HomeSouth Asian AmericanJersey City's youngest elected official Mussab Ali runs for mayor

Jersey City’s youngest elected official Mussab Ali runs for mayor

Mussab Ali, former Jersey City Board of Education President who in 2017 was the youngest Muslim elected official in the nation, announced he will run for mayor of Jersey City. 

With outgoing mayor Steve Fulop running for state governor, Ali will run against former governor Jim McGreevey and County Commissioner Bill O’Dea in the mayoral race, Jersey City Times reported. Councilman James Solomon said that he is also considering running. 

“Deciding to challenge the status quo and run for Mayor was no easy choice. But seeing our city—the most diverse in America—struggle with issues like affordability and gentrification, and grappling with the shadows of machine politics, I knew I couldn’t stay on the sidelines,” said Ali to Jersey City Times

Ali immigrated with his parents to Jersey City from Pakistan in 1999. His mother became an educator while his father became a postal worker. 

Ali first got involved in politics during the Trump administration, where he observed an increase in racial bias and discrimination, reported. Notably, he was taken aback during the 2020 presidential campaign when he heard Trump falsely claim there were “thousands and thousands” of people in Jersey City cheering during the 9/11 attacks. 

“Hearing him attack our community like that, I knew I had to get involved. When Trump got into office and started passing legislation and policy against our community, it kind of emphasized to me how important it was to be engaged,” said Ali to The Record in 2021, according to

In 2017, Ali became the youngest elected official in Jersey City history as well as the youngest Muslim elected official in the nation when he was elected to the Jersey City Board of Education. 

In this position, the Jersey City Times reported, Ali focused on helping victims of stage-4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He also prioritized raising teachers’ salaries, abolishing student lunch debt and raising the minimum wage for district employees. 

At the time of his election to the Board, Ali was attending Rutgers University and was named school board president in 2021. He chose not to run for re-election after he was diagnosed with cancer, from which he has since recovered, reported.

Since then, Ali earned a Master’s in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University in China and graduated from Harvard Law School. Ali has also served as director of the voting campaign Vote16USA in addition to co-founding the Ali Leadership Institute “to train the next generation of activists, organizers and grassroots leaders,” reported.

“Jersey City raised and educated me,” Ali said today. “When I became the youngest elected official in our city’s history, it was because you trusted me. Now, I’m ready to champion a Jersey City that works for all of us,” said Ali to New Jersey Globe.

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