Alex Torpey to speak at Social Media Week New York City

February 1st 2012 - For Immediate Release South Orange, NJ -  Alex Torpey, the 24-year-old Mayor of South Orange, NJ who won his election last May by only a 14 vote margin, announced he will be leading a discussion at this year’s Social Media Week on Thursday, February 16th at John Jay College in New York City . Torpey, Managing Partner and Founder of new media and digital strategies company, Veracity Media, will lead a discussion on the tools that helped him get elected and, what he believes, will help usher in a new generation of younger and less partisan political leadership.“In the past year we’ve seen young people use social media and online organizing to create movements that have helped topple dictatorial governments,” said Torpey. “Most recently, online organizing helped shape a major national policy issue surrounding piracy and online rights with SOPA and PIPA.” Torpey will address what he believes to be four unique stages in the development of a social movement: the informational stage, the inspirational stage, the action stage, and the sustaining stage. Torpey believes that information and knowledge leads to inspiration, which leads to young people making the choice to run for office and work...

South Orange Hiring New Village Administrator

Text of release:   January 20th, 2012 - For Immediate release   South Orange, NJ - The Village is pleased to announce that at the Board of Trustees Meeting scheduled for Monday, January 23rd 2012, Village President Alex Torpey will be asking the Board of Trustees to consent to his appointment of Barry Lewis to the position of Village Administrator.  The Board, through a search committee of trustees, the Village President, Village Counsel and Village Clerk, assisted by the expertise of the search firm Government Management Advisors, conducted an exhaustive search which resulted in the finding and selection of Mr. Lewis. The Village received over 50 applications for the position from many qualified candidates. Throughout two months, and ahead of schedule, the search committee narrowed the field down to a number of finalists, with Mr. Lewis being the most qualified and best fit for South Orange. Mr. Lewis acquired his B.A. In political science from the University of South Florida and his J.D. from Florida Sate University College of Law. Mr. Lewis practiced law for several years before focusing on the public sector, first through practicing local government law before becoming a planning board attorney, then municipal administrator. Mr. Lewis has...

Why South Orange is a model downtown

It's easy to brag about South Orange, but this time it isn't just based on love for my hometown, the great experiences growing up here, or the amazing people who live here. It's actually based on the accumulating professional and scientific evidence expounding the benefits of certain types of downtown development and urban/suburban planning. A recent article entitled "Ditch Your Car Step 1: Move to a Mixed Use Neighborhood" by Kaid Benfield in Sustainable Cities Collective talks about the difference between older suburbs that are generally constructed around walkable downtown cores and newer ones generally connected by highways or large arterial roads:  New research from Southern California has found that residents of neighborhoods with a central core of shops and services – a pattern typically found in older, traditional communities – walk nearly three times more often than do residents of neighborhoods whose nearest shops and services lie along a major arterial roadway – a pattern typically found in newer suburban development.  Residents of traditionally styled and centered neighborhoods also drive less than their counterparts residing in the newer pattern. In an age where there is so much focus on not only reducing one's carbon footprint but also living healthier lives...

Don't finish giving just yet!

Although the bulk of giving this holiday season is over, I wanted to take a moment out to record a special video wishing you all a happy holidays and also reminding folks of three easy ways to give back to your community this year. Watch the video below: 1. Give Blood. 30 minutes can give someone else life.  Find nearby locations to do so here.  2. Support the Squad. And the dozens of volunteers who donate hundreds of hours every week to keep South Orange safe. Donate to the South Orange Rescue Squad here. 3. Find a community group to get involved in. Spend just a few hours a month helping to make South Orange a better place. From SOPAC, to YouthNet, to Clean Sweep, there is a way for you get involved. Full list here. There are of course a thousand ways to give back - between volunteering at a house of worship, being part of a service organization like Rotary or Lions or raising a family of aspiring community leaders, there is something for everyone. So many South Orange residents already get involved, but there is always room for more. And at a time when people feel disconnected...

December Village Update

This month, I’d like to provide a number of brief updates on a few issues we’ve been working on in town.  First, many of you probably heard about the joint decision by Maplewood and South Orange to not pursue a consolidated fire department at this point in time. Although both towns were very interested in this possible shared service, there were no significant cost savings or improvement of fire service that would warrant the expense and time required to complete a merger of two departments that operate so differently. As the discussion progressed, it became clear that Maplewood and South Orange could not come to an agreement to explore and implement a best practices department, rather than starting out with the goal of establishing a Maplewood-led department. 

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Alex on NJ Today

Click to watch my interview on NJ Today!