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Steven Fulop
49th Mayor of Jersey City
Incumbent
Assumed office
July 1, 2013
Preceded by Jerramiah Healy
Member of Jersey City Council representing Ward E

In office
May 10, 2005 – June 30, 2013
Preceded by E. Junior Maldonado
Succeeded by Candice Osborne
Personal details
Born February 28, 1977(1977-02-28) (age 44)
Edison, New Jersey
Political party Democratic
Residence Jersey City, New Jersey
Military service
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 2002 - 2006
Rank Corporal
Unit 6th Engineer Support Battalion
Battles/wars Iraq War
Awards Overseas Service Ribbon
Meritorious Masts
Presidential Unit Citation

Steven Michael Fulop (born February 28, 1977) is the 49th and current Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey. He was formerly the Ward E Councilman of Jersey City.[1] He has been a consistent voice of opposition to the administration of former Mayor Jerramiah Healy, whom he defeated in the May 14, 2013 election for mayor. In 2012 the Hudson Reporter named him #4 in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.[2]

Fulop assumed office of Mayor of Jersey City on July 1, 2013.[3]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Fulop is a first generation American who grew up in a Romanian immigrant family in Edison, New Jersey. His father owned a delicatessen in Newark, New Jersey, where Fulop often worked, and his mother, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, worked in an immigration services office helping others gain citizenship.

Fulop graduated from Binghamton University in 1999,[4] and in 2006 completed both his Masters in Business Administration at the New York University Stern School of Business and his Masters in Public Administration at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). While attending Binghamton University, he spent time abroad studying at Oxford University in England.[4]

Career[edit | edit source]

Finance[edit | edit source]

Upon graduating from college, Fulop joined Goldman Sachs, the investment banking firm, first working in Chicago and later in downtown Manhattan as well as in Jersey City. After working in financial services for several years in downtown Manhattan and seeing first hand the effects of the September 11 attacks, he decided to put his career at Goldman Sachs on hold and join the United States Marine Corps.[5]

Shortly after completion of Marine Corps boot camp, on January 14, 2003 his Reserve Unit was activated and Fulop was deployed to Iraq, where he served as part of the 6th Engineer Support Battalion for a period of 6 months. He traveled into Baghdad in the early weeks of the war. The battalion focused on engineering, logistics, water purification, and fuel. He and his unit were recipients of numerous awards and recognition for service including the Overseas Service Ribbon, Meritorious Masts, and the Presidential Unit Citation. His unit was part of the support and infrastructure that allowed the swift movement through Iraq. His unit was written about in numerous periodicals during the war which highlighted the company's movements, their contributions to the war, and the challenges that they encountered. The New Jersey Star Ledger highlighted Fulop on several occasions as a result of his choice to leave the comforts of a financial services job to serve his country. After his service in Iraq, Fulop returned to Goldman Sachs.[citation needed] In early 2006, Fulop left Goldman Sachs to take an opportunity at a competitor and he also completed his service to the Marine Corps Reserve with a rank of Corporal.[citation needed]

Politics[edit | edit source]

Campaign for Congress[edit | edit source]

Fulop ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2004 against Senator Bob Menendez who, at the time, represented the 13th Congressional District.[6] Menendez beat Fulop in the June 8, 2004 primary election by 69.22 percentage points, 80.89%-11.67%.

City Council election[edit | edit source]

In May 2005, Fulop was an upset winner against an incumbent councilman in Jersey City. When Fulop was sworn into office at 28 years old, he was the youngest member of the city council by more than 17 years and the third youngest in the nearly 200 year existence of the city. However, as noted by the New York Times, the most significant difference between Fulop and every elected official in Jersey City, (and most in Hudson County) is that he won the election with no establishment support, beating an incumbent with the backing of the powerful Senator Robert Menendez, Mayor Jerramiah Healy of Jersey City, and the Hudson County Democratic Organization.[5] Fulop was outspent by more than 2-1 during the campaign but several tactical innovations that were highlighted in The Star-Ledger, The New York Times, and The Jersey Journal helped move the campaign forward despite stiff opposition.[5]

In May 2009, Fulop was re-elected for a second term to represent downtown Jersey City, Ward E. Fulop won with 63% of the vote in his ward.[7]

Political prospects[edit | edit source]

Since election to his second Council term, he was widely expected to run for Mayor in 2013.[8] In 2010 a Fulop-backed slate won all three open seats for the Board of Education.[9] On February 18, 2011, Steve Fulop announced his support for another three candidate slate for the Board of Education election on April 27, 2011.[10]

Mayor[edit | edit source]

On May 14, 2013, Fulop beat sitting mayor Jerramiah T. Healy by 15 percentage points, 53%-38%, to become the mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey.[11]

Legislation[edit | edit source]

As a councilman, one of Fulop's main interests has been ethics reform measures. In September, 2007, he proposed legislation that would have restricted use of city vehicles and property, banned officials from holding multiple elected or appointed positions in government, instituted business and income transparency requirements for elected officials and barred people from lobbying an entity in which they serve. This legislation was rejected by a 6-1-1 vote.[12]

