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Many across the world have been touched by the infamous tale of resilience that Yusef Salaam and his Central Park Five counterparts, now referred to as the Exonerated 5, had to endure for years as wrongfully-convicted prisoners behind bars.

Salaam is now reportedly taking his highly-publicized second chance at life all the way to the New York public office with an eye on filling the seat being left behind by Harlem State Senator Brian Benjamin.


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With Benjamin pursuing a nomination last week to be New York’s next lieutenant governor, Salaam is using the opportunity to enact change on the very issues that unjustly landed him behind bars, including police brutality, the abolition of juvenile solitary confinement and prison reform in the criminal justice system overall.

Here’s how the NY Daily News projects the road ahead for Yusef, which could see him facing some viable opponents on his road to office:

“Salaam has his work cut out for him. Although Benjamin has yet to officially vacate the seat, other likely candidates for the post include state Assembly members Al Taylor and Inez Dickens, who represent adjoining parts of the 30th Senate district.

The district includes Harlem, East Harlem and the Upper West Side.

Benjamin is not expected to vacate the seat until after Labor Day. After he’s gone a special election will be scheduled, and will likely coincide with races taking place in November, officials said.”



The unforgettable experience for Salaam, along with Kharey Wise, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana, proved to be one that made for the ultimate cautionary tale for many young Black men in similar situations. It’s for that reason and many others that speak to his character that we feel he’d make a great leader in New York City politics. Good luck!


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