Chris James, Former NJSDC Executive Director, Chief of Staff to NJ Assembly Speaker & Current East Orange Council President, is a long time and well respected mainstay in the halls of Trenton having helped leadership positions with the NJ Assembly Speaker’s Office, Lieutenant Governor’s Office and the New Jersey State Democratic Committee (NJSDC).
Chris’ political and governmental interest began in his early childhood at his mother’s side as she worked tirelessly, selflessly, and courageously for the late Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. It was from his mother that he learned the meaning of public service.
Chris’ selfless nature has taken him all the way to the State House in Trenton working for the people of New Jersey in various capacities – acquiring close to 20 years in government, policymaking and community organizing. Chris has a successful history in helping to craft, monitor and moving legislation from start to finish. Chris has earned a reputation as a skilled problem-solver, mediator and negotiator in pursuit of the public good.
Chris worked as Chief of Staff for the Honorable Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Deputy Executive Director of the Assembly Democratic Office. He has also served as Executive Director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (NJSDSC), where during his tenure he has helped elect New Jersey's first African American Senator, Cory Booker, New Jersey’s first African American Congresswoman, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and has helped produce the largest Assembly Majority since 1979.
Chris has also served with membership in several organizations including, Co-Chair NJ Democratic State Committee Black Caucus, Board Member NJ Shares, East Orange Democratic County Committee, President Emeritus of the NJ Young Democrats, as Past Chair of Young Democrats of America States Presidents Association, an advisory board member on the Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Inc. (HANDS) and former member of the Essex County Vocational School Board.