commissioner president wayne l. richardson issues statement of support on the house of representatives passing the crown act

Essex County Commissioner President – Wayne L. Richardson

On behalf of the Essex County Board of Commissioners, I applaud the United States House of Representatives for recently passing the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act. The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, prohibits discrimination “based on an individual’s hair texture or hairstyle”. Should this bill become law, it will be applied equally across all demographics, however, we must recognize the factors that influenced its creation.

Specific hairstyles – cornrows, afros, braids and locs – that are part of the heritage and culture of people of African descent were mentioned by name in the text of this legislation. As a Black man and as a legislator, I embrace the opportunity to highlight any legislation brought forward which aims to protect everyone against unfair treatment based on their appearance.

I commend Congresswoman Coleman and her colleagues in the House for having the foresight to introduce and pass this bill. It is my hope that our representatives in the Senate recognize the importance of protecting people from discriminatory practices based on their appearance, and join the House in passing this meaningful act.


(973) 621-4486


(973) 621-5695


Board of County Commissioners,
County of Essex
465 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Room 558 Hall of Records,
Newark, New Jersey 07102