildings crisscrossed by streetcar lines. Between 1902 and 1912, four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street, the central north-south spine of the city, 1st Avenue North, which connected the warehouses and industrial facilities along the east-west railroad corridor; this early group of skyscrapers was nicknamed the "Heaviest Corner on Earth". Birmingham was hit by the 1916 Irondale earthquake. A few buildings in the area were damaged; the earthquake was felt as far as Atlanta and neighboring states. While excluded from the best-paying industrial jobs, African Americans joined the migration of residents from rural areas to the city, drawn by economic opportunity; the Great Depression of the 1930s struck Birmingham hard, as the sources of capital fueling the city's growth dried up at the same time farm laborers, driven off the land, made their way to the city in search of work.
Hundreds poured into many riding in empty boxcars. "Hobo jungles" were established in Boyles, the Twenty-fourth Street Viaduct, G
Passaic, New Jersey
Passaic is a city in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 69,781, maintaining its status as the 15th largest municipality in New Jersey with an increase of 1,920 residents from the 2000 Census population of 67,861, which had in turn increased by 9,820 from the 58,041 counted in the 1990 Census. Passaic is the tenth most densely populated municipality in the entire United States with 22,000+ people per square mile. Located north of Newark on the Passaic River, it was first settled in 1678 by Dutch traders, as Acquackanonk Township; the city and river draw their name from the Lenape word "pahsayèk", variously attributed to mean "valley" or "place where the land splits." The city originated from a Dutch settlement on the Passaic River established in 1679, called Acquackanonk. Industrial growth began in the 19th century, as Passaic became metalworking center. A commercial center formed around a wharf at the foot of present-day Main Ave.
This came to be known as Acquackanonk Landing, the settlement that grew around it became known as the Village of Acquackanonk Landing or Acquackanonk Landing Settlement. In 1854 Alfred Speer and Judge Henry Simmons were principals in a political battle over the naming of village. Simmons wished to keep the old name, while Speer wished to simplify it to Passaic Village. Speer was losing the battle, but convinced the U. S. Postmaster General to adopt the name, hung a Passaic sign at the local railroad depot; the de facto name change was effective. Passaic was formed as an unincorporated village within Acquackanonk Township on March 10, 1869. and was incorporated as an independent village on March 21, 1871. Passaic was chartered as a city on April 2, 1873; the Okonite company owned an industrial site here from 1878 to 1993. It was the company's headquarters and primary manufacturing plant for most of the company's history. Early uses of the company's insulated wires include some of the earliest telegraph cables, the wiring for Thomas Edison's first generating plant, Pearl Street Station in Lower Manhattan.
The property was turned into a furniture factory, whose owners redeveloped into an upscale mall, Contempo Plaza, in 2015. The 1926 Passaic Textile Strike led by union organizer Albert Weisbord saw 36,000 mill workers leave their jobs to oppose wage cuts demanded by the textile industry; the workers fought to keep their wages unchanged but did not receive recognition of their union by the mill owners. Passaic has been called "The Birthplace of Television". In 1931, experimental television station W2XCD began transmitting from DeForest Radio Corporation in Passaic, it has been called the first television station to transmit to the home, was the first such station to broadcast a feature film. Allen B. DuMont DeForest's chief engineer, opened pioneering TV manufacturer DuMont Laboratories in Passaic in 1937, started the DuMont Television Network, the world's first commercial television network, in 1946. In 1992, the voters of Passaic Township in Morris County voted to change the name of their municipality to Long Hill Township, to avoid confusion between the City of Passaic and the rural community 22 miles away, as well as association with the more urban city.
Passaic is served by two regional newspapers, The Record and Herald News, both owned by Gannett company and predecessor North Jersey media Group. The city had many of its own newspaper companies, among them Speer's The Passaic Item, the Passaic City Herald, the Passaic Daily Times, the Passaic City Record, the Passaic Daily News, the Passaic Daily Herald, the Passaic Herald News; the Passaic Herald News went through several mergers with other Passaic County newspapers to become the current Herald News. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 3.244 square miles, including 3.146 square miles of land and 0.098 square miles of water. Unincorporated communities and place names located or within the city include Davis Bridge and Pleasant Plains. Passaic's only land border is with neighboring Clifton, which borders Passaic to the north and west; the Passaic River forms the eastern border of Passaic. Four additional neighboring towns in Bergen County across the river from Passaic are East Rutherford, Garfield and Wallington.
