Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver on the passing of Calvin West

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New Jersey Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver (State of New Jersey photo)
Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver

Calvin West was a dear friend and I was deeply saddened to learn of his passing today. I was privileged to have been a beneficiary of Calvin’s wise advice and counsel dating back to the beginning of my professional career, when I worked for the City of Newark during the Gibson administration. From that time up until today, he was always there for me, with sage advice and strong support and advocacy no matter what I was engaged in. The friendship and loyalty he bestowed upon his friends is something hard to find in these days and times.

Calvin was a civil rights leader and fellow Newark native who was loved by so many. He wore many hats in his lifelong career of service – an Army veteran, newspaper correspondent, advisor to three Governors and numerous Democratic campaigns, and Newark’s first African-American to win a citywide election, where he served as councilman-at-large.

Calvin believed in working from within the system to make change and lift black communities, and his approach wasn’t always popular during the more tumultuous times of the civil rights movement in the 60’s and 70’s. He was a steadfast leader, deeply rooted in the community and tirelessly devoted to the City of Newark and its residents and I will miss him dearly.

Sending my deepest condolences to Calvin’s family at this difficult time. May he rest in power.

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