Cousins! The city of New York is making strides toward a better future with elected officials that relate directly to the familiarity of everyday struggles. Exonerated 5 member Yusef Salaam ‘s recent win in the council primary race, solidifies a much-needed change that we are proud to witness!
According to reports from NBC News, Yusef campaigned to represent Central Harlem on the City Council and won the Democratic primary for a seat on the New York City Council.
“Many doubted us along the way, but this was a campaign based on change,” said Yusef following the official tally of the race. “The voters overwhelmingly agreed with our vision for a better, stronger, and more tolerant community. We are going to have a new Harlem Renaissance,” he added.
Despite going up against two political veterans and his tally votes barely exceeding 50% it has been stated that absentee ballots and preliminary choice voting ranks solidified Yusef as a winner.
“To have a voice from a person who’s been pushed into the margins of life — someone who has actually been one of those who has been counted out — is finally having a seat at the table,” said Yusef.
Salaam was 15 when he was arrested along with Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise, who served between five and 12 years in prison before prosecutors agreed to reexamine the case. DNA evidence and a confession ultimately linked a serial rapist and murderer to the attack, but he wasn’t prosecuted because too much time had passed. Their convictions were vacated in 2002 and the city ultimately agreed in a legal settlement to pay the exonerated men a combined $41 million., per NBC.