Passaic and Wallington are connected via the Gregory Avenue, Market Street, Eighth Street bridges. The city connects with Garfield at Passaic Street Bridge; the connection with Rutherford is via the Union Avenue Bridge, located on an extension off of the northbound lanes of Route 21. One cannot cross from Passaic into East Rutherford by vehicle directly, however, as there is no bridge connecting the two municipalities. Drivers wanting to cross from Passaic to East Rutherford must use either the Gregory Avenue Bridge, located near Wallington's border with East Rutherford, or the Union Avenue Bridge, where East Rutherford can be accessed via surface streets. Passaic is located 10 miles from New York City, 12 miles from Newark Airport. Passaic has several business districts: Main Avenue begins in Passaic Park and follows the curve of the river to downtown. Broadway runs east -- west through the center of the city. Main Street has many shops and businesses reflecting the city's Latino and Eastern European populations.
Nia H. Gill is an American Democratic Party politician, serving in the New Jersey State Senate since 2002, where she represents the 34th Legislative District, she ran unsuccessfully as a candidate in the June 2012 primary election to fill the seat in Congress left vacant by the death of Donald M. Payne, the former U. S. Representative for New Jersey's 10th congressional district. Gill was the State Senate President pro Tempore from 2010 to 2018, succeeded by M. Teresa Ruiz. Gill received a B. A. in History/Political History from Upsala College and was awarded a J. D. from the Rutgers University School of Law. Before her legislative career, she served as a law clerk for Essex County Superior Court Judge Harry Hazelwood, Jr. and as a public defender in Essex and Passaic counties. She is an attorney with the firm of Gill & Cohen, P. C. together with former Assembly member Neil M. Cohen of the 20th Legislative District. Before her service as State Senator, Gill served in the lower house of the New Jersey Legislature, the General Assembly, from 1994 to 2001, where she was Minority Whip from 1996 to 2001.
She served in the Assembly on the Speaker's Education Funding Task Force and on several committees including, the Assembly Democratic Senior Citizen Task Force and the Assembly Advisory Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Gill became a candidate for State Senate in District 34 after some of the municipalities she had represented in the Assembly were shifted into the district. Most of the communities added to District 34, which at the time was a Republican stronghold and had been for nearly two decades prior, were Democratic and contributed to Gill's landslide victory over first-time incumbent Norman M. Robertson. In the 2003 primaries, LeRoy J. Jones, Jr. was given the party line opposing Gill. Despite being outspent by Jones in the Democratic district, Gill won with 55% of the vote. Senator Gill has been re-elected twice, winning elections in 2003 and 2007. Gill, along with the other 39 state senators, was required to run for her seat after two years due to the election cycle set forth in the New Jersey Constitution requiring a two-year Senate term after decennial redistricting.
Gill serves in the Senate on the Commerce Committee, the Legislative Oversight Committee, the Legislative Services Commission and the Judiciary Committee. She has served as the Senate President Pro-Tempore since January 12, 2010. Gill is a sponsor of the measure signed into law to criminalize the deprivation of civil rights by public officials, making racial profiling a state crime, she has sponsored the New Jersey Civil Rights Act, which would give individuals a remedy whenever one person deprives another person of any rights, privileges or immunities or interferes with another's civil rights. Additionally, she sponsored a resolution to formally rescind an 1868 effort by the New Jersey Legislature to withdraw New Jersey's support for the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and its due process and equal protection provisions. Gill sponsored legislation that provides a $3,000 income tax deduction for certain families providing home care for an elderly relative, legislation that abolishes the death penalty in New Jersey, has sponsored legislation allowing PAAD recipients freedom of choice in selecting a pharmacy and prohibits the imposition of a mail order system.
