High School to host MLK Ceremony

IRVINGTON, NJ — The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee will host its 21st annual Legacy of a Dream Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 1:30 p.m. in the Irvington High School Auditorium.

The committee was founded by former Municipal Council President, Essex County Freeholder and Team Irvington social and political organization founder D. Bilal Beasley, along with his friend and partner, current Freeholder Lebby C. Jones. Jones is a retired teacher who served as a councilwoman at large for many years.

Jones was elected to the county Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2014 to fill Beasley’s vacant seat after his death earlier that year. According to Mayor Tony Vauss, Jones is still the president of the MLK Committee she co-founded with Beasley 21 years ago.

“This year’s event is going to be a great event; the tradition that my mentor, Bilal, and Lebby started continues,” Vauss said Monday, Jan. 11.

“Lebby … will be running the program. I will be the master of ceremonies for the program.
“Our guest speaker is Dr. Stephanie Bush-Baskette. We will be presenting the 2016 MLK Award this year to Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones.”

Vauss said the committee decided to honor Jones this year because of the many good works he has done for communities across Essex County and New Jersey, as well as his home community of East Orange, where he serves as the chairman of that city’s Municipal Democratic Committee.

He said Jones is a living embodiment that politicians can affect the lives of real people living and working in the communities he serves and represents, and that’s one of the reasons he always gives for getting involved in politics in the first place.

“He’s been a pioneer in the political field, dating back to the years when he was a member of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and when he served in the state Assembly,” Vauss said.

“We just thought it was fitting to honor him, in light of his many years of service to the community.
“The Legacy of a Dream is all about honoring and remembering the life and legacy of a man that spent his life serving and caring about people.

“It still continues. But we will be keeping the tradition here in Irvington that Lebby and Bilal started.”