Sheila Oliver

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sheila Oliver
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 34th Legislative District
Assumed office
January 13, 2004
Preceded by Willis Edwards III
169th Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly
In office
January 12, 2010 – January 14, 2014
Preceded by Joseph Roberts
Succeeded by Vincent Prieto
Personal details
Born (1952-07-14) July 14, 1952 (age 62)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Lincoln University,

Columbia University
Website Government website
Campaign Website

Sheila Y. Oliver (born July 14, 1952) is an American Democratic Party politician, who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2004, where she represents the 34th legislative district. She previously served as the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, from January 12, 2010-January 14, 2014. She is the second woman to serve as Speaker in New Jersey history, the first being Marion West Higgins, who served in 1965, and the second African-American to hold this post, the first being S. Howard Woodson, who first held the post in 1974.[1]

On June 10, 2013, she formally announced that she would run in the special election for the senate seat held by Frank Lautenberg.[2]

Oliver serves in the Assembly on the Human Services Committee (as Chair), the Higher Education Committee and the Labor Committee.[3]

She served on the East Orange Board of Education from 1994-2000, as its President from 1999-2000 and as Vice President from 1998-1999. She served on the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1996-1999.[3] In 1997, she became the first woman to launch a competitive campaign for Mayor in the City of East Orange, losing the election by a mere 51 votes.

Oliver was one of the founders of the Newark Coalition for Low Income Housing, an organization that successfully sued the Newark Housing Authority and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in federal court to block the demolition of all publicly subsidized low income housing in Newark, as there was no plan in place for the construction of replacement housing for low-income Newark residents. As a result, the Newark Housing Authority was directed by a federal consent order to build one-for-one replacement housing for low-income residents.

Oliver graduated with a B.A. from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) in Sociology and was awarded an M.S. from Columbia University in Planning and Administration.[3]

District 34[edit]

Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one member in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 34th District for the 2010-2011 Legislative Session are:


  1. ^ Hester, Tom, Sr. "Steve Sweeney elected N.J. Senate president; Sheila Oliver named Assembly speaker",, November 23, 2009. Accessed June 11, 2011. "Oliver will become the first African-American woman and the second woman to serve as Assembly speaker. She will be the second African-American and the second woman to hold the post.... Oliver will be the first woman speaker since Marion West Higgins (R-Bergen) in 1965. She will be the first African-American speaker since the Rev. S. Howard Woodson (D-Mercer) in 1974 and 1975."
  2. ^ "New Jersey Assembly Speaker Enters Senate Race"
  3. ^ a b c Assemblywoman Oliver's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed April 11, 2008.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Roberts
Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly