June 23, 2024
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Morris Township Mayor Jeff Grayzel Runs for NJ State Senate

A small business owner with strong roots in the Jewish community, and solid experience in municipal government, is now well positioned to become one of the most prominent Jewish leaders in New Jersey state government.

He’s come a long way from his initial introduction to local politics in Morris Township, when speeding on his street, poorly maintained municipal playground equipment and ill-advised development plans prompted him to run for a position on the township committee. Jeff Grayzel brings many formidable credentials to his run as the Democratic Party candidate in the November 2021 election for the New Jersey State Senate position for District 25 (representing 20 towns in Morris County and one town, Bernardsville, in Somerset County). He was the first elected Democratic Committee member in Morris Township in 34 years when he won in 2007 and went on to become the first-ever Democratic mayor in 2019 (in Morris Township, the mayor is elected by township committee members for one-year terms). He was elected deputy mayor in 2020 and re-elected mayor in 2021. He has served on the township’s planning board, sanitary sewers committee, police and fire standing committees, board of health, trails and pathways committee and finance committee.

Grayzel has spent much of his life in Northern New Jersey. His family moved to Englewood when he was 2 years old and was enrolled in the Moriah Hebrew Day School, where his parents were one of the founding families. His family joined Ahavath Torah Congregation, where Jeff had his bar mitzvah and his parents continue to be active. He attended the public Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, which he describes as “my first encounter with the diversity of the larger community.” He went on to attend Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in economics and a Bachelor of Science in operations research engineering, then Columbia University, earning a Master of Science in industrial engineering. After graduating from college, he spent the next 13 years living in New York City while working for Bristol-Myers Squibb in marketing and international business development. After getting married, he and his wife, Lynn, decided to move to Morris Township, where they’ve lived now for 24 years. They have two boys, ages 17 and 20.

Grayzel is president of G3 Medical Development LLC, a medical-device development firm focused on the area of invasive cardiology. He works with his father, Dr. Joseph Grayzel, a retired cardiologist, to develop, patent and license their medical devices.

Grayzel soon got active in the local area. He served as a t-ball and little league baseball coach for nine years and soccer coach for seven years. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Morristown Jewish Center, where his family are members. But then he found himself drawn to municipal concerns. Grayzel’s experiences as mayor and township committee member over the past 14 years, and his successes in those roles, have attuned him to the different challenges facing state government, which he hopes to tackle as New Jersey State Senator.

Speaking to The Jewish Link, Grayzel identified four priority issues he looks forward to addressing:

1. Infrastructure. He points out that “the state is aging and we need to invest for the long term.” He is particularly concerned about the deterioration of roads, bridges and railroads. He also uses traffic lights as an example of physical assets in dire need of upgrades, noting that upgraded lights can improve both traffic flow and air quality.

2. Reform of New Jersey State agencies. Grayzel’s cites as his No. 1 example the board of public utilities, which has seen too many outages and manages an antiquated power grid. He also expressed concerns with New Jersey Transit and the need for a state agency to manage affordable housing.

3. Electrifying New Jersey. Grayzel states that Morris Township has taken the lead in this area, requiring that all new developments include electronic vehicle (EV) charging stations; there are now 11 stations approved throughout the township. He stated that sound leadership “puts in the infrastructure for EV now, to anticipate future needs.”

4) Tax stabilization. As mayor, Grayzel has focused on different initiatives to keep the tax rate flat. He is proud that Morris Township founded a working group on shared services, which now has representatives from six towns, and received a state grant to explore shared services for the towns’ departments of public works.

Grayzel also feels strongly that the Jewish community needs representation in the New Jersey State Senate, which now only has three Jewish members. This number includes Senator Loretta Weinberg of Bergen County, who is retiring in November.

He stated to The Jewish Link: “With Senator Loretta Weinberg’s retirement, New Jersey is losing an important Jewish voice in the statehouse and her leadership on the New Jersey-Israel Commission. Senator Weinberg is the most prominent Jewish elected leader in our state and her retirement will create a void… Jews in New Jersey need continued strong representation in the state senate to advocate on issues facing American Jewry and be a proponent of Israel. These issues include the fight against antisemitism, advocating for Israel and speaking out against BDS and other anti-Israel sentiment. We need a Jewish leader who can build bridges across a broad ideological spectrum to protect Jewish interests in our state.”

Grayzel asserts that his unique experiences position him for success in the role of New Jersey State Senator. He cites:

His background as an engineer, which prompts him to collect data widely, seek input and opinions from multiple sources and focus on lasting solutions.

His work at Bristol-Myers-Squibb, where he helped start their consumer business in China and visited the country 12 times. He was part of a 40-person working group, with representatives from different functions and different cultures, which contributed to the growth of the business in China.

His work as mayor, setting the agenda for the town and bringing people together from different areas of the town to achieve shared objectives.

Grayzel stressed that “I prioritize solutions over partisan politics. It’s most important to get things done, to make our town a better place for everyone.” He intends to take the same approach in the New Jersey State Senate.

For more information visit www.GrayzelForSenate.com

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