Born in Newark, NJ, Mayor Warren has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School in Newark.
Since taking the helm as mayor in 2012, he has focused on enhancing the Orange Township community. Besides his role as mayor, he also practices law as a partner at Warren and Tosi, P.C. and teaches those interested in the profession as an adjunct professor at Essex County College.
Mayor Warren spoke with this reporter during an engaging question and answer session.
NJUN: Have you always aspired to become mayor?
Warren: The only thing I aspired to be as a child growing up was a lawyer and I did everything necessary to become one. Because of my uncle who worked in the state legislature, I learned how politics can translate into power and resources for people and I became even more interested. When the opportunity and the call came, I responded affirmatively and never looked back.
NJUN: Do you ever feel as if there’s never enough time being both the mayor of Orange and being a lawyer?
Warren:There’s never enough time because part of being mayor is you have to pay attention and deal with issues that people have from the smallest to the largest: life and death, resources, budgets, housing education, social well-being. So, there’s a plethora of issues you have to deal with every day – there’s never enough time to deal with them all.
NJUN: What do you like about being mayor?
Warren:I like how you can have an impact on the lives of people – that you can collaborate with people outside of your city, in the public and private sectors – and give resources to those who require it the most. You can see change happening as the mayor and see people’s lives being impacted and that’s truly gratifying.
NJUN: Is there something you dislike about being mayor?
Warren: There are never enough resources to fulfill every need and that’s just an economic fact. Sometimes you’re able to stretch resources to make sure certain needs are met, but I’d like to see a place where all legitimate concerns are able to be addressed and that resources can be found which might impede progress on any of our initiatives.
NJUN: What kinds of programs do you envision that would benefit the city?
Warren: I would love to have a foundation to provide civic education for children. I think it’s critically important to train the next generation of leaders and that they be equipped to go into the future technologically, politically, economically and socially sound. I always try to interact with young people to make sure they understand the importance of whatever their dreams may be and then I hope to ensure those dreams are cultivated.
I engage young people in this office and throughout the city for internships and seasonal jobs throughout the year and I typically create a place in my office where recent college graduates can receive training in the government sector to better understand public policy and public administration. It’s paid dividends for many who have made the public service their careers and they got their start – the nuts and bolts of their education – right here in Orange Township.
NJUN: What’s one message you’d like to share with young African Americans, particularly those growing up in urban areas like Orange Township?
Warren: Never accept no for an answer and never back down because someone’s in power, has prestige or has a position. Stand up for what you believe in and want in life because it’s available to you. The lessons and training you receive in urban settings will prepare you to conquer anything as long as you apply the skills that you acquire.