|48th Village President (Mayor) of South Orange, NJ|
May 16th, 2011
|Preceded by||Douglas Newman|
|Born||Alexander Michael Torpey
August 10, 1987
New York, New York
|Political party||Non-affiliated (independent)|
|Residence||South Orange, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||Hampshire College (B.A.)
John Jay College of Criminal Justice (M.P.A.)
Alex M. Torpey (born August 10, 1987 in New York City) is a non-party affiliated American politician. Torpey was elected as the 48th Village President (equivalent of mayor) of South Orange, New Jersey in May 2011 for a four-year term by a 14-vote margin. At 23-years-old at the time of being sworn in (May 16, 2011), he is the youngest mayor in South Orange’s history, and at that time the youngest serving mayor in the state of New Jersey. Torpey is one of the youngest mayors in the United States to oversee a municipality the size of South Orange, which has a $33m budget and 16,000 full-time residents plus approximately 10,000 Seton Hall University students at their South Orange campus.
Torpey was born in New York City, and raised first in Maplewood, then South Orange, New Jersey, and is an alumnus of Columbia High School (2005). Torpey completed his undergraduate degree in Political Science, American Government and Law at Hampshire College, while also serving as student government president, which he often cites as one of the experiences that led him to run for office. Torpey produced an extensive thesis on the legal, anthropological and historical implications of U.S. alcohol policy for his senior project that resulted in a Five College conference on alcohol on college campuses involving experts from around the country. He also holds a Master of Public Administration in emergency management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.
Professionally, Torpey owns Veracity Media LLC, a social-impact digital media consulting firm. Torpey also founded a nonpartisan initiative, Rethink Leadership, to help encourage young people to consider elected office and local government as a way to become more involved and active in their government and public policy issues. Torpey was named a 2013-2014 James Madison Fellow at the bi-partisan Millennial Action Project for his work in encouraging young people towards civics participation.
Torpey’s governance philosophy relies heavily on the use of technology, media and communications to increase interactivity, transparency and efficiency towards the ends of better government. He has written and lectured on these topics frequently prior to his election and since.
In addition to his official municipal responsibilities as Village President, Torpey continues to serve as an active member and volunteer EMT of the South Orange Rescue Squad. Torpey also serves as South Orange's municipal Office of Emergency Management Coordinator. Torpey lives alone in South Orange.
- The Social Media Mayor at Inc.
- Elected Official, 24, Hopes to Interest Peers in Politics in The New York Times
- Tech-savvy 23-year-old will run South Orange at Real Clear Politics
- Appearances on Good Day New York
- Social is the Secret Weapon in Local Politics at Mashable
- Torpey Honored for South Orange's Open Government Efforts in The Alternative Press
- The Local Revolution Keynote on YouTube at Personal Democracy Forum