JERSEY CITY, NJ - City Council President Joyce Watterman announced Monday that the body will meet Thursday to consider the appointment of Yousef Saleh to serve the remainder of former Councilman Michael Yun’s term.
Yun died April 6 from complications caused by coronavirus.
Saleh, a first-generation American who was born, raised, and still lives the Heights section of Jersey City, attended Head Start, P.S. 28 Christa McAuliffe School, and McNair Academic High School where he served as president of the Student Government and as a Student Representative to the Jersey City Board of Education.
Following his 2007 graduation from McNair Academy Saleh attend Rutgers New Brunswick where he eventually served as President of the Rutgers University Student Assembly. In 2010, under his tenure as president, he fought Chris Christie's proposed budget cuts at a rally in Trenton that garnered over 30,000 people and helped ensure state aid to Rutgers was not cut.
Yousef would then attend Rutgers Law School Newark where he became president of the Student Bar Association and represented his law school colleagues helping to throw educational and social events, as well as fighting for quality of life issues. Yousef graduated from Rutgers Law School in 2015, serving as the commencement speaker for his graduating class. As a law student Yousef served two stints as a clerk for the Jersey City Department of Law, a Student Attorney for the Federal Tax Clinic, an Editor on the Business Law Review Board, and a member of the Veterans Pro Bono project.
Yousef is currently an active member of the Jersey City community, serving on the Board of the Farmer's Market and assisting with events, rallies, and causes in the Jersey City community at large.
“There’s no doubt, Mr. Saleh will be a great Ward D Councilman. These are unforeseen circumstances in unprecedented times, and while we never imagined having to make such a saddened decision, we know Yousef Saleh is the best person to advocate for The Heights where he has lived since he was born, and where he has been involved in everything from the local Farmers’ Market to the Community Board.” Watterman said.
“Councilman Yun was a tireless advocate for Jersey City, and he will always be remembered for his contributions to the community,” Mayor Steven Fulop said. “While nobody can pick up exactly where Councilman Yun had left off, I believe Yousef will be able to continue the progress that we have seen in Ward D over the years.”
As the only son in his Palestinian family of immigrants, Saleh has dedicated his personal life advocating for children with special needs, which is personal for him being that he has seven sisters, one of whom has Down Syndrome.
“Having worked alongside Councilman Yun, I am extremely saddened for his family and for the community’s loss of a passionate and tireless advocate,” said Saleh. “I do hope to make him and all Ward D residents proud by taking an oath to do my absolute best as a staunch advocate for the community where I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by loving family and friends, and where I still live today. I’m truly humbled to be considered for this great honor.”
Thursday’s meeting is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m.
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