Joseph (Joe) McCallum was born and raised in Newark, NJ. He is a graduate of Belmont-Runyon Grammar School, Clinton Place Junior High School, and Malcolm X Shabazz High School. Mr. McCallum is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he performed as a Telecommunications Systems Control Specialist. Since being honorably discharged from the Air Force, Mr. McCallum has attended Lincoln Technical School where he studied Auto Mechanics, and worked for Newark Car Care for several years as an auto mechanic. Feeling unsatisfied as an auto technician, Joe went back to school at Essex County College (ECC), through the Veterans Upward Bound Program in 1995. He studied Social Science and Alcohol and Substance Abuse. While in the Upward Bound Program, Mr. McCallum was tapped for a position at the East Orange VA, in the Travel Office. From there he was promoted to the Admissions Office. After becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Joe became the Admissions and Aftercare Coordinator at the Lyons VA, In-patient Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Unit (PTSD) for 5 years. Joe was then promoted to Addictions Therapist and was assigned to work at the VA Regional Office in downtown Newark, where he worked with mentally ill and substance abusing Veterans (MICA) and their families. Between 2005 and 2011, Joe McCallum also returned to Essex County College as an Adjunct Professor, where he taught Introduction to Sociology, and Urban Sociology courses for 6 years.
After 15 years with the Veterans Administration, Joe McCallum had acquired several degrees, including an AS in Social Science from ECC, a BA in Sociology from Kean University, and a MA in Public Administration (Health Services) from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. McCallum has received many academic achievement awards, community service awards, and job-related performance awards in his career. Joe left the VA to take a position with the City of Newark in 2006, where he was assigned to the Newark Health Department. While at the Newark Health Department, Joe performed as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator; his duties included the coordination, designing, and implementation of emergency preparedness activities. As a member of the Bio-terror Team, Joe McCallum worked to prevent major medical outbreaks, such as H1N1 and the Swine Flu. In 2010, Mr. McCallum was caught in Newark’s large lay-off. While preparing to go back to school to finish a PhD in Sociology, Mr. McCallum was offered a position with University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) as a Mental Health Clinician. While working with UMDNJ in that position, Mr. McCallum was offered a position as the Senior Aide to West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice of the Newark Municipal Council. Currently Mr. McCallum is serving full-time as the West Ward Councilman. Since becoming the West Ward Councilman, Joe has been selected to serve as the Chairman of several Municipal Committees, including the Health, Veterans, and Homeless Committees and he also serves on the Affirmative Action, Education, and Sister Cities Committees. Councilman McCallum has also served as Chairman of the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC), and is currently a Board Member.
Councilman Joe McCallum has been performing as a proud volunteer at the East Orange VA for the past 19 years. He uses his many years of experience as a Mental Health Therapist, to try and help Veterans to turn their lives around. He feels that by helping our men and women who have served our country, there is no more important duty that he can perform. Joe McCallum has been firmly entrenched in the Newark community as a mentor, volunteer, Big Brother, Professor, and as the president of the Ivy Hill Basketball League. He has done whatever it takes to help his community, and he feels that as Councilman of the West Ward of Newark, NJ, he can do much more.