New councilwoman appoints key staff members

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — City Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who took office in December, announced Feb. 8 the appointment of a new chief of staff.

Najeeba Syeed is an associate professor of Muslim and Interreligious Studies at Chicago Theological Seminary and director of the Center for Global Rebuilding, which focuses on peace-building efforts and multi-faith reconciliation.

Syeed had been a senior adviser to Raman. Syeed replaces Meghan Choi and Jessica Salans, who had shared the chief of staff position and worked with Raman to hire Syeed.

I am honored to accept the position of chief of staff in Councilmember Nithya Raman’s office,” Syeed said. “I am thankful for the leadership of Jessica Salans and Meghan Choi.

I look forward to working with Councilmember Nithya Raman and serving all of our constituents. As a mother, Los Angeles resident, and peace-builder, I care very much about this city. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve in partnership with [council District 4] community members to build a bright collective future.”

Choi will remain on Raman’s staff as deputy chief of staff and director of organizing. She will work on developing strategy with community organizations, advocacy groups and demographic groups that have been underrepresented in engagement with City Hall, Raman’s office said.

Salans will be leaving the Council District Four office to be closer to her family.

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,” Raman said.

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.”

Salans said she was grateful to work with Raman during the campaign, which “showed what is possible when Angelenos are actively engaged and brought into the political process.”

I am so grateful and proud to have been a part of that movement beside Meghan and Nithya. I’m incredibly excited for the team that has developed, with Nithya and Najeeba at the helm, who will usher in the progressive and tangible change Angelenos so deeply deserve,” Salans said.