CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman has announced the departure of her former campaign manager and recent Co-Chief of Staff, Jessica Salans, who is leaving to spend more time with her family. Salans had been serving as Co-Chief of Staff with Meghan Choi.
News of Salans’ departure was first reported on Twitter by Los Angeles Times reporter David Zahnizer:
Nearly two months after she joined the L.A. City Council, Nithya Raman appears to have reworked her top staff. Jessica Salans, named in December as one of her co-chiefs of staff, no longer holds that position, according to the city’s directory for Raman’s office. pic.twitter.com/93rQqkRmlr
— David Zahniser 🦅 (@DavidZahniser) February 8, 2021
The tweet prompted Raman to issue her own statement later in the day:
“Jess served as a cornerstone of our campaign and has been similarly integral to setting up our new council office — and beyond that, she has become a dear friend,” said Councilmember Raman in a statement released Monday. “I am deeply thankful to her and Meghan Choi for stepping in to serve as a bridge during our very rapid transition to City Hall, which has allowed us to be deliberate in our search for the best possible person to lead our office. With her decades of experience in conflict resolution, civic engagement, and building strong government-community partnerships, I am confident we have found that person in Najeeba Syeed.”
Syeed was first announced as a Senior Advisor to Raman’s office in January. Her bio, released by Raman’s office, says:
“Najeeba Syeed is an Associate Professor of Muslim and Interreligious Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary and director of the Center for Global Peacebuilding. She was an Associate Professor of Interreligious Education at Claremont School of Theology from 2010-2020 and is recognized as a leader in peacebuilding and social justice based research. From 2001-2008 she served as executive director for two community based conflict resolution centers in Southern California. Under her leadership, the organizations received the Jon Anson Ford Award for reducing violence in schools and in the area of interracial gang conflicts. She was named Southern California Mediation Association’s “Peacemaker of the Year” in 2007. She received a Juris Doctorate degree from Indiana University School of Law and has lived in Southern California for twenty years.”
Meanwhile, Choi will now serve as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Organizing, where she will “spearhead the CD4 office’s co-governing strategy with community organizations and advocacy groups across LA, as well as demographics that have historically been underrepresented in engagement with City Hall,” said Raman.
Raman’s Director of Communications, Jesse Zwick, explained that “co-governing” is similar to “participatory frameworks, like the Discretionary Fund Task Force set up by former CouncilMember David Ryu. Except in this case, it will include discussions of policy priorities for our office, and it will make a special effort to include demographics that have historically been underrepresented in engagement with City Hall.”