Danielle Freire is poised to take on Jersey City Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh in the November 2nd municipal election, the second time his seat will be up for grabs in one year.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Freire, who works as the development director for the non-profit group Building Equity & Alignment for Impact, filed her D-1 form with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) yesterday.
For the time being, she does not have a campaign chair and will serve as her own campaign treasurer.
“Our campaign is 100 percent grassroots and is powered by people who are ready to see authentic representation on city council. My run is only a small part of a larger effort that is happening on a national scale,” she said Thursday morning.
“I believe we need more independent, grassroots campaigns that say “no” to corporate and real estate developer money. I’m inspired by the many progressive women of color who are running for local office just across the Hudson River, in New York City. It’s overdue for us in Jersey City and the time is now.”
As far as policy initiatives are concerned, she is placing an emphasis on increasing affordable and mixed-use apartments, investing in education and youth programming, and making streets more walkable by implementing year-round street art and music.
Freire received her master’s degree in non-profit management from the New School, her bachelor’s degree in political science from New Jersey City University, and is also a graduate of McNair Academic High School – in addition to being born and raised in the Jersey City Heights.
“Both my life and work experiences prepared me for this leap into politics, which I never imagined for myself. Frankly, there needs to be more ‘leaps’ and there are many residents with talent, experience, and skills to contribute to their city,” she added.
” … My experience has prepared me to work with multiple stakeholders and apply a justice lens to all decision-making.”
Saleh, who was appointed to his post in April after the late Michael Yun died due to COVID-19 complications, won in definitive fashion this past November – securing a roughly 3-and-a-half-to-1 margin against second place finisher Patrick Ambrossi.
He is running on Mayor Steven Fulop’s ticket, which includes fellow incumbents Denise Ridley, Mira Prinz-Arey, Rich Boggiano, Jermaine Robinson, Daniel Rivera, Joyce Watterman.
Additionally, Chief Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut will square off with Councilman James Solomon in Ward E, while Hudson County Democratic Organization Chair Amy DeGise is running at-large – replacing Rolando Lavarro, a potential mayoral challenger.
Other declared challengers are Joel Brooks in Ward B, Tom Zuppa in Ward C, and Frank “Educational” Gilmore in Ward F.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Danielle Freire.