Meet Jim

Meet Jim Oddo

Minority Leader James S. Oddo was first elected to represent the people of the 50th Council District in a February 1999 special election to fill the seat of his predecessor and mentor John Fusco. Before being elected to the Council, Minority Leader Oddo served as chief-of-staff for Mr. Fusco and Legal Counsel for former Minority Leader Thomas V. Ognibene.

In 2002, Councilmember Oddo was unanimously selected to serve as Minority Leader by the Council’s Republican delegation. He has been re-elected to that post in 2004, 2006, and 2010.

During his term in office, the Staten Island Advance has described him as a “smart, passionate & savvy lawmaker,” whose “commitment on the issues is legendary,” and has praised him, stating that he “lives for his job, which, because of his ability, energy and insight, he does very well. No one works harder for the people of his district or for all of Staten Island than Mr. Oddo.”

Throughout his tenure, Minority Leader Oddo has allocated more than $120 million for schools, parks, senior centers and other important projects for the benefit of his district.

Recognizing that a quality education is one of the most important issues facing our city today, Minority Leader Oddo has spearheaded new initiatives for schools throughout his district, including much needed class room space; the investment in new and exciting technology that improves the learning experience, such as new computer labs, “smart boards,”and wi-fi technology as well as new recreational places and playgrounds. Most recently, Minority Leader Oddo persuaded the Department of Education to purchase the old Doctors Hospital site to be used as a new and improved PS 48.

To improve health care, Minority Leader Oddo has been a leading advocate in calling for increased access to necessary services. He has allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring state-of-the-art digital mammography machines to Staten Island and more than $2.59 million towards the new Staten Island University Hospital ER. He has also worked with the Staten Island Development Corporation to be a leading sponsor of the Staten Island Health and Wellness Expo. This worthwhile event encourages people to develop better habits and take charge of their own health.

Following in the footsteps of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Minority Leader Oddo has made public safety a crucial aspect of his tenure in office. He has allocated more than $4 million to outfit various facilities in his district with security cameras, including the JCC Family Center; the Staten Island Railway; PS 11, 41, 54, 58, 186K, 50, and IS 2; and the South Beach and Berry Houses. He has also been a key figure in the fight to increase police and fire resources on Staten Island, including leading a coalition of civic activists in saving Engine 161 in South Beach from the threat of closure in 2009 and 2010.

Quality of life issues are another focus of Minority Leader Oddo. To improve the deplorable street conditions throughout Staten Island, along with his City Council colleagues, he has allocated $3 million to ensure that more roads are milled and resurfaced while continuing to work with the NYC DOT to conduct additional “wear and tear” repairs of roads in need of fixing. Due to the advocacy and efforts of the Minority Leader, the New York State DOT repaved the entrance and exit ramps on the Staten Island Expressway, which were in deplorable condition.

An avid baseball fan, Minority Leader Oddo has also helped dramatically expand recreational opportunities in his district with more than $11 million allocated in various park projects, such as New Dorp Beach Park; the Greenbelt Recreation Center; and various athletic fields, such as the soccer fields in Ocean Breeze and at the Recreation Center.

Oddo, a native Staten Islander, received his BA from Fordham University and JD from New York Law School. The youngest of four sons, he comes from a family of proud city employees and he has never forgotten his roots. He has spent his tenure in office fighting for the often forgotten middle class taxpayers who are paying more in taxes, fines, and fees and seeing fewer resources come back to their communities.