(TRENTON) – Lawyer and former Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Ellen J. Park took the oath of office from Speaker Pro Tempore Benjie Wimberly to become a member of the New Jersey State Assembly on Tuesday.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Assemblywoman Park (D-Bergen) has been a prominent figure for Asian Pacific Americans in New York and New Jersey for many years. After receiving her B.A. from New York University, she attended Hofstra Law School where she served as Vice President of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association and led the Voter’s Registration Drive to help residents in Queens to vote.
Just a few years after passing the bar, Park and her husband, Richard Ma, founded the Law Offices of Ma & Park, PLLC in New York City, where she has focused on real estate law. Park moved to Englewood Cliffs where she became a Councilwoman for the borough in 2016. During her time on the Council, Park worked rigorously to ensure that the borough follow and comply with Affordable Housing mandates and helped establish the borough as a “Stigma-Free Zone”, which aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
Speaker Pro Tempore Wimberly stood in for Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin during the ceremony since Coughlin participated remotely while quarantining due to COVID-19.
“Ellen has already played an instrumental role as a Councilwoman and has had an enormous impact on the residents of Englewood Cliffs,” said Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “The Assembly is fortunate to have gained such hard-working, community-minded member who will undoubtedly help New Jersey continue to grow and prosper for years to come.”
While practicing law and raising her two sons, Assemblywoman Park has enriched her community as a member of the PTA, the Englewood Cliffs Little League, and as a member of the Korean PTA. Additionally, as Chair of Recreation, she has organized town events, such as Community Night Out, 5K Run, Easter Egg Hunt, Winter Wonderland, and Trunk or Treat.
“I have always believed that being an elected official is not only about leading, but listening, and the lines of communication between our office and our community should be open both ways,” said Park. “Building relationships in my community and garnering trust from the residents regardless of their political affiliation has always been a priority of mine. I believe the vast majority of New Jerseyans want the same things, good schools, safe neighborhoods, greater affordability, and wider access to health care. Even though we may not agree on how to achieve our goals, it is our duty as legislators to work together for the betterment of all New Jersey. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to represent Bergen County along with my district colleagues, and will diligently work to help guarantee that the concerns of our residents in district 37 are addressed at the state level.”
Assemblywoman Park represents the 37th Legislative District which includes the Bergen County municipalities of Alpine, Bogota, Cresskill, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Leonia, Northvale, Palisades Park, Rockleigh, Teaneck, and Tenafly.