City Remembers Longtime Public Servant Blanquita Valenti
Blanquita Valenti (photo courtesy of PRAB)
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ (March 11, 2021) – Blanquita Valenti, a beloved and trailblazing long-time public servant, died Tuesday night at the age of 87.
She served the people of the City of New Brunswick and Middlesex County for decades starting with a term as a member of the New Brunswick Board of Education from 1971 to 1974. She was appointed to the New Brunswick City Council in 1990 to fill an unexpired term and would go on to be elected and re-elected five times to the City Council where she would serve as both President and Vice-President during her tenure which ended in 2010.
In 2004 she was elected to serve on the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders (now Commissioners.) Blanquita served five terms and announced her retirement from the Board in 2019.
In each instance, Ms. Valenti was the first person of Latin American descent to serve in each of those capacities.
A resident of New Brunswick for more than 60 years, Blanquita was active in a multitude of community boards and organizations addressing social services, education, youth services and Latino issues. She is remembered as a founding member of PRAB, a comprehensive social services agency serving residents throughout the City of New Brunswick and central New Jersey for more than four decades.
She spent nearly 40 years as a teacher in Sayreville, Iselin, the former St. Peter’s High School in New Brunswick and at Rutgers University.
New Brunswick Mayor Jim Cahill, Blanquita’s running mate for all five of her campaigns for City Council, fondly remembers her dedication to both public office and her family. “When I think of Blanquita, my face will always break into a smile. While certainly saddened by her passing, we celebrate Blanquita for all that she accomplished and her passion for public service and tireless work as a community- minded advocate who made a positive difference in the lives of so many. A dedicated and loving wife, mother and grandmother to a wonderful family, Blanquita was what all elected officials should be - compassionate, intelligent, honest, and dedicated to the community she served.”
“To know Blanquita was to love her,” adds Mayor Cahill. “It was a privilege to be her friend and teammate, and for that, I am forever grateful.”
“Blanquita gracefully encapsulated the soul of a woman,” says current New Brunswick City Council President Suzanne Sicora-Ludwig. “She was compassionate, intelligent, powerful and charming; the most endearing qualities in a leader and a person.”
“Blanquita Valenti was a role model to many including myself,” says current New Brunswick City Council Vice-President Rebecca Escobar. “Her contribution, dedication and commitment to children, adults and the elderly of Middlesex County was unparalleled.”
“She has done (so much) for the City of New Brunswick,” adds former New Brunswick City Council President John Anderson. “I am proud to have known her for decades, first through her children, and then with all the community service she performed.”“Blanquita Valenti was a wonderful person who was a pioneer for Latinas and women in politics,” says New Brunswick City Councilman Kevin Egan. “She was a dedicated public servant who never missed an event.”
"Blanquita was a trailblazer, and not just for women in the City," adds New Brunswick Councilman Glenn Fleming. "She was an inspiration for many of us and she will be greatly missed. Her legacy will endure."