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Aug 1, 2023

NHCSL Statement on the Passing of New Jersey’s Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver

From left to right: The late Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver and NHCSL's President Nellie Pou.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislator (NHCSL) President, Senator Nellie Pou (NJ), issued the following statement on the news of the passing of New Jersey’s Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver:

“I am deeply saddened and heartbroken to learn of the passing of my long-time friend and colleague, Lt. Governor Shelia Oliver. The Lieutenant Governor and I served side by side in the General Assembly, and she showed unweaving support when I was elected as NHCSL’s first president from New Jersey. She attended my first event as President, as her friendship was a constant throughout our time as public servants.

“Lt. Governor Oliver understood the importance of our state legislatures, and she left a legacy in our state of New Jersey as a tireless advocate for our state’s families and children, and especially for those living in our underserved communities.

“We have lost a trailblazer, a determined and committed public servant. Many of us who knew here have lost a sister in the fight to make our state more livable and equitable for all its residents. To honor her legacy, we must keep working together to achieve a better New Jersey for all.”

Born and raised in Newark, NJ, Sheila Oliver was the first Black woman to be speaker of the General Assembly in New Jersey and the second in the nation’s history to lead a house of a state legislature. She was the highest-ranking Black leader in state history as Lieutenant Governor. NHCSL extends her condolences to her family and friends, to Gov. Phill Murphy and the New Jersey government, and all those who knew her and loved her.