Alumni Corner – State Senator Renee C. Burgess

State Senator Renee C. Burgess

Renee C. Burgess, (Essex County College Class of 1999) is passionate about public service. She is a former member of the Board of Education and Township Council in her hometown of Irvington. She now holds the position of New Jersey State Senator for the 28th Legislative District.

“My time at Essex County College (earning an Associate degree in Business Administration) prepared me for the financial career I have had. Graduating from ECC was one of my life’s biggest milestone,” she stated.  

From ECC, Senator Burgess went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Pillar College and a Master’s in Public Affairs and Administration from Metropolitan College of New York. She has worked for Merck Pharmaceutical and CIT Financial.   

She was selected to fill the unexpired 28th District seat of Ronald L. Rice, himself an ECC alumnus, last September. Senator Burgess won the special election last November for the term that runs through 2023. Senator Rice passed away on March 15, 2023.  The district encompasses all or parts of Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Newark, and Nutley.   

“My goal, as a whole, is to create unity in our melting pot of cultures, especially in my Legislative District. It’s important to focus on women’s rights, help for our senior citizens, provide health education for all ages, and prevent gun violence. I want to be in a position where I can better serve our residents.” Her state committee assignments largely align with her goals.

Senator Burgess served from 2002 to 2014 on the Irvington Board of Education, including a time as President. She is most proud of spearheading an initiative for students in all grades to wear school uniforms. 

While on the Township Council, she worked to maintain vital services and public safety, along with developing senior citizen programs. She also provided needed support for the new football field at Irvington High School.

To today’s students, Senator Burgess said, “Stay motivated and focus on education. It’s important to give back to the community and never forget from where you came.”