Yun’s family congratulates Saleh on being named to succeed him as Ward D councilman

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The family of late Jersey City Ward D Councilman Michael Yun has issued a lengthy statement congratulating Yousef Saleh on being named as his successor on the council.

Michael Yun after being elected to the Jersey City Council on June 11th, 2013. Facebook photo.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“We want to extend our sincerest congratulations to newly appointed Ward D Councilperson, Yousef J. Saleh,” the Yun family said in a statement.

“We wish you nothing but success in your new role representing the people of Ward D and Jersey City—because success of that kind would mean success for every resident of Jersey City—something especially worth hoping for during these unprecedented times.”

Saleh was appointed by a vote of 6-2 at a sometimes contentious special meeting this afternoon, as HCV first reported.

Michael Yun died of COVID-19 complications on April 6th and Council President Joyce Watterman called a meeting to name his replacement on Monday – where she and Mayor Steven Fulop simultaneously endorsed Saleh.

The Yun family continued that while Michael would never expect his replacement to be exactly like him, they know he would expect that person to treat the office with honesty, integrity, and fairness.

“Michael would never ask nor would he expect that his replacement be an exact facsimile of himself,” they wrote.

“All he would have hoped for is that whoever does replace him is one who will advocate passionately for the people of Jersey City and that the people’s work will always be done with honesty and integrity, fairness, and a never ending belief in the potential of the city.”

Voters will still have a say via a special election in November, with the seat then up for grabs again in November 2021 during the municipal elections.

The Yun family’s statement can be read in its entirety below:

We want to extend our sincerest congratulations to newly appointed Ward D Councilperson, Yousef J. Saleh.

We wish you nothing but success in your new role representing the people of Ward D and Jersey City—because success of that kind would mean success for every resident of Jersey City—something especially worth hoping for during these unprecedented times.

Michael would never ask nor would he expect that his replacement be an exact facsimile of himself. All he would have hoped for is that whoever does replace him is one who will advocate passionately for the people of Jersey City and that the people’s work will always be done with honesty and integrity, fairness, and a never ending belief in the potential of the city.

We also would like express our gratitude to all of those who stepped forward as candidates and to those who worked so passionately for a fair and transparent process. You demonstrate not just that there are many people who care deeply about the city but that the city is filled with people willing to act on that care. That is something Michael would have been immensely proud of.

And most importantly, a special thanks to Michael’s staff, who had continued to keep his office running virtually, helping people every single day. You made it possible for him to be the tireless champion for the people of Ward D that he was. There is no better team that Michael (or any councilperson for that matter) could have had.

Michael believed that the American Dream “is not achieved through personal wealth alone, but through service to those communities in which we both work and live.” Through all those working to better Ward D and Jersey City, his legacy clearly lives on.

When Michael first ran for the Ward D Council seat, he wanted to “Bring Common Sense to City Hall.” We ask that everyone continue to show common sense during these challenging times: continue practicing social distancing, wear a mask in public, cover your cough, wash your hands, and remember that by doing so you aren’t only protecting yourself but those who are most vulnerable.