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Britnee Timberlake's Record as an Elected Official
Laws, written and sponsored by Timberlake:
Economic Development: Wrote and unanimously passed an Affirmative Action law, O-2017-00005 establishing a set-aside and joint venture program to increase economic opportunity for women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses.
Job Creation: Wrote and unanimously passed the Essex County Clean Jobs Initiative. The law has the goal to lower the unemployment rate by establishing both career training and job placement for Essex County’s unemployed and underemployed residents while creating healthier communities by riding them of lead, asbestos, and contamination.
Combating Foreclosures: Wrote and unanimously passed a law establishing an ordinance called the “Essex County’s Banking Review Program” to reduce foreclosures, provide loans to entrepreneurs, assist low- to moderate- income communities, and maintain vacant homes they own (N.J.S.A. 40:41A-38(n) (N.J.S.A. 40:41A-36(i);
Timberlake's Honorable Mentioned Resolutions and Ordinances:
- Minimum Wage Increase: First elected in NJ to sponsor and pass a resolution requesting the State increase the minimum wage to $15/hr. Now, County non-seasonal employees are paid $15/hr. although the State still has not done this.
- Environmental Protection: Sponsored a resolution to reduce the County’s carbon footprint for a better environment.
- Homelessness: Helped the Essex County Registrar advocate for the creation of the Essex County Homeless Trust Fund Act (52:27D-287a) to combat homelessness;
- Gun Control: Assisted in the draft of legislation for strengthening County purchasing parameters to encourage stricter gun purchasing laws (N.J.S.A. 40:41A-38(q) C.C.E &2-11(c) which was passed unanimously.
Timberlake's Advocacy Accomplishments:
- Public Safety: Successfully advocated for the sheriff police officers to obtain and wear body cameras.
- Home Ownership: Ensured more people can qualify for down payment assistance on homes;
- Parks: Initiated improvements in Watsessing and Orange Parks (new track and playground surfaces, and splash park);
- Immigration: Created a Citizenship Immigration Services committee to welcome those from other nations to Essex County better.
- Better Public-Private Partnerships: Held a roundtable with banks to brainstorm about how they could better serve the community by way of investing in small businesses;
- International Relations: Represented Essex County internationally during an official visit to the Parliament of Ghana, West Africa;
- Partnership: Partnered with Congressman Payne, Jr. to raise awareness about the issue of Boko Haram;
- Celebration of Diversity: Essex County celebrates diverse cultures throughout Essex County year round. However, for the first time, Essex County celebrated the African and Caribbean culture by way of an annual festival.
- Community Recognition: Gave over 250 proclamations to deserving community groups, organizations, and individuals;
- Meeting Attendance: Britnee Timberlake has perfect attendance at every Freeholder meeting.
Awards Presented to Timberlake:
- The “Community Leadership Award” from H.A.N.D.S (Housing & Neighborhood Development
- Services, Inc.);
- The “Community Development Champion Award" HCDNNJ;
- The “Donald Payne, Sr. Award” from the Montclair NAACP;
- The "Breaking Glass Ceilings Award" from New Leaders Council;
- The "2017 Danny Glover Power of Dreams Award" from Danny Glover Goodwill Ambassador to the UN;
- The "Community Service Award" from Dorson Community Foundation;
- The "Young CEO Award" from United Nations Sustainable Development Goals-UNESCO Education Support Initiative;
- The"Women's History Month Proclamation" Irvington Town Council;
- The "Community Service Award" from Guyanese American Heritage Foundation;
- The "Community Service Award" from Social Etiquette Club, East Orange;
- The “Coretta Scott King Award” from Essex County.
Who is Britnee? Where did she come from?
The Early Years:
Britnee Timberlake is a millennial. In 1983, her father (a basketball player at Upsala College at the time) enlisted in the Military at the Army headquarters located on Central Avenue in East Orange. Born on the road, she grew up traveling the world with her family. Her mother was an educator of the mentally and physically challenged and found work in each place the family lived. Following her parent's example, Britnee naturally developed a deep need to serve people. She would spend hours discussing solutions to social issues of poverty at the dinner table. Each year, as a child, her family returned home to spend their summers with family and friends in Essex County.
The College Years:
In 2005, Britnee came home to Essex for good. She moved to East Orange upon acceptance to Seton Hall University where she acquired a Bachelors degree in Political Science with a minor in Religious Studies and obtained a Masters in Public Administration.
Britnee was the past housing chairperson for the Montclair NAACP, an AmeriCorps member in Union County, and was a very active member of Calvary Baptist Church in East Orange. While at Calvary, she had the opportunity to journey to Jamaica for missionary work.
In her sophomore year at Seton Hall, while talking about how to better the community at a fundraiser, she met the great Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin who took her under his wing as a daughter. ASM Giblin mentored and introduced Britnee to the Essex County Democratic Party.
The More Recent Years:
In 2011, Britnee established the Essex Community Land Trust, a nonprofit corporation responsible for strengthening communities by providing permanently affordable housing and financial empowerment opportunities for working families and individuals throughout Essex County. She raised over $2MM in affordable housing dollars towards the creation of affordable homeownership in suburban areas.
Through the years, Assemblyman Giblin continued mentoring Britnee which later resulted in her also meeting and being mentored by Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones, Jr. and the Lieutenant Governor, Assembly Speaker Emeritus, Sheila Y. Oliver.
The Elected Years:
Upon the retirement of Freeholder Carol Y. Clark, in 2014, Britnee ran and won as a Democrat for public office. In 2015, Britnee was sworn in as the Essex County District 3 Freeholder and on the same day unanimously elected as President, a title she has been reelected to by her colleagues each year of her first term. As Freeholder she has wrote three significant pieces of legislation which wage war on systemic issues of poverty. She advocated for policy changes to open economic opportunities to all and has built a base of grass-roots partisan and nonpartisan community support. She presided as the legislative leader over Essex from 1/2015-1/2018, which is one of the largest Counties in the State with a budget of over $700MM. She was the youngest Freeholder elected in the State and was at the time the only African-American Female Freeholder President in New Jersey. In January 2018, Timberlake was sworn in to replace Sheila Y. Oliver after she was selected to be Lieutenant Governor. LG Oliver is a fellow resident of East Orange who had been the first African American woman to serve as speaker of the General Assembly and the first to be elected to a position covering the entire state.
As the 34th District Assemblywoman, Britnee N. Timberlake represents Clifton, East Orange, Orange, and Montclair. At the Assembly, Timberlake has voted in favor of the common-sense gun legislation, equal pay for equal work for women, and earned paid sick days. Assemblywoman Timberlake has participated as various sponsors of bills and resolutions regarding foreclosure prevention, special prosecutor mandates for public safety, student loan forgiveness, anti-sexual harassment, business incubator funding, free/reduced school meal program expansion, and Medicaid coverage of birthing doulas for pregnant women. Timberlake is a representative on the following state committees: Education, Science, Innovation and Technology, and the Joint Committee on Economic Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity.
See above for Britnee's full record of accomplishments in elected office. Read Britnee’s extensive bio here.