Meet the Candidate: Emmett Jordan

Emmett Jordan is running for City Council in 2011.

Emmett V. Jordan is a current member of the Greenbelt City Council, serving as “Mayor Pro Tem”. He is seeking a second term to continue “Working for a Stronger Community” on behalf of the citizens of Greenbelt. In 2009, he became the first African-American councilmember in the city’s 74-year history.

A Greenbelt resident for 12 years, Emmett relocated to the area to work with the University of Maryland in 1998. He made the decision to move to Greenbelt (Greenbriar Condominiums) because of the great access to recreational amenities, transportation, shopping and the pleasant parks and green spaces.

Emmett, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, studied liberal arts and music at Morehouse College in Atlanta and at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in urban administration from the College of Design Art, Architecture and Planning. He completed additional graduate course work in public administration at Seton Hall University.

A believer in life-long learning, Emmett participated in the Legacy Leadership Institute on Municipal Government at University of Maryland during the spring of 2009 and completed an Academy for Excellence in Local Governance fellowship through the Maryland Municipal League in 2011.


In his professional life, Emmett has worked for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations and agencies, including the Smithsonian Institution, University of Maryland at College Park, Plainfield Neighborhood Health Center and the United Negro College Fund. Since 2005 he has run his own business as an independent contractor, providing professional services related to marketing, communications, strategic planning and fund development.

Emmett’s career has provided him with more than 25 years of experience managing projects and coordinating volunteer boards for nonprofits and associations.

For more than two decades, he was a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), a trade organization in the nonprofit industry, and he served on the board of directors for the Washington DC AFP Chapter from 2004 to 2008 (two years as Vice President of Communications).


Emmett dedicates many hours each month to civic and volunteer activities.  He is a member of the Human Service Coalition of Prince George’s County and a frequent participant in the programs of the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.  Emmett has worked as a volunteer for the United Way of Prince George’s County, The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. From 2000 to 2005, he co-chaired the Urban Roundtable, an auxiliary organization for the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL).

Community service and volunteerism were important values in Emmett’s family. The son of an educator and a social service administrator, Emmett was raised in the progressive tradition of the Unitarian Church. He attends Reid Temple AME Church occasionally, and he actively supports community events and fund-raisers for local congregations of all denominations in Greenbelt.

Community Service in Greenbelt

As a council member, Emmett serves as liaison to the city’s Community Relation Advisory Board and to Greenbelt Access Television (GATE). He represents Greenbelt on committees with several regional and national organizations, including the Maryland Municipal League, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the National League of Cities. Emmett is currently serving a second term on the board of the Prince George’s County Municipal Association.

Prior to 2009, Emmett was a member of the city’s Advisory Planning Board where he spearheaded an effort to update the city’s bicycle and pedestrian plan.  He served on his home owner’s association board, Phase I of Greenbriar Condominium Association, for five years, including two terms as treasurer. He has been a member and committed supporter of the Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club since 2004. He also worked as a Prince George’s County Election Judge (in College Park) from 2004 to 2008.

In 2010, Emmett finished a four-year term as a board member of the Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF), which he both co-chaired and then chaired after heading the proposal review committee for two years. He continues to volunteer his time and expertise with GCF, providing technical advice and occasionally teaching grant-writing workshops to community members. Emmett is a member and former co-chair of the Greenbelt Tennis Association. He also is a member and advocate for Transit Riders United of Greenbelt, a volunteer with the Greenbelts Arts Center, and a board member of Greenbelt Intergenerational Volunteer Exchange Service (GIVES).

An energetic 54-year-old, Emmett enjoys attending concerts, art exhibits and other cultural programs as often as he can. Emmett appreciates and takes full advantage of the “quality of life” amenities that make Greenbelt a special place. Some of his favorite pastimes include spending time outdoors around Greenbelt, playing tennis, bicycling and playing the guitar.  

Bio provided by the candidate.


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