The Biography of Britnee N. Timberlake
Elected Official, Legislator, Community Advocate, and Humanitarian
As of January 2018, Britnee N. Timberlake is the 34th District Assemblywomen representing Clifton, East Orange, Orange, and Montclair. At the Assembly, she 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.
From 2015-2017, as District Three Essex County Freeholder, Timberlake was the legislative leader of one of the largest counties in the State of New Jersey with a budget of over 700 million dollars. At the time she was the youngest Freeholder elected in the State and the only current African-American female President of a Freeholder Board. While a Freeholder, to level the financial playing field, Timberlake authored an affirmative action law establishing a set-aside and joint venture program to increase economic opportunity for women-owned, minority-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. Timberlake also drafted a law requiring banks the County holds taxpayer deposits with to come before the Board to show proof of their efforts to reduce foreclosures, provide loans to entrepreneurs, assist low-to-moderate-income communities, and maintain vacant homes they own. Timberlake spearheaded the Essex County Clean Jobs Initiative, a law that is expected to create both job training and placement for Essex County’s unemployed and underemployed residents in the highly specialized and lucrative trade of environmental lead, asbestos, and contamination remediation. In response to the rising cost of living and stagnant wages, Timberlake was the first elected official in New Jersey with the Freeholder Board and Working Families to unanimously pass a Resolution in “Support of NJ State Raising the Minimum Wage to $15.00 an hour.” Although the State has not taken action, the County of Essex now pays all nonseasonal employees a $15.00 minimum wage. Furthermore, in a time where public safety has been a national focus, Timberlake successfully advocated for the Sheriff's Department to obtain body cameras for officers.
Timberlake believes in embracing all people from around the world. She established a Citizen Immigration Services Committee to warmly welcome people of all nationalities to Essex. She partnered with Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., to raise local support for him as he boldly leads the charge on the federal level to speak out against the horrific acts of Boko Haram (a Nigerian terrorist group). Timberlake hosted parliamentary committee members of Ghana, West Africa, and forged deeper relationships to better bridge dialogue with Ghana when she honored their invitation to visit Ghana’s Parliament in 2016. Timberlake frequents the United Nations for cultural celebrations and conferences and has given talks there about poverty, women's rights, and youth empowerment solutions. Outside of government, in 2007, she traveled as a church leader with Calvary Baptist Church of East Orange to do missionary work in Jamaica.
Prior and in addition to being elected, Timberlake is the founding Executive Director of the Essex Community Land Trust, a non-profit affordable housing organization that strengthens communities by providing permanently affordable housing and financial empowerment opportunities for working families and individuals throughout Essex County.
Timberlake has a Bachelors degree in Political Science a minor in Religious Studies and a Master’s in Public Administration all from Seton Hall University. She served as an AmeriCorps Member in Union County, was the housing chair of her local NAACP, and is a graduate of EmergeNJ. Timberlake is the recipient of many awards including; “Community Leadership Award” from HANDS; “Community Development Champion Award” from the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ; “Donald Payne, Sr. Award” from the Montclair NAACP; “Breaking Glass Ceilings Award” from New Leaders Council; and the “Power of Dreams Award” from Danny Glover.
Timberlake is the proud daughter of Philip Timberlake and Cathy Walsh Timberlake. Her father served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne while her mother was an educator of the mentally and physically challenged. It is through their example of service that she has dedicated her education and professional career to helping people. She resides in East Orange and is the mother of one. Timberlake gives all glory to God for her life and stands on the word from Philippians 4:11-13.