Freeholder Angela Garretson of Hillside, New Jersey, has over 16 years in government experience as a school board member, council woman at large, mayor, and now as a first-term Union County Freeholder.
Dedicated to improving community and economic development throughout Union County, she is the lead on the Union County League of Municipalities and the Union County Black Leadership Caucus, and is the New Jersey Association of Counties Delegate. She serves on the Union County Planning Board, Solid Waste Advisory Board, and Advisory Board on the Status of Minorities. She has been an advisory board member of the Local Advisory Council on Alcoholism and Drugs and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension, and is an advocate for the United Way of Greater Union County.
She has served on the Freeholder Board’s Policy and Administration Code Committee and the Parks, Public Works and Facilities Committee, and as an alternate on the Fiscal Committee. One of her first acts as Freeholder was to spearhead a new countywide GIS mapping of public recreation spaces to support capital improvement projects.
Garretson is currently a member of the Open Space Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Board, the Public Safety/Homeland Security Committee, and the Public Works Committee. She is also the Freeholder Liaison to the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Advisory Board on the Status of Minorities, Emergency Management Council and Air Traffic & Noise Advisory Board.
She initiated Union County’s inaugural Black History Month flag raising ceremony, and has been recognized as the first African-American woman elected Freeholder from Hillside. In addition to advocacy work recognized by the YWCA, and she also received the Women of Achievement award at the 2018 Emerge New Jersey Annual Gala.
In 2018, Garretson introduced the “Union County Academic Excellence Awards” to honor high school valedictorians and salutatorians along with their families and schools.
As the Chief External Affairs Officer in the Office of the President of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Garretson has been recognized for her impact on college and career pipelines, engaging the school with secondary and postsecondary institutions, the workplace, and the community.
She began her career at the Rutgers University-New Brunswick, Eagleton Institute of Politics. Her political affiliations include membership in the Young Elected Officials Network, and she is a founding member of the women’s and black caucuses.
A lifelong resident of Union County, Freeholder Garretson graduated from Montclair Kimberley Academy. She earned a BA from Syracuse University and an MA in Public Administration with honors from Rutgers, and is completing a joint Ph.D. program at NJIT and Rutgers.