Holley Blasts Christie Comments Supporting Ineffective, Wasteful, Insulting Drug Testing Of Welfare Recipients
Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-Roselle) strongly disagrees with a statement made recently by Governor Chris Christie that New Jersey should force recipients of welfare and other state assistance programs to submit to costly and demeaning drug testing in order to receive benefits.
Holley was raised by a single grandparent along with two brothers and his family benefitted from several state assistance programs including Welfare, Food Stamps and educational scholarships. These programs enabled him to survive as a child and to thrive as an adult, with him eventually becoming the youngest mayor in the history of the Borough of Roselle before being appointed earlier this year as the first African-American to represent the 20th Legislative District.
"Governor Christie's comments are political pandering at its absolute worst and a slap in the face to the thousands of working families in New Jersey who are being crushed under the stagnant state economy that his agenda has produced," said Assemblyman Holley, who won a contested Primary Election in June and is now running for a full two-year term in the upcoming General Election. "People like my grandmother who needed public assistance are looking for a helping hand and a chance to build a better life for their families. What they don't need is the Governor of our state reinforcing damaging, negative stereotypes about poor people just to score points in his hopeless campaign for President."Read more
Please join me in celebration of our collective success and continued progress in Elizabeth, Hillside, Roselle and Union. Event includes open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, full dinner, music, dancing and the best views of New York City!
By Chase Brush 02/23/15 2:48pm
TRENTON — Legislative district 20’s newest representative was sworn-in on the Assembly floor today amid cheers and jeers of approval.
Friends and family nearby, Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley took the oath of office during the body’s session. Holley replaces former Assemblyman Joe Cryan in the legislature’s lower chamber, who left his seat beginning this year to replace the late Ralph Froelich as Union County sheriff.
“This is a remarkable place,” Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6) said. “Out of thousands of residents, only 128 of us get to serve the the New Jersey state legislature.”
Assemblyman Jamel Holley (left) being sworn in by Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (right) (Matt Friedman/NJ Advance Media)
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Jamel Holley, the youngest mayor ever elected in Roselle, has left that job to become a member of the state Assembly.
Holley, a 35-year-old Democrat, was sworn in as the Assembly's newest member today, replacing longtime Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-Union) in the 22nd District.
Cryan is now the Union County sheriff.
"It wasn't supposed to happen to me," Holley said shortly after being sworn in. "They said the child born to a teenage unwed mom was less likely to graduate high school. Mom, thank you."
Holley, who became mayor in 2012, was selected by 20th District Democratic committee members to fill out the remainder of Cryan's term. Holley will face election in November.
Holley said he's the first African-American to represent the district.
One of Holley's two brothers, Jesse, is a former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.
By Max Pizarro | 01/21/15 8:18pm
Union County Democrats tonight formally appointed Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley to fill an open seat in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 20th Legislative District.
Members of the Union County Democratic Committee from the 20th Legislative District municipalities of Elizabeth, Hillside, Roselle and Union unanimously selected Holley to assume the seat left vacant by Sheriff Joe Cryan, who nominated Holley. Elizabeth Councilman At-Large and Municial Democratic Chairman Frank Cuesta seconded the nomination.
Holley will be sworn-in the coming office and will run for the full two-year term in the June 2015 Primary Election.
“I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me by the members of the Union County Democratic Committee and I pledge to work tirelessly to represent the people of Elizabeth, Hillside, Union and Roselle in the legislature,” said Holley. “I would like to thank everyone that has made this moment possible, from my family and friends to the amazing Democratic leaders who have supported me and made it possible for me to give back to the community that has given me so much.”
The committee meeting was held at L’Affaire Catering Hall in Mountainside and overseen by Union County Democratic Chairman and Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) and Vice-Chair Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr.
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on January 22, 2015 at 12:09 PM, updated January 22, 2015 at 12:11 PM
MOUNTAINSIDE — In a much expected move, Union County Democrats on Wednesday tapped Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley to fill the Assembly seat left vacant when longtime Assemblyman Joseph Cryan stepped down to become Union County Sheriff.
“I have big shoes to fill,” Holley said after Democratic Committee members selected him in a meeting the L'Affaire banquet hall in Mountainside.
“I was not supposed to be here. I didn’t have the traditional household that others did," Holley said, telling of how he was born to an unwed young mother.
Holley told of his family receiving public assistance and using public programs that provided financial assistance and loans for his college education. He received a bachelor's degree from New Jersey City University in Jersey City and a master's degree from Kean University in Union. Holley said he will work to strengthen those opportunities for others.
ROSELLE — Taking a much expected step, Mayor Jamel Holley yesterday announced he will seek the Assembly seat recently vacated when Joseph Cryan became the Union County Sheriff.
Democratic Committee members will meet Jan. 21 at the L’Affaire banquet hall in Mountainside to pick a person for the seat.
Holley has been the leading candidate, having stated his interest in the legislative post shortly after Cryan was elected sheriff in November. Cryan formally resigned the Assembly earlier this month, before be sworn in as sheriff on Jan. 4.
Yesterday, both state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), a local powerbroker, and Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, head of the largest city in the county and in the legislative district, both announced their support of Holley.
The district also includes Roselle, Union and Hillside.
“I am humbled and excited to begin this journey toward providing them the voice they (district voters) need,” Holley said.
The 35-year-old Holley was elected to the Roselle Borough council in 2005 and 2009, and elected mayor in 2011. He currently is the Irvington public works director.
Holley said he will file a petition to run in the spring primary election for the Assembly seat.
The Democrats will pick somebody to fill Cryan's seat, but all persons interested in the seat must run in the primary and then in the general election in the fall.
ROSELLE – Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley officially announced his intention to run in 2015 for the State Assembly in the 20th Legislative District on Monday.
By 01/12/15 10:40am|
Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley officially announced his intention to run in 2015 for the State Assembly in the 20th Legislative District on Monday.
“The communities that make up the 20th Legislative District need continued strong representation in Trenton. I am humbled and excited to begin this journey toward providing them with the voice they need,” said Holley, 35, a Democrat who is currently in his first term as mayor of the Union County borough after serving two terms on the Borough Council, in a written statement. “This is a challenging time for our state with our economy lagging behind and many people still out of work. I am ready to bring the same spirit of collaborative leadership and energy that have been our keys to success in Roselle to the State Assembly, and will work to protect the interests of the people in Elizabeth, Union, Hillside and Roselle.”
Holley is running for the seat that was vacated by Union County Sheriff and former Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-20). He will be considered by the members of the Union County Democratic Committee for appointment to finish the current Assembly term at a convention on January 21, and has also begun circulating nominating petitions for the June 2015 Primary Election.
Holley works as the Director of the Department of Public Works for the Township of Irvington. He previously worked as a Principal at Front Porch Strategies, a governmental and community relations firm. He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Kean University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University.
State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) and Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage both endorsed Holley hours after the Roselle mayor announced his LD 20 Assembly candidacy.
“I have known Jamel Holley for many years and he is one of the brightest, most dynamic young leaders in our Democratic Party,” said Lesniak in a written statement. “Jamel displays a real passion for helping people and supporting our state’s working families, and he has all the skills and experience necessary to be an outstanding legislator.”
“When you look at Roselle you see a borough on the rise with a great future, and that is directly attributable to Jamel Holley and the policies his administration has put into place,” said Bollwage in a written statement. “Now Jamel is bringing his energy and commitment to progress to the state legislature and I am excited to work with him for the benefit of Elizabeth and our entire area.”
The 20th Legislative District includes the municipalities of Elizabeth, Hillside, Roselle and Union.