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Progressive Candidate for Essex County Freeholder

Sabre Burroughs

Best known as Sabre Bee, she is a Newark Resident and Native — Alumni of Science Park High School and College of New Jersey Graduate — who ran for Essex County Freeholder At Large. Her mission is to advocate for the underserved and be the voice for her community.

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The Role of a Freeholder

In Essex County, NJ the Board of Freeholders consists of 9 members. 5 of those members are elected from districts and 4 of them are elected at large. This Board has legislative and investigative powers of County government as granted by the Optional County Charter Law.

Some of those powers include conducting investigations, the power to perform audit, to designate staff to process and approve funding and to pass ordinances and resolutions.

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AS freeholder at large

My Vision for Essex County



With authority over a $767 million annual budget, we should be able to expect accountability, transparency, and fair distribution in resource management at the county level & all levels. I will ensure more people have access to the schedule of meetings so that their community can be represented.

Law Enforcement


There must be effective oversight and demilitarization of law enforcement at every level of government. This includes reforming policing at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels (especially, though not limited to ICE detention facilities).

Public Health
Environmental Justice


Data from as recent as 2019 shows Essex County has been repeatedly cited as among the unhealthiest counties in NJ with among the lowest health outcomes. I will see that equity and environmental quality is considered in county permits, projects, and properties in consideration for the welfare of future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a Newark, New Jersey based community advocate and educator in social justice and vegan nutrition. As Co-founder of the Newark Water Coalition, I have engaged with residents in and around my home city on issues of water rights since 2018, as well as affordable housing with Newark Homes for All. Currently, I am running for Freeholder-at-Large in Essex County (line B).

Throughout my childhood, I grew up in a family of activists and organizers, which gave me early training in effective community engagement and methods of building social cohesion. I first began to apply and build on these skills in my role as Vice President of my high school class, and later as Vice President of the Amnesty International chapter at the College of New Jersey. In addition, I also was a student-leader of PRISM (an on-campus LGBTQIA advocacy organization), leading public relations and communications.

I hold a dual BA in English and Women & Gender Studies (Poli. Sci. minor), from the College of New Jersey where I graduated Magna Cum Laude. I also completed a certification in Sports Nutrition with the International Sports Medicine Association (AAAI/ISMA).

Failing infrastructure is an issue in Essex County. The roads and the water infrastructure need better maintenance. Property taxes are the highest in the state and there can definitely be a better return on services. There are environmental issues that need resolution. Look at the cases of asthma in the county due to the air quality. The recent pandemic has exploited how urgently we need clean practices now.

The top thing I want to accomplish as Freeholder is to raise the standard for transparency with County expenditures by using consulting and auditing in order to create more fiscal responsibility and fairness of allocated resources.

I want to improve the transparency on decisions that have an environmental impact. For this we need more public conversations and proper oversight. The property taxes in Essex County are the highest in the state and that transfers to tenant costs. I suggest sharing services that we pay for as county
residents to relieve some of that responsibility.

We could address the conditions in the ECCF by starting reformative justice programs. If the correctional facility operated as a place that truly offered reform practices, rather than just existing as a holding pen, we would have immediate results of behavioral correction. As County Representatives, we have a responsibility to the people of Essex County, including to those in these Correctional Facilities. No matter the charge or crime, human beings do not deserve to be kept in inhabitable, dangerous conditions. We advocate for the oversight and maintenance of these facilities because of poor internal operations management.

We support the initiatives of the Newark Water Coalition, fresh-water initiatives, farm to table DOE initiatives, urban farming and inner-city beautification. We would love to see the shut-down of the Covanta garbage plant in Newark. Also, our infrastructure needs attention so we can avoid or significantly reduce another water crisis in communities across the county. We need to use our dollars in a way that is more environmentally friendly, working with “green” contractors. Let’s make sure that if people want to do business with Essex County that they are doing in a way that helps in the fight for climate justice.
At this time, I am adapting to the COVID-19 provisions, along with all NJ residents. I have had to get creative with meeting relevant organizations, who want to canvas, in different digital spaces. Also, under recommended safety precautions, I anticipate meeting in small groups of interested people for further discussion.
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