Marie Villani, Newark city councilwoman for 20 several years, dies at 100

HMarie L. Villani, a six-time period Newark Metropolis Councilwoman and the 1st lady to win

HMarie L. Villani, a six-time period Newark Metropolis Councilwoman and the 1st lady to win a citywide election in the state’s largest city, died on July 13.  She turned 100 on July 4.

Villani was appointed to fill an at-large metropolis council seat in 1973 following her husband, Ralph A. Villani, a previous Newark mayor, resigned for well being explanations.

She was elected to a whole term on the town council in 1974, one particular of four winners in a discipline of 25 candidates.  Mayor Kenneth Gibson, who grew to become Newark’s initially Black mayor when he ousted two-term incumbent Hugh Addonizio in 1970, received a 2nd phrase in opposition to Condition Sen. Anthony Imperiale (I-Newark).

But in that election, white candidates retained a bulk of seats on the city council for the last time, going from 6-3 to 5-4.  In a June runoff, incumbent Anthony Giuliano was the best vote-getter. Donald C. Tucker, who ran with the backing of Gibson, concluded in next location, about 1,000 votes behind Giuliano. (His widow, Cleopatra Tucker, presently serves in the New Jersey Condition Assembly.)

Villani finished 3rd, about 1,100 votes at the rear of Tucker and about 1,300 votes forward of Rev. Ralph T Grant, who ran the city’s drug habit plan, and about 2,000 votes ahead of previous Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Paul Daniele. A further incumbent, Earl Harris, obtained sufficient votes in the Could election to prevent a runoff.

In 1978, Villani, Tucker and Giuliano were pressured into a runoff with Imperiale, who experienced lost his State Senate the previous calendar year.  Harris received his re-election bid in May perhaps.

Tucker and Villani have been re-elected, but Grant ousted Giuliano by much less than 100 votes.  Imperiale finished about 1,000 votes driving them.  Instructor Ralph J. Villani, who was not relevant to the former mayor but had the benefit of his title, designed it into the runoff but lost the by a 2-1 margin.

Harris gave up his council seat to problem Gibson in the 1982 Newark mayoral race and South Ward Councilman Sharpe James ran for an at-huge council seat.   Imperiale finished fourth in the May perhaps election, somewhere around 700 votes in advance of Grant.  Frank Addonizio, who was not connected to the former mayor and had served as a West Ward councilman from 1958 to 1970, also manufactured the runoff.  (Addonizio later designed a political comeback as a two-phrase Wall Township Committeeman and Mayor in the 1990s.)

In a runoff for all at-massive seats, James concluded around 2,600 votes in entrance of Tucker, about 4,100 forward of Villani, and received almost 5,100 more votes than Grant.   Imperiale came in fifth.

That election gave Newark their initial Black the vast majority on the town council, twelve yrs right after the U.S. Census Bureau approximated that the city had a the vast majority of Black citizens.

Villani was re-elected 1986 and 1990.  She resigned in 1993.

She was the 3rd girl to provide on the Newark Council.  Anna Santoro served briefly in 1962 next the demise of her husband, At-Large Councilman Raymond Santoro, and Sophie Cooper held the South Ward seat for five decades pursuing the loss of life of her partner, Councilman Samuel Cooper.

Villani had supported the controversial Kawaida Towers housing undertaking in the North Ward.  The undertaking, which was the brainchild of poet and civil rights chief Amiri Baraka (the late father of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka), drew fierce opposition from the predominately white voters in the North Ward.  Black voters remained supportive of Villani  all through her political profession and she was the very last white candidate to earn a citywide election in Newark.

Ralph Villani was elected to the 4-12 months conditions on the Newark Metropolis Fee in 1941, 1945 and 1949 and served as mayor of Newark from 1949 to 1953. He misplaced re-election in 1953, ending fifth behind Leo Carlin (who would turn into mayor), previous mayor Meyer Ellenstein, previous Newark Getting Director (and upcoming Democratic State Chairman) Salvatore Bontempo, incumbent John Keenan and former Commissioner Pearce Franklin.

Villani, who was the very last Republican mayor of Newark, received an at-substantial metropolis council seat in 1962.  He died of a heart attack nine months after his resignation.  He was 72.

The previous Marie Juliano turned co-chair of the Italian Migration to America Committee with Rep. Peter W. Rodino (D-Newark), and as a result of Rodino she fulfilled her potential husband, Ralph Villani.

She designed jewelry and outfits, and her business, the South Orange-based House of Juliano, was the initial to promote pink mink.

Her late father, Anthony Sicnolfi, worked as a foreman at Thomas Edison’s factory in West Orange. She married Villani just after her initially husband, C. Robert Juliano, an RCA Data government, died.

Predeceased by her son, Allen, she is survived by her son, Robert, 3 grandchildren and two good-grandchildren.

A viewing will be held at the Galante Funeral Residence in Caldwell on July 20 from 3-7 PM.  Funeral products and services are set for July 21 at St. Joseph’s Church.

Previous Newark Councilwoman Marie Villani celebrates her 100th birthday in 2021. (Image: Robbie Villani by means of Facebook).


A flyer from the 1978 Newark Town Council election made use of to criticize Marie Villani for supporting the Kawaida Towers housing project in the North Ward. (Graphic: Newark Public Library).