The Senator sponsored legislation that establishes a central registry of domestic violence orders for use in evaluating firearm permit applications, sponsored legislation to upgrade crimes of the third degree. In addition, Senator Gill is the first African American and the first woman in the history of New Jersey named to serve on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. Gill is recognized as being one of the leading abortion rights advocates in New Jersey politics. One significant example is her opposition to the override of then-Governor Christie Whitman's veto of the New Jersey Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997 in the New Jersey Assembly. On June 4, 2007, Governor Corzine announced and filed his intent to nominate Stuart Rabner to be the next Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, replacing James R. Zazzali, nearing mandatory retirement age. Prior to the formal nomination, two members of the New Jersey Senate from Essex County, where Rabner resides, were said to be blocking consideration of his confirmation by invoking "senatorial courtesy", a Senate tradition that allows home county legislators to intercede to prevent consideration of a local nominee.
On June 14, 2007, Governor Corzine nominated Rabner for the post. State Senator Ronald Rice withdrew his objections to Rabner's nomination on June 15, 2007, after a meeting with the governor. Fellow Senator Gill dropped her efforts to block Rabner's confirmation on June 19, 2007, after meeting with Rabner. While she did not respond to initial media requests to explain the nature of her concerns, anonymous lawmakers cited in The New York Times indicated that the objection was due to Rabner's lack of bench experience and Governor Corzine's failure to consider a minority candidate for the post. At the conclusion of confirmation hearings, the Senate voted on June 21, 2007, to confirm Rabner as Chief Justice by a 36-1 margin, with Gill casting the lone dissenting vote, citing Rabner's lack of judicial experience and the fact that he had never argued a case in New Jersey's courts. Anne Milgram was confirmed by a 37-1 Senate vote to succeed Rabner as Attorney General; each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly.
The other representatives from the 34th District for the 2018-2019 Legislative Session are: Assemblyman Tho
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jersey, United States. Founded in 1856 by then-Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley and named after his aunt, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Seton Hall is the oldest diocesan university in the United States. Seton Hall consists of 11 schools and colleges with an undergraduate enrollment of about 5,800 students and a graduate enrollment of about 4,400, it was ranked tied for 118th in Best National Universities by U. S. News & World Report; as of 2018 Seton Hall University School of Law ranked 59th in the nation according to USNWR.. The Stillman School of Business was ranked 78th of 132 undergraduate business schools in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014. Seton Hall University was ranked one of the top five universities for undergraduate internships by the International Business Times in 2011. Like many Catholic universities in the United States, Seton Hall arose out of the Plenary Council of American Bishops, held in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1844, with the goal of bringing Catholicism to higher education in order to help propagate the faith.
The Diocese of Newark had been established by Pope Pius IX in 1853, just three years before the founding of the college, it necessitated an institution for higher learning. Seton Hall College was formally founded on September 1, 1856, by Newark Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, a cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt. Bishop Bayley named the institution after his aunt, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, named the first American-born Catholic saint; the main campus was in Madison, New Jersey. Reverend Bernard J. McQuaid served as the first college president and directed a staff of four diocesan clergy including Reverend Alfred Young, vice-president. Seton Hall had only five students – Leo G. Thebaud and Alfred Boisaubin, Peter Meehan and John Moore. By the end of the first year, the student body had grown more than tenfold to 60; the college moved to its current location in 1860. By the 1860s, Seton Hall College was continuing its rapid growth and began to enroll more and more students each year. However, among other difficulties, several fires on campus slowed down the growth process.
The first of several strange fires in the University's history occurred in 1867 which destroyed the college's first building. Two decades on March 9, 1886, another fire destroyed the university's main building. In the 20th century, another campus fire burned down a classroom as well as several dormitory buildings in 1909. During the 19th century, despite setbacks, financially tight times and the American Civil War, the College continued to expand. Seton Hall opened a military science department during the summer of 1893, but this program was disbanded during the Spanish–American War. One of the most pivotal events in the history of Seton Hall came in 1897 when Seton Hall's preparatory and college divisions were permanently separated. By 1937, Seton Hall established a University College; this marked the first matriculation of women at Seton Hall. Seton Hall became coeducational in 1968. In 1948, Seton Hall was given a license by the FCC for WSOU-FM; the College was organized into a university in 1950 following an unprecedented growth in enrollment.
