Jersey City’s Municipal Prosecutor, Jake Hudnut, was selected for the second cohort of the Public Rights Project’s Affirmative Leaders Fellowship, a program created to help attorneys in state and local governments expand their capacity to protect residents’ legal rights.
“The work learned in this fellowship will help Jersey City continue to stand up against slumlords, local polluters, and any other businesses that take advantage of underserved communities,” said Municipal Prosecutor Jake Hudnut. “I’m extremely humbled and excited to be representing Jersey City in this fellowship.”
After a national search, the Public Rights Project selected Hudnut as one of a cohort of fellows from 32 state and local government offices in 15 states.
The Fellowship noted Hudnut’s work issuing the first-in-the-state policy decriminalizing marijuana possession, creating a diversionary program for Veterans, and launching in-court service referrals for domestic violence victims.
Hudnut has also been the leader of the Mayor’s Quality of Life Task Force since its inception in 2019, targeting the worst quality-of-life offenders to protect residents against everything from price gouging to unsafe housing situations.
“This is a great opportunity for Prosecutor Hudnut to expand the depth of knowledge around leadership and community-based response efforts that he will be able to bring back to Jersey City and apply to the direct benefit of our city enforcement,” said Mayor Steven Fulop.
Fellows will receive one year of training and professional development aimed at strengthening and applying skills in impact litigation, coalition-building, community engagement, doing racial justice work, and public leadership, according to the city. They will also hone tools and strategies to work on a range of civil rights, economic justice, and environmental protection issues that directly impact vulnerable populations in their communities and across the country.
This support will enable fellows to initiate, expand, or deepen the impact of their office’s equitable enforcement efforts, according to the city.
“We are thrilled to welcome our second cohort of the Affirmative Leaders Fellowship,” said Public Rights Project’s Legal Director Jonathan Miller. “They are immensely talented, passionate about social justice, and engaged in crucial work in their communities. Our program pushes these lawyers to see beyond their perceived limits of government advocacy. They will acquire knowledge and skills to bring back to their colleagues and develop connections with lawyers from across the county. When combined, these experiences result in more rights enforcement, more collaborative and creative advocacy, and better community-connected work.”