JERSEY CITY, NJ - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop announced the death of former Councilwoman Viola Richardson Friday. “These times are hard,” Fulop said in a tweet. “We are so sad to share the passing of former Councilwoman Viola Richardson.”

Fulop served on the city council with Richardson for eight years and described her as “a fighter” and “public servant.”

“She was a champion for her ward and a champion for Jersey City. RIP Viola.”

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A retired police officer, including serving as the first female president of the Inter-Departmental Minority Police Action Council in Jersey City, Richardson held a seat on the city council from 2001 to 2013. 

A staunch ally of former Mayor Glenn Cunningham before his untimely death in 2004, Richardson has been credited with launching several key projects in the Lafayette section of the city. She was seen as a staunch ally of Glenn Cunningham, who served as mayor of Jersey City before his untimely death in 2004.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez said he was saddened to learm of Richard's death. "She was an impassioned and principled fighter for what she believed in," he said, adding that he will "always appreciate her long service and vigorous advocacy for the African American community."  

Richardson’s death comes just days after Ward D Councilman Michael Yun also lost his life as a result of COVID-19. The Central Avenue SID, which Yun was a key member of, responded to the news of Richardson’s death by saying that she “was certainly a fighter. She advocated for Central Avenue on several occasions during her tenure as council-woman-at-large.”

According to data made available on line by Jersey City officials 2,284 people have tested positively for the virus locally and 81 people have died.

Ron Greco, president of the Jersey City Education Association (JCEA) also took to Facebook to mourn Richardson saying he was “sad to hear of the passing of Former Councilwoman Viola Richardson.”

“Thank you for standing with the teachers of Jersey City on so many issues.”

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