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ACLU SoCal's 25th Annual Luncheon, Inside, JW Marriott L.A. Live, Los Angeles - 07 June 2019

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of the Exonerated Five has been declared the winner of his New York City Council election, capping off a surging campaign.

On Wednesday (July 5th), the city’s Board of Elections released the results of its completed ranked-choice voting tally which began after general voting ended last Tuesday. The tally showed that Salaam won 64 percent of the vote, an overwhelming amount compared to the 36 percent of the vote for the veteran state assembly member Inez Dickens. Another state assembly member, Al Taylor, was eliminated in the third round of the voting count.

“This is a victory for justice, dignity, and decency for the Harlem community we love,” Mr. Salaam said in a statement after the results were posted. “It’s a victory in support of not turning our backs on those in need, for saying we are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and for saying the only way for all of us to thrive is to believe in the promise we all have.”

Salaam’s win assures him of a seat on the City Council, replacing incumbent Kristin Richardson Jordan. The politician, whose democratic socialist policies brought her high scrutiny, dropped out in mid-May. Dickens, who represented the district for years before taking an assembly seat, had received far more institutional support for her campaign, even getting the only endorsement in the primary election season from Mayor Eric Adams.

The 49-year-old New York native spoke out about his experience being one of five Black and Brown teens wrongly convicted in the assault and rape of a woman jogger in Central Park in 1989. The case grabbed national attention, with future former President Donald Trump excoriating the teens asking for the death penalty to be given to the teens. Salaam would be released in 1997 and the Exonerated Five would be cleared of wrongdoing in 2002 after DNA tests confirmed another man was the assailant.

Salaam is expected to pursue moderate agenda plans during his time in office, focusing on issues of the lack of social services and affordable housing. “The problem that we are experiencing in Harlem right now is that we are being pushed out,” Mr. Salaam said to the New York Times. “They’re saying that we’re leaving, but the truth of the matter is that we are being priced out and therefore we are being pushed out.”