Exonerated Five member Dr. Yusef Salaam joins 9th district City Council race

Photos credit: Isseu Diouf Campbell

Dr. Yusef Salaam, prison reform activist, best-selling author, motivational speaker, and member of the Exonerated Five, announced on February 4, 2023, in Harlem his intention to run for City Council.

“I’m here to announce my candidacy for the 9th district, Central Harlem, because it is time,” Dr. Yusef Salaam stated. “We need quantifiable change; we need uncompromising change, unapologetic change. We must elect leaders with integrity to do what is right. Leaders who aspire to help protect our community. Leaders who will fight for the most vulnerable of us and clasp the hand of the young and the old as we walk together in a future that recognizes that Harlem is and has always been our home.”

“As your next leader, I commit to you today that I will bring the voice of Harlem to the halls of power downtown. I will hold the City government accountable and even ensure that services are more accessible and impactful. I will work to make sure that our streets and parks are safe places for our families and our children to gather. I will demand that we no longer criminalize mental health. And that we address all of those issues, all of those disparities that we desperately need. I will protect our local businesses so that they can thrive in our community. I will ensure that any development that comes into our district must advance the interest of those who have lived through the blight, through the pain within the margins of life.”

Kristin Richardson Jordan, who defeated Bill Perkins in 2021, is the current council member.

Other candidates looking to hold that seat include Joshua Clennon, Assemblywoman Inez E Dickens, Skiboky Stora, and Assemblyman Al Taylor.

District 9 covers Central Harlem, parts of East Harlem, Hamilton Heights, and Manhattanville.