Jim O’Day was born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. He attended Worcester Academy and went on to obtain his Bachelors of Science at Worcester State University with a specialization in Urban Studies and Management. After college, Jim served as a social worker for the Department of Social Services (now Department of Children and Families), serving families in Central Massachusetts for over twenty-four years. As an active union member in the local 509, he served as Regional Vice President of 509, Department of Social Services. Today, Jim still serves on the Central Massachusetts Labor Council, continuing his dedication to advocating for working families and workers' rights as a Council member and as a State Representative.
In 2007, O'Day ran in a special election for an open seat in the 14th Worcester District (composed of the town of West Boylston and parts of Worcester). He won the election in April 2007 and was sworn into the House of Representatives in May 2007.
O’Day has worked with community leaders and organizations in efforts to support issues such as family-and-youth-focused development programs, including job training and summer job opportunities for youth in the city of Worcester; accessible, affordable and quality early and higher education for all; addressing and closing health disparities; comprehensive education in schools, teen pregnancy prevention as well as young-parent support programs.
O’Day has been a leader in welcoming and fostering the Biotechnology Industry to the City of Worcester. He worked hard in 2008 to help pass the Life Science Initiative Bill, filed by Deval Patrick in 2007, a bill that expanded tax incentives for life science companies looking to do business in Massachusetts and consequently allowed for the growth and expansion of Gateway Park in cooperation with Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the City of Worcester. Since elected O’Day has remained a strong advocate for Massachusetts gateway cities, playing a major role in the passing of many Gateway City legislative priorities. These include legislation that reconfigured the Gateway Cities Manufacturing Retention and Job Growth Program to offer tax incentives to employers who create at least 25 new manufacturing jobs or retain 50 such positions in a manufacturing facility located in a Gateway municipality, and legislation that allocated $50 million to the Growth Districts Initiative Grant Program which expedites commercial and residential development by making certain properties “development ready” with respect to local & state permitting, site preparation, environmental remediation, and transportation infrastructure.
Locally, O'Day has taken a leadership role at the state level to help stop the spread of the Asian long-horned beetle in the City of Worcester and surrounding towns. O’Day continues to work to eradicate this pest through educational and legislative initiatives, as well as community partnerships with government, businesses, and non-profits for tree re-planting efforts.
He has been appointed to join the House leadership team as the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Prior to his this assignment, he has served as the Interim Chairman of the House Committee on Bills in Third Reading, and as a general member to the Joint Committees on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities.
O'Day lives in West Boylston with his wife Marybeth Murphy O’Day. He is the father of four sons and is very involved with youth, especially through coaching youth sports. He serves on the West Boylston Little League’s Board of Directors and has conducted voter registration drives in high schools at the West Boylston High School and throughout Worcester. O’Day is on the Board of Governors for the Central Branch YMCA and the Board of Directors for the United Way of Central Massachusetts. He is also an active member of the Parks and Facilities Committee in West Boylston and the Early Learning Leadership Advisory Board. O’Day is an ex officio member of the Democratic City Committee and an active member of the West Boylston Democratic Town Committee.
- "Jim O'Day". jimoday.org. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "State Rep. James O'Day: "Your age group represents 20% of our population". youtube.com. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Representative James O'Day's Biography". votesmart.org. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- "Office of State Representative James J. O'Day Legislative Intern" (PDF). ase.tufts.edu. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
- James J. O'Day. Massachusetts General Court.