In response to this setback, Steven proposed that Jersey City’s voters have the opportunity to institute new ethics reform measures by voting on two referendums. The first referendum would prevent elected officials or government employees from collecting more than one taxpayer-financed salary, a practice known as double dipping. By state law, one cannot stop an individual from serving multiple government positions by popular vote, but since state law allows a municipality to hold back a paycheck and benefits if voted on by referendum, it is possible to change the pay structures at the local level to ensure that there is less incentive to collect multiple paychecks and pensions. The second referendum would make it illegal for any entity that does business with the city, like a developer or contractor, to make a political contribution to a local candidate for a one-year period. This would prohibit those with a specific interest in controlling a singular aspect of local government from bankrolling a local elected official who may have the power to influence that specific interest.[13][14][15][16]

Community service and advocacy[edit | edit source]

Prior to his election on the municipal council, Steven Fulop served as president of the Downtown Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (DCNA) in Jersey City, and as president of The Historic Paulus Hook Association.[citation needed]

Currently, Steven Fulop is on the Board of Directors for the Columbia University Alumni Association and the board for the Learning Community Charter School.[citation needed]

Since his election, he has worked for local charities in Hudson County. He has donated his first two year council salary to the York Street Project, a non-profit that helps women and children break the cycle of poverty. Most recently, in 2006, Steven Fulop tied his passion for long distance running with his civic involvement by racing in the New York City Marathon to raise money for the Hudson Country Child Abuse Prevention Center. Fulop raised $16,000 running his first marathon in 3:44 with an average pace of 8:33 per mile.[citation needed]

Starting in 2010, Steven Fulop has led grassroots and local government efforts to oppose the construction of a gas pipeline through downtown Jersey City.[17]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Jersey City votes in new mayor, Healy concedes". WABC TV. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/politics&id=9101569. Retrieved 15 May 2013. . He was formerly the councilman of Jersey City.
  2. Adriana Rambay Fernández, Stephen LaMarca, Gennarose Pope, Ray Smith, Al Sullivan and E. Assata Wright. "They've Got the Power". The Union City Reporter. January 8, 2012. Pages 1, 4-7 and 10-11.
  3. "Steven Fulop wins mayor's race in Jersey City". Asbury Park Press. 2013-05-15. http://www.app.com/viewart/20130515/NJNEWS1002/305150039/Steven-Fulop-wins-mayor-s-race-Jersey-City. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Harpur Alum Running For Congress". Harpur Hotline. May 7, 2004. http://harpur.binghamton.edu/hotline/50704hotline/index.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Benson, Josh (July 3, 2005). "In Person; The Young Lion". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E6D71531F930A35754C0A9639C8B63. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  6. http://hudsonreporter.com/view/full_stories_home/2398395/article-Who-is-Steven-Fulop-and-why-is-he-running-for-Congress--JC-Democrat-opposes-Menendez-for-13th-District-June-primary
  7. "Fulop survives and prospers despite Healy's near sweep". http://www.politickernj.com/matt-friedman/29856/jersey-city-fulop-survives-and-prospers-despite-healy-sweep. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  8. "For 2013, Fulop organizing bid for Jersey City mayor". http://www.politickernj.com/42169/2013-fulop-organizing-bid-jersey-city-mayor. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  9. "Waterman, Valentin, Lester win Jersey City school election". http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/04/waterman_valentin_lester_win_j.html. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  10. "Steve Fulop backs three candidates for Jersey City Board of Education". http://stevenfulop.com/news/steve-fulop-backs-three-candidates-for-jersey-city-board-of-education. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  11. "Jersey City votes in new mayor, Healy concedes". WABC TV. http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/politics&id=9101569. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  12. "Fulop defeated on new ethics standards plan". Archived from the original on 2007-11-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20071103005924/http://www.nj.com/hudsoncountynow/index.ssf/2007/09/fulop_defeated_on_new_ethics_s.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  13. Fulop, Steven (October 7, 2007). "Put Corruption to a Vote". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/07/opinion/nyregionopinions/07NJfulop.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  14. "Pay-to-play is in play". Jersey City Reporter. September 6, 2008. http://www.hudsonreporter.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20109449&BRD=1291&PAG=461&dept_id=523586&rfi=6. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  15. "City Council approves Fulop's 'pay to play' limits". Jersey Journal. September 3, 2008. http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2008/09/city_council_approve_fulops_pa.html. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  16. Chesler, Caren (October 26, 2008). "Councilman Puts Double-Dipping Issue Before Voters". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/nyregion/new-jersey/26councilnj.html?_r=1&scp=3&sq=fulop&st=cse&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  17. "Jersey City Councilman Fulop urges residents to intervene on gas-pipeline expansion". http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2011/01/post_147.html. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 

External links[edit | edit source]

Political offices
Preceded by
E.Junior Maldonado
Ward E Councilman of Jersey City, New Jersey
July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2013
Succeeded by
Candice Osborne
Preceded by
Jerramiah Healy
Mayor of Jersey City
July 1, 2013–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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