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Get to Know Joyce Watterman

Council President Joyce Watterman is a visionary with a proven track record of success. She has a deep understanding of the challenges facing our city, and she has a clear plan to address them. She is committed to making our city more equitable and inclusive for all residents. 

Council President Joyce Watterman Logo
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Working Towards a Better Community

Joyce is working to make government live within its means to lower property taxes, and make Jersey City more affordable for all residents young and old. 

  • To create more affordable housing.

 

  • To provide more early childhood literacy programs to improve reading skills for young children. 

  • To expand and improve after school programs, including recreation and open gyms, to keep our children on the right path. 

  • To create good paying local jobs and apprenticeship programs so young adults have the option of either going to college or going straight into the workforce. 

  • To reduce traffic, improve quality of life, resurface city roads and streets, and put more police officers on the beat in our neighborhoods.
     

Advancing Community Interests Above All

Joyce is the first-ever African American woman to serve as City Council President. In no other place in the world could a woman rise from a public housing system to become the first to make history in a city of nearly 300,000 residents. 

Joyce is especially proud that on her watch, Jersey City is the number one most diverse city in the United States. She will continue to champion a local government that is for the many, not just for political machine. Joyce only answers to the people not to party bosses and wealthy outsiders who want to control Jersey City. That was her philosophy when she first ran for public office and it always will be.

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Accomplishments

  • 1st African American Women Council President

  • Created the first woman's advisory board 

  • Sponsored affordable housing and IZO (inclusionary zoning ordinance)

  • Advocated for Diversity and Inclusion set-asides for minorities, veterans and LGBTQ+

  • Commissioner for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund

  • Advocated for Safe Space initiative to transform vacant spaces

  • Pay transparency ordinance - Protects women against wage discrimination 

  • Fighting for environmental injustice 

  • Created a joint board with JCBOE & City Council

About Joyce

Women like Joyce Watterman aren't supposed to run for public office. She was born into a poor family, grew up in public housing, and graduated from an inner-city public-school system during time when economic means were believed to determine a person's destiny. Yet, there was a far greater power than economic disadvantage present in Joyce's life. 

There was the power of a loving Mother. 

Joyce's mother was a share cropper who picked tobacco in the South. Determined to break generational cycles, her Mom migrated North and settled in Jersey City. That's where Joyce was born and raised. 

Joyce's Mom taught her that what matters most isn't what you hold in your hand. It's what you hold in your heart. Despite facing discrimination throughout her life, she raised Joyce to believe in the promise of America. Joyce Watterman is the embodiment of that promise being fulfilled. 

Joyce is part of the first generation in her family to finish high school, graduate from college, and go on to earn a Master's Degree. 

Joyce has always believed that we are called to participate in the healing of the world and has spent the majority of her adult life being of service to those most in need. Her career includes working at the former Family Health Center, serving as a Pastor inspiring strength for today and hope for tomorrow, and volunteering as a Chaplin in State Prisons.

Joyce is a wife, a mother, and a grandmother. She's a working-class Jersey City resident. Running for office was never in her plans, but in life, destiny will always find its way.  

In 2013, Steven Fulop asked Joyce to join his team to run for Councilwoman-At-Large. Together they took on the political machine, defied the odds, and won. Their victory sent shockwaves across the State of New Jersey and changed the course of Jersey City’s local government. In 2021, she was reelected and received the highest number of votes city-wide of any candidate. 

Today, Joyce is the first-ever African American woman to serve as City Council President. In no other place in the world could a woman rise from a public housing system to become the first to make history in a city of nearly 300,000 residents. 

That's why as Council President, Joyce is leading the fight to make Jersey City an even better place to live and raise a family. 

Joyce is working to make government live within its means to lower property taxes, and make Jersey City more affordable for all residents young and old. 

  • To create more affordable housing. 

  • To provide more early childhood literacy programs to improve reading skills for young children. 

  • To expand and improve after school programs, including recreation and open gyms, to keep our children on the right path. 

  • To create good paying local jobs and apprenticeship programs so young adults have the option of either going to college or going straight into the workforce. 

  • To reduce traffic, improve quality of life, resurface city roads and streets, and put more police officers on the beat in our neighborhoods.

Joyce is especially proud that on her watch, Jersey City is the number one most diverse city in the United States. She will continue to champion a local government that is for the many, not just for political machine. Joyce only answers to the people not to party bosses and wealthy outsiders who want to control Jersey City. That was her philosophy when first ran for public office and it always will be.

Joyce will never stop leading the fight. 

For the hopes of mothers. 

For the dreams of children.  

For all of us.  

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