Jamel Curtis Holley, a 1997 graduate of Abraham Clark High School in Roselle, New Jersey, has been regarded as one of the most engaged young activist known throughout his community.
Known for his spirited energy and focus, Jamel has incorporated advocacy with accomplishment to improve issues important to Borough residents and stakeholders. His demonstrated leadership has allowed him to bridge many gaps and foster relationships on everything from preserving Roselle taxpayers' dollars, to standing up for the creation of good government spending practices, to supporting youth recreation, and preserving open space.
In 2002, Jamel earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University, and holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from Kean University.
In 2001, Holley was appointed by New Jersey's Deputy Majority Leader to serve as Chief of Staff. That appointment earned him recognition as the youngest Chief of Staff in the State of New Jersey for any of the State's 120 Legislators. As Chief of Staff, Mr. Holley was responsible for coordinating political and constituency outreach programs, supervising legislative departments and projects, and meeting with lobbyists, community leaders and local, state and federal officials on a regular basis.
On November 2, 2004, Holley won the General Election for Councilman At Large in the Borough of Roselle. He became the youngest Councilman in Union County at age 25. Later that year, Holley was one of 40 people nationwide to be honored by The Network Journal Magazine for his achievements and his contributions to the African American community. Holley was tapped by New Jersey Democratic State Committee in 2004 to serve as a Member of the Affirmative Action and Outreach Committee for the Democratic National Convention. In this position, He assisted the National and State Democratic Party in expanding the base of individuals that may apply for positions in their communities, as delegates and members of outreach committees throughout New Jersey. His responsibilities included utilizing his contacts with community African-Americans and other minority residents to further diversity and minority representation throughout the State of New Jersey. Holley was once again successful in his 2007 and 2010 election bid for Councilman At Large. In November 2011, Holley was elected Mayor and became the youngest Mayor ever elected in the Borough's 117th year history.
In January 2015, Holley was appointed to fill a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 20th Legislative District. This appointment made Holley the first African American to represent the district in the New Jersey Legislature. Holley later won the election bid for the full term in November 2017 and again in November 2019. Currently, Holley is the Director of Public Works for the Township of Irvington. Holley is the grandson of the late Yvonne Holley, and has two younger brothers, Jesse a former wide receiver for the National Football League (NFL) Team New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys, and youngest brother Joseph.
Holley's future plans include continuing his public service in order to serve others using his experience and knowledge of local, state and federal government.