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About City Council President Jesse Lederman

City Council President Jesse Lederman is a lifelong resident of Springfield who was born and raised in the city's McKnight Neighborhood. The son of a secretary and a social worker, Jesse was raised by his mom and two older sisters after his father passed away at a young age. 

As a teenager Jesse found a second family in Springfield's activists and community leaders, who inspired in him a lifelong commitment to community, public service, and helping others.

 

Jesse is a graduate of the Springfield Public Schools, having attended Mary O. Pottenger Elementary School and the Springfield Renaissance Middle/High School. He went on to attend the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science.

Jesse first became involved in civic life as a member of the McKnight Neighborhood Council, where he worked with residents to address quality of life issues in the community, bring more attention to the needs of neighborhoods, and worked to stop the construction of a demolition waste incinerator. 

 

In addition to his work on the City Council, Jesse serves as the Chairman of the Springfield Democratic City Committee, as a member of the Democratic State Committee, a member of the Board of Directors of the Springfield Preservation Trust, on the Leadership Board of Reading Success by 4th Grade, Springfield's early literacy initiative, and on the Board of Directors of the Acorn Street Boys and Girls Club Family Center. He was appointed to the Honorary Deputy Sheriffs Association of Hampden County by Sheriff Nick Cocchi in 2019.

Jesse formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site, and the Governing Board of the Springfield Renaissance School. 

Councilor Lederman became the youngest individual elected in Springfield's recent history when he was elected to one of five At-Large seats on the Springfield City Council on November 7, 2017. He was re-elected to a second term in 2019 and to a third term in 2021.

On the City Council, Jesse has fought for legislation and initiatives related to neighborhood quality of life, housing, workers rights, protecting and improving air quality, expanding affordable internet access, and making local government more accessible and transparent.

 

Some of his top, successful initiatives have included working to defeat the construction of the long-proposed biomass waste incinerator in the center of Springfield, passage of legislation to prevent the theft of wages from workers on public construction jobs, the appointment of the first Board of Police Commissioners in nearly two decades, establishment of the Springfield Housing Trust Fund, passing legislation limiting commercial hotel style rentals in residential neighborhoods, and first of its kind, landmark legislation to direct new local revenue from cannabis sales towards neighborhood improvement projects.

Jesse has further prioritized efforts towards neighborhood quality of life reforms, including live online updates on snow storm response, routing 911 calls from cell phones within the city limits directly to Springfield Emergency Dispatch, the repair of hundreds of gas leaks throughout Springfield neighborhoods, pedestrian safety improvements including the redesign of the dangerous State Street Library Crossing, and the planned conversion of 14,000 Springfield streetlights to more modern and reliable LED lighting technology.

In January of 2022 Councilor Lederman was elected Vice-President of the City Council by his colleagues, and assumed the City Council Presidency upon resignation of the then-President in June of 2022. In January of 2023 Council President Lederman was elected to a full term as President by his colleagues on the City Council.

As City Council President, Jesse has worked to strengthen the City Council and local government to better serve all of Springfield's residents, including successful passage of legislation aimed at creating a transparent process for residents to apply for vacancies on local Boards and Commissions, his appointment of the Working Group on Civic Engagement to provide recommendations on how to make local government more accessible, and his expansion of hybrid meeting options to make it easier for the public to participate in Council business while also reconvening the first in-person meetings of the City Council since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to becoming the Council President, Councilor Lederman served as Chairman of the COVID-19 Response & Recovery Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, the Maintenance and Development Committee, and the first ever Committee on Sustainability and Environment. In past sessions he also served on the Public Safety Committee, the General Government Committee, and the Economic Development Committee. 

Jesse is employed as an advisor and recruiter for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he works with adult students looking to complete their degrees and is based at the UMass Center in Downtown Springfield.

 

He is married to his wife, Emila Lederman. The two met while they were students at UMass Amherst, where Emila earned her Bachelor's Degree in Economics.

 

After restoring their first historic home in the city's Forest Park Neighborhood, Jesse and Emila purchased a home in the McKnight Neighborhood just a few streets from where Jesse grew up, where they live with their Basset Hound, Theodore.

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