The College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of business and education comprised the University. The Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry was established in 1954 as the first medical school and dental school in New Jersey, it was located in Jersey City, adjacent to the Jersey City Medical Center, used for clinical education. Although the college, set up under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark, was a separate legal entity from the University, it had an interlocking Board of Trustees; the first class was enrolled in 1956 and graduated in 1960. The dental school awarded its first degrees in 1960. From 1960 to 1964, 348 individuals received an M. D. degree. The college was sold to the state of New Jersey in 1965 for $4 million after the Archdiocese could not support mounting school debt and renamed the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry; that entity became part of the Rutgers University system in 2013 and now exists as the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Seton Hall established a new School of Medicine in partnership with Hackensack University Health Network in 2015.
Beginning in the late 1960s and continuing in the next two decades, the university saw the construction and modernization of a large number of facilities and the construction of the library, science building, residence halls and the University center. Many new programs and majors were inaugurated. New ties were established with the private and industrial sectors, a growing partnership developed with federal and state governments in creating programs for the economically and educationally disadvantaged; the 1970s and 1980s continued to be a time of renewal. New business and nursing classroom buildings and an art center were opened. In 1984, the Immaculate Conception Seminary returned to Seton Hall, its original home until 1926, when it moved to Darlington; the Recreation Center was dedicated in 1987. With the construction of four new residence halls between 1986 and 1988, the purchase of an off-campus apartment building in 1990, the University made
The Record (Bergen County)
The Record is a newspaper in North Jersey, United States. It serves Bergen County, though it covers Hudson and Passaic counties as well, it has the second largest circulation behind The Star-Ledger. Its editor is Daniel Sforza; the Record was under the ownership of the Borg family from 1930 on and the family went on to form North Jersey Media Group, which bought its competitor, the Herald News. Both papers are now owned by Gannett Company, which purchased the Borgs' media assets in July 2016. For years, The Record had its primary offices in Hackensack with a bureau in Wayne. Following the purchase of the competing Herald News of Passaic, both papers began centralizing operations in what is now Woodland Park, where The Record is located. In 1930 John Borg, a Wall Street financier, bought The Record. From 1952 to 1963 the circulation of The Record doubled and its coverage changed from local to regional, it was one of the papers whose editorial position was in favor of the Metropolitan Regional Council In 1974, writers in the area voted The Record first in the categories of writing and local coverage.
It provided different local news coverage for various areas in its distribution range. In 1983, the paper had a daily circulation of just over 149,000 with its readership described as "upscale". On September 12, 1988, its afternoon publication and delivery changed to early morning; when combined with more centralized distribution requiring carriers to have automobiles, many "youth carriers" were put out of work. The paper's approach to coverage made it "read like a magazine". Rather than a focus on breaking news on its front page, it featured "The Patch," a thematic topic or investigative report. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, a photographer for The Record, Thomas E. Franklin, took a photograph of three firefighters raising an American flag over the rubble of what had been the World Trade Center; this became an iconic photo known as Raising the Flag at Ground Zero. A follow-up story by Jeannine Clegg, a reporter for The Record, about the flag raising efforts by the firemen that led to the photo appeared in the newspaper on September 14, 2011.
