James Taylor is a public policy analyst, economist, and community advocate. He has spent his career in public service advocating for disadvantaged youth and is focused on removing the structural barriers that keep kids from achieving their potential.
James is a native of Wilmington. He graduated from Alexis I. Dupont High School, the Berklee College of Music, and, recently, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he majored in economics and international law.
Prior to grad school, James spent nearly a decade working in social services. He began this period of his career in youth services programs at the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center and the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League. Hoping to deepen his impact on youth and their families, James served for two years as a Senior Social Worker & Case Manager for the State of Delaware — the role that birthed his interest in public policy.
Disappointed with the quality of service that was being provided to his neighbors, James began to investigate the sources of the agency’s policies, funding, and the decision-making authority related to both. As a result of this research, he began to meet some of Delaware’s leading policymakers, and before long, he was advising local political campaigns on urban affairs. Following the 2016 election season, James volunteered extensively with Network Delaware and was recognized as one of its inaugural Change Agents of the Year. He would later go on to accept a dual appointment as Network Delaware’s Director of Operations and the Director of Curriculum in the James H. Gilliam Fellowship program, roles that he held before relocating to Bologna, Italy to begin his graduate studies.
James now serves on the management team in the state Department of Finance’s Office of Unclaimed Property, where he oversees the intake and associated record-keeping of revenues in excess of $700,000,000. Having declined previous requests to seek office, James does not see himself as a career politician. Instead, he is focused on bringing common sense back to public policy, sanity to politics, and efficiency to a system that too often fails those it is supposed to protect.