James believes in making government work effectively and efficiently. Serving as an aide to the Mayor of Boston, he utilized technology to solve persistent problems like potholes and snow removal. James also designed an affordable housing policy for the state of Massachusetts and a performance management system for three departments for then Newark Mayor Cory Booker. James earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and his BA from Pomona College. He is currently a professor at two Jersey City universities: New Jersey City University & Hudson County Community College.
Committed to Public Service
James met the love of life, Gabrielle Ramos, at graduate school, bonding over a shared commitment to make the world a better place. They married in August 2015. Two months later James was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, James is blessed to be completely healthy. That ordeal reminded him that he should spend his time doing what he loves. And James loves teaching and practicing public policy to make a difference in the lives of his students and citizens.
Fights for Our Community’s Values
James fights for progressive values. From knocking on doors on behalf of Barack Obama in rural Missouri to operating a free legal clinic in West Chicago to leading the efforts to elect Hillary Clinton in Jersey City, James believes in backing up his values with hard work. James is a leader in the Evict Trump/Kushner movement in Jersey City that won a hard-earned victory when Mayor Fulop rejected Jared Kushner’s Company’s request for a long-term tax break.
James is the only candidate in the Ward E race to have any experience inside of City Halls: in both Boston and Newark.
In Boston, he helped guide the city’s response to the 2013 Marathon bombings. James was in charge of relations with the small businesses and residents locked out of their establishments and homes on Boylston St. due to the FBI investigation.
James also brought technology to bear on persistent problems such as rough streets and snow removal
He raised $85K through a clever and never-before-used financing mechanism to fund a research collaborative between Boston University and the city of Boston.
In Newark, James built the foundation for a performance management system – Brick CitiStat – that Mayor Booker cited in his State of the City address. James’ boss, then Deputy Mayor Anthony Santiago, is a donor to his campaign because he saw what James could accomplish in City Hall.
James is a co-founder of the Evict Trump/Kushner movement. It is the only group in recent memory to stop a long-term tax abatement in Jersey City.
James is currently an adjunct professor at NJCU and HCCC where he teaches public policy. He routinely receives glowing reviews from his students. Here are a few quotes from the official NJCU course evaluations:
- “He’s the best! Really great with understanding the students. I appreciate the fact that when he asks a question and it’s not right he doesn’t say that it’s wrong. [He] motivates and supports his students to achieve the right answer and thought process. “
- “An amazing professor who actually had me invested with critical thinking and understanding our American system. Highly recommend him for others interested in our system.”
- “I thought I would hate this class but it was my favorite this semester.”