We are fortunate to have so many great local women leaders

Welcome to Women’s History Month, celebrated each and every March. We are at a point in our nation’s history where more than ever, the role of women is as important, if not even more important, than ever before.

And so it stands as a reminder of just how fortunate we are, in the readership area of The Observer, to have so many women in leading roles.

At present, one woman is a mayor in our readership, Dina Grilo, of East Newark. She took office in January as the first female mayor in the borough’s history — and she’s been working at a blazing pace ever since. She works with Councilwomen Rose Evaristo, Jeanne Zincavage and Jessica Diaz. There, half of the council are women.

In Kearny, half of the Town Council is female as well, with Marytrine DeCastro in the First Ward, Carol Jean Doyle and Eileen Eckel in the Third Ward and Susan McCurrie in the Fourth Ward. Each has demonstrated incredible leadership over their tenures. And, Doyle has spent the last few years as the President of the Council.

Harrison is fortunate to have on its council Ellen Mendoza and Eleanor Villalta in the Second Ward and Maria Camano in the First Ward. Each brings a great energy to the Town of Harrison — and all have played an integral role in the overwhelming changes the town continues to see on a daily basis.

In North Arlington, Allison Sheedy has served many years on the Borough Council — and she was most recently joined by two other women, Donna Bocchino and Lynette Cavadas. All three lead with distinction.

Karen Haggerty, meanwhile, serves as commissioner in Lyndhurst, keeping up a fine tradition of Haggertys who have served the Township so well and so often.

Belleville’s Naomy DePeña and Marie Strumolo Burke serve on the Belleville Township Council and both have led with distinction. Burke is a veteran and DePeña is a relative newcomer who has brought new, innovative thoughts and work to the council.

So as we enter Women’s History Month, we say thank you to all who have done so much in the past — and all who do so much now for our communities.

To say we are fortunate is an understatement.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.