Oliver graduated from Lincoln University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology in 1974 and Columbia University with a Master of Science in Planning and Administration in 1976. Oliver was born in Newark, where she lived and attended school until college. After 6 years of serving on the board, she was chosen to serve as President of the East Orange School District in 1999, and later, after a unanimous election, became the 169th Speaker of the New Jersey State Assembly in 2009. In 2017, Phil Murphy selected Oliver as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor of New Jersey, becoming the first African American woman of the Democratic party to become a lieutenant governor in America.
Oliver seeks to expand accessibility to affordable housing by revitalizing communities and preventing homelessness. As lieutenant governor, she has launched multiple initiatives aimed at assisting lower-income municipalities, such as the federal the Neighborhood Preservation Program and the Main Street New Jersey, which expand opportunities for purchasing property and business.
As a former school district President, Oliver has actively sought to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for every student in New Jersey. She has signed multiple bills, including one that required all middle school public school students to achieve proficiency in financial literacy, and plans to continue her efforts upon reelection.
Oliver wishes to reduce recidivism and promote community reintegration of ex-convicts, particularly juvenile offenders. She launched a historic pilot program in four N.J. cities that helped reintegrate young juvenile offenders back into their communities.
Oliver is a strong proponent of equality in the workplace and protecting all employees fairly. As lieutenant governor, Oliver has signed multiple bills into law, such as protecting employees from wage theft, that have strengthened the economy and job security.
College Democrats of New Jersey, New Jersey Education Association, Working Families Party, The New Jersey Coalition of Latino Pastors and Ministers