For the first time in nearly forty years, Glen Ridge has a seat in the legislature again.
Assemblywoman Jackie Yustein (D-Glen Ridge) was sworn in today, officially taking her spot as the successor to Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley), who resigned in March to take a seat on the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield board of directors.
The current Glen Ridge Democratic municipal chair and a former borough councilwoman, Yustein is not running for a full term this November, and will only remain in office for a little over seven months. In those seven months, she told the New Jersey Globe that she hopes to focus on environmental and special education issues.
“I worked for many years with children with delayed development and children with catastrophic illness, so I would like education for these children,” Yustein said. “And I think that we’re leaving the environment in terrible shape for the next generation.”
Yustein will take over Caputo’s two assignments on the Education Committee and the Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee. Caputo had been the chairman of the latter committee, a role that will now go to Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken) for the rest of this session.
In her brief opening remarks on the Assembly floor, Yustein expressed her excitement at starting this new, if brief, stage of her political career.
“I am a little bit overwhelmed and thrilled to be here, and hope that I will do justice to the people that have given me their trust,” she said.