William B. Sampson IV received the oath of office from Speaker Pro Tempore Benjie Wimberly on Jan. 11 to become a member of the New Jersey General Assembly. The new assemblyman was elected in November of 2021 to represent the 31st Legislative District, which encompasses Bayonne and parts of Jersey City.
“I am proud to serve the residents of the 31st District in the community and, now, in the statehouse,” Sampson said in a statement. “The last couple of years of the pandemic has brought many longtime issues to the forefront—unemployment, in education, and healthcare. I look forward to working with my fellow assembly members to meet the needs of Hudson County residents and all New Jerseyans.”
Sampson is a longtime Bayonne resident and graduate of Washington Community School and Bayonne High School. He attended Clark Atlanta University on a basketball athletic scholarship. In 2013, Sampson joined the International Longshoreman’s Association Local 1588 where he works as a crane and multi-machine operator at Bayonne Global Container Terminal.
Sampson also serves as the vice-president for Hudson County’s chapter of the Asa Philip Randolph Institute, which is an organization of Black union workers that advocates for economic and racial justice. His work with the institute allows him to educate people about the importance of civic engagement, voter outreach, and registration.
Assemblyman Sampson volunteers with several charities, including the Jersey City Boys and Girls Club, Mo Hair Foundations Men of Distinction, Monique’s Techniques Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner, local toy drives, and donation programs. Sampson is working to “blaze a trail of excellence” and leave a legacy for his son, Nico Nazir Sampson.
“William’s professional career has been to build bridges and stand up for the concerns important to middle-class and working people in New Jersey,” said Speaker Craig Coughlin. “His experience in advocating for and finding ways to help Hudson County residents will make him an outstanding addition to the Assembly’s Democratic caucus.”
Hudson County Democrats excited
Chairwoman Amy DeGise and the Hudson County Democratic Organization congratulated the newly sworn-in members of the county’s state legislative delegation including Sampson. HCDO officials are eager to watch Sampson fight for his constituents in Trenton, as he is a working class union leader who fights for the middle class.
“I’m so excited to see this new group of legislators being sworn in,” said DeGise. “As an active union member, Assemblyman Sampson is dedicated to fighting for the working class and delivering more jobs and opportunities for Hudson residents. I look forward to this new session and to working with Assemblyman Sampson and our entire delegation to keep moving Hudson County forward.”
In addition to the HCDO, Bayonne Mayor James Davis is enthusiastic for the start of Sampson’s term. In addition to being the first Black legislator to be elected from Bayonne, the addition of Sampson makes Hudson’s legislative delegation the most diverse it has been in county history, officials said.
“Assemblyman Sampson’s election marks an important step forward in Bayonne,” Davis said in a statement. “He is the first Black Assemblymember from Bayonne, as well as the first labor leader to be elected to represent our city in the State Legislature in many years. This kind of representation is critical to ensuring that we are able to serve all of our residents.
Sampson also represents the blue collar workers of Hudson County, being a proud union member and a leader in the International Longshoremen’s Union. Officials tout his extensive organizing and leadership experience as preparation for him to be an effective member of the state legislature.
Davis continued: “Assemblyman Sampson was born and raised here in Bayonne, and through his leadership as the political liaison for his union he already has the experience to hit the ground running now that he’s been sworn in. I look forward to working with him over the course of his first term.”
Sampson has big shoes to fill left by his predecessor and the shadow his ousting casts overhead. Everyone knows former Assemblyman Nicholas Chiaravalloti got the boot from the county line by Davis with the backing of the HCDO, opening an opportunity for Sampson. Regardless, he is looking to hit the ground running in the assembly representing Bayonne.
For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at email@example.com.