The Record owns the rights to the photograph, but has licensed it in exchange for donations to September 11 causes, as long as the photo is used in a "dignified and proper manner" for non-commercial purposes. William A. Caldwell, Pulitzer Prize-winning former columnist Mike Kelly Robert Leckie, rejoined The Record after returning from World War II. John R. MacArthur John Tierney Kaavya Viswanathan The Record's and North Jersey Media Group website The Record website
Essex County, New Jersey
Essex County is a county in the northeastern part of the U. S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2017 Census estimate, the county's population was 808,285, making it the state's third-most populous county, an increase of 3.1% from the 2010 United States Census, when its population was enumerated at 783,969, in turn a decrease of 1.2% from the 793,633 enumerated in the 2000 Census. In 2010, the county dropped down to third-largest, behind Middlesex County, was one of only two counties in the state to see a decline between 2000 and 2010, its county seat is the most populous city in the state. It is part of the New York Metropolitan Area. In 2015, the county had a per capita personal income of $60,030, the eighth-highest in New Jersey and ranked 153rd of 3,113 counties in the United States; the Bureau of Economic Analysis ranked the county as having the 94th-highest per capita income of all 3,113 counties in the United States as of 2009. The county is named after a county in the East of England. Based on data from the 2010 census, Essex County is the 14th-most densely populated county in the United States, was ranked second in the state after Hudson County.
Newark, with a population density of 11,458.3 people/square mile, is the largest municipality in the county both in terms of land area and population, while Caldwell is the smallest in terms of land area and Essex Fells has the smallest population. Many of the county's smallest municipalities have population densities that are comparable to those of many big cities, are well above the state's average which in turn is the highest in the nation. Like many of the counties of Northern New Jersey near New York City—which tend to have sharp divides between rich suburban neighborhoods and less wealthy, more densely populated cities nearby—the eastern region of Essex County tends to be poorer and more urbanized, while the western parts tend to be more affluent and suburban; the wide area of Eastern Essex has significant pockets of high population, high building density, high poverty, high crime rates. Within this general area however are many stable and middle-income areas of diverse populations. For example and west sides of Newark have well-kept suburban areas such as Vailsburg and Forest Hill.
The east side of Newark is a working-class Brazilian and Portuguese community. East Orange has the Presidential Estate neighborhood full of large one family homes. Belleville and Bloomfield are suburbs with historic Italian communities that, in spite of retaining a core Italian-American population, now have many immigrants from Latin America and Asia; as of the 2000 Census, 36% of Nutley residents indicated that they were of Italian ancestry, the 12th-highest of any municipality in the nation and third-highest in New Jersey. Beginning at about the turn of the century, this region led the state in the rebuilding and rehab of its housing stock. In the 2000s, Newark led the state in the issuance of building permits. Many reasons were cited: citywide incentives to encourage construction development, an improving local economy, the rising demand of low-cost housing so close to Manhattan. Newark has since become one of the fastest growing cities in the entire Northeast, reported a gain in median income and drop in poverty rate.
This is a turnaround from the deterioration and abandonment experienced in the post-riot 1970s, 1980s and early part of the 1990s. Crime in this part of the county has traditionally been among the highest in the state and the country as well, but has seen significant declines, mirroring its large neighbor to the east, New York City. By 2006, crime in Newark had fallen 60% over the previous decade to its lowest levels in 40 years. Neighboring East Orange has experienced a decline in crimes, dropping 50% in the three years. While crime rates have fallen in these cities in recent years, they nonetheless remain high here compared to national crime statistics, as well as Irvington, Orange. In 2008, Newark had 67 homicides, down from 105 in 2007 and the record of 161 murders set in 1981. In contrast, Western Essex tends to be more affluent. Within this region are some of the most diverse and racially integrated municipalities in the state and nation, including Montclair, West Orange, South Orange and Maplewood.
Many neighborhoods are well-known magnets for people moving from New York City, such as Glen Ridge, Verona, Cedar Grove, South Orange and West Orange. The communities of Livingston, West Caldwell, South Orange, Millburn, North Caldwell, Essex Fells are some of the wealthiest towns in the county. Short Hills, South Orange and Livingston have large Jewish communities. Short Hills has a popular upscale shopping mall, The Mall at Short Hills located near affluent communities in Morris and Union counties; as the poorest place in the county, Newark has a median household income of $33,025 and a per capita income of $17,198. Essex County was the first county in the country to create a county park system, to ensure that it did not lose all its land to development; some of the county's municipalities Newark, The Oranges, The Caldwells were seen on episodes of the HBO mob drama The Sopranos, set in North Caldwell. There are various attractions in Essex County, such as the Newark Museum, Montclair Art Mus