East Orange, NJ- The East Orange City Council has taken unprecedented action in attempting to remove First Ward Council Member Andrea D. McPhatter because of her temporary displacement due to Hurricane Sandy.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, McPhatter’s East Orange home was severely damaged in a massive fire. As a result, McPhatter has been temporarily living with family relatives until the damages to her home are repaired. After learning of McPhatter’s living situation, City Council Chair Quilla Talmadge informed McPhatter that the council would attempt to vacate her seat under the Vacancy Law.
The decision to target McPhatter’s seat may be political in nature. With the upcoming June 4th primary, some Councilmembers – including Talmadge- have endorsed the party-backed, 38-year old attorney Lester E. Taylor for mayor. McPhatter has angered some fellow council members by endorsing candidate Kevin Taylor who is running for mayor against the party establishment in East Orange.
Serving her second term on City Council, McPhatter is recognized for her youth advocacy work in Essex County and helping children with special needs. Many recognize McPhatter for “First Fridays.” This free Family Night event has been sponsored for over five years by McPhatter on every first Friday of the month at the Franklin Library located at 192 Dodd St. in East Orange.
McPhatter released a strong statement condemning the council’s actions. “We cannot support a government that focuses on the destruction of families. This is not what good government is about. This is not what good local politics is about.” McPhatter continued, “Now is the time to elevate the discussion of becoming Agents of Change in our community”