Zaida Polanco Dead: Passaic Councilwoman Dies at 42

Zaida Polanco Facebook page

Facebook/Zaida Polanco

Zaida Polanco, the Democratic councilwoman from Passaic, has died at the age of 42. Her cause of death has not been made public. reports that Polanco’s death was first announced on August 8. In addition to being a Passaic Councilwoman, Polanco was also the director of human resources for Passaic Public Schools. Polanco was a native of Bonao in the Dominican Republic and was a graduate of Passaic High School as well as studying at Rutgers University. Polanco was first elected to the council in 2011 and had been reelected in 2015. Her term was due to expire in July 2019. According to Polanco’s LinkedIn page, Polanco also had a career in finance working as a loan officer for American Financial Resources. Before her time at Ruters, where she studied Political Science, Polanco was a graduate of Montclair State University.

In a statement announcing her passing, Senator Bob Menendez said, “I’m heartbroken to hear of the sudden passing of my dear friend, Passaic’s Councilwoman Zaida Polanco. Throughout her life, she fought to expand economic and educational opportunities and to help Passaic’s Hispanic community. We’ll all miss her laugh and zest for life.” Passaic Mayor Hector Lora wrote in a Facebook post, “Today the City of Passaic, the State of New Jersey, and the Dominican Community mourn the loss of a family member, a friend, one of our leaders Passaic City Councilwoman Zaida Polanco, May her soul rest with the LORD ALWAYS. She dedicated her life to public service and fighting for the rights of those who often did not have a voice. Please keep her family in prayer.” reports that Polanco had just returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic. A friend of Polanco’s from the Democratic Party told the website, “I feel horrible. She was the field director of a group of students for Bob Menendez for senate in 2006. That’s when I first met her. She was the director of field in the City Passaic. Then we got Alex Blanco elected in 2008 and reelected. I was her right hand man. I feel horrible.”