Occupation: Majority Conference Leader, NJ General Assembly
Twitter Handle: @aswsumter
Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly on November 8, 2011 to represent the 35th Legislative district. The 35th Legislative district includes Elmwood Park and Garfield of Bergen County and Haledon, North Haledon, Paterson and Prospect Park of Passaic County. She is the Assembly Majority Conference Leader, Vice-Chair of the Labor committee and is a member of the Health & Senior Services and Law & Public Safety committees and second VP of the NJ Legislative Black Caucus.
In her professional life, she has served in a variety of capacities in health related fields, currently serving as the Director of Behavioral Health Services at Hackensack UMC Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ.
In addition to her professional involvements, Shavonda is a dedicated community servant leader. She currently serves as a Vice President of the Paterson Branch NAACP; and the Advisor the NAACP's Youth Council.
Shavonda and her husband, Kenneth (a longtime educator in the City of Paterson) are the loving parents of a daughter, Tyler I. Sumter, and a son Kenneth Sumter.
Assemblywoman Sumter is committed to the citizens of New Jersey and is dedicated to her personal and professional values that include service, uncompromising ethics, and quality.
HIGHER HEIGHTS: What inspired you to want to work in the political arena?
Assemblywoman Sumter: I wanted to make a change and I believe you cannot be on the sideline, you must create change.
HIGHER HEIGHTS: What advice do you have for Black women that want to spark change?
Assemblywoman Sumter: Do something! Let your passion guide you to an organization.
HIGHER HEIGHTS: What do you feel is the single most pressing issue facing Black women today and why?
Sumter: Political Capital – Black women has worked tirelessly to help people get elected with little to no influence. It is time our voices are heard collectively.
HIGHER HEIGHTS: Tell us about a woman mentor that has helped you on your journey?
Assemblywoman Sumter: My mother guided me throughout my life. She was unwavered in her belief in me and my abilities to be a change maker.