COUNCIL MEMBER PETER YACOBELLIS CONFIRMS HE’S RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF MONTCLAIR IN THE MAY 2024 ELECTION
ELECTED COUNCILOR-AT-LARGE IN THE MAY 2020 ELECTION WITH THE HIGHEST VOTE TOTAL OF ANY CANDIDATE FOR LOCAL OFFICE IN MONTCLAIR’S HISTORY, YACOBELLIS WOULD BE THE TOWN’S FIRST MILLENNIAL AND FIRST OPENLY LGBTQ+ MAYOR
YACOBELLIS PLANS TO FORM A SLATE IN THE MONTHS AHEAD, LAUNCH A FULL-FLEDGED CAMPAIGN IN THE FALL
(MONTCLAIR, N.J.) – Today, in a six-minute video explaining his reasons for running, Montclair Town Council Member Peter Yacobellis announced that he is running for Mayor of Montclair in the May 14th, 2024 municipal election.
Yacobellis promises to create a “Service Corps” for Montclair to connect people with time and talent to give, with the people and organizations who need the support, including the government. “The difference between a Montclair that controls its destiny or just coasts along being forced to change by external forces, is how we activate the talent that we already have in our workforce and in our community.”, said Yacobellis. “I think that I can offer our community present and engaged leadership that acts as connector-in-chief and activates our greatest assets (you) to help us not just realize our own incredible potential and solve big problems, but also model strong progressive policy that other places can emulate.”, he added.
In his email announcement, Yacobellis offered residents an opportunity to click and add the May 14th 2024 election directly to their digital calendars. “Our municipal elections never get close to the turnout of federal ones. Yet, the municipal government has incredible power over daily life in town from the water coming out of your faucet to ensuring we can respond to an emergency in your home. It can no longer be a sleepy May election. I need everyone to get this on their calendar and plan to participate.”, said Yacobellis.
In his video and email, Yacobellis also asked residents to make a contribution to his campaign to fuel his efforts to regularly engage with the 41,000 residents of Montclair. “I’m excited to spend the new few months building a team and developing a policy portfolio to communicate to all of you, exactly what me and my slate will do if we’re elected next year. I’m especially excited to continue to engage with the community in every forum possible, as I’ve been doing since early 2020.”, said Yacobellis. “From figuring out how to support the school system to protecting affordability to ending crashes on our streets, we have a lot of work to do”, he added.
About Peter Yacobellis
Born in Queens and raised on Long Island, Peter is the great-grandson of Sicilian immigrants who came to America in the early 20th century and put roots down in New York City. He’s the son of a teacher and a truck driver and grew up in a union household. A recipient of a public education, he was the first in his family to go to college and obtain a four-year degree. Moving to New Jersey in 2005, he settled in Montclair with his fiancé Benjamin in 2017.
Peter has had a long and storied professional career, working across small and large enterprises and in both the public and private sectors. Starting with an internship in the Office of then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, Yacobellis went on to work for soon-to-be-Ambassador Sean Patrick Maloney, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, New York Governor David Paterson, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in various capacities. On the private side, he has had every position from stock clerk to Chief of Staff to C-Suite executives at places like American Express.
Discharged from the U.S. Air Force basic training in 1998 under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and later serving as a rescue worker at ground zero after the September 11th attacks, he has always responded to calls to serve and has drawn significant inspiration from those traumatizing experiences. Earlier in 1998, he was also a victim of a conversion therapy attempt by members of his extended family and their church in Seaville, NJ. Working as an LGBTQ+ community liaison for several prominent New York elected officials over the years and with a stint as Finance Director for Garden State Equality in Montclair in 2007 and 2008; Yacobellis played a big role in helping both New Jersey and New York achieve marriage equality. With his lived experience as inspiration, Yacobellis was one of the organizers of the 2009 Equality March on Washington, which resulted in the eventual reversal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes law being enacted. He now serves as Executive Director of Out Montclair, which provides year-round community building and educational opportunities for the LGBTQIA+ community in the greater Montclair area and head of Montclair Pride, now the largest Pride festival in New Jersey.
As a Council Member, Peter has served on the Township’s Economic and Municipal Services Committees and has been the driving force behind a litany of enacted progressive policies from rent stabilization to accessory dwelling units to native species procurement to cannabis legalization to gender neutral restroom requirements, all while ensuring the Township maintains its AAA credit rating and responded to crisis after crisis.