Gonzalez joins Healy Team as Ward D candidate

Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy today announced that the Rev. Mario Gonzalez is the latest addition to his Council Slate.

Gonzalez is running in Ward D.

“In putting together my re-election team, I’m looking for those who share my same motivation for running for office and governing – namely, always doing what’s best for Jersey City and all the families who live here,” said Healy. “From his work with at-risk youth to the arts to faith-based initiatives, Mario Gonzalez puts others first and knows how to bring people together. Together, we’ll work to keep the progress going in Jersey City.”

“I am honored in the confidence that Mayor Healy has placed in me and I hope to work alongside of him to help the communities we have been blessed to serve,” said Gonzalez. “In Ward D, the Healy Administration has preserved the reservoir, obtained funding necessary to create the 100 Steps, and done good work with affordable and workforce housing. We have always worked alongside the Mayor and look forward to continuing to do so as we take our communities to the next level.”

For the past 13 years, Gonzalez has served as CEO of The Hope Center for the Visual and Performing Arts – a faith-based, non-profit – where he designed and built a multimillion dollar state-of-the-art arts center. The Hope Center has conducted the largest fine art shows in Jersey City history and been featured on NBC, Fox, UPN, and POZ magazine for contributions to the community.

In 1994, Gonzalez founded “The Least of These” – a ministry to AIDS-afflicted patients in four hospitals in both New York City and New Jersey – including Jersey City Medical Center. He then served as a Protestant chaplain for Terence Cardinal Cooke Medical Center on 5th Avenue in Manhattan – a long-term care facility for chronically ill HIV patients. 

In 1996, with this experience under his belt, Gonzalez came to Jersey City and took on the pastorate of Calvary Assembly that has come to be known as The Hope Center Tabernacle. Reverend Gonzalez recently served as the Northeast Sectional Presbyter for the N.J. District of the Assemblies of God – overseeing over 57 urban churches, representing thousands of families in both Hudson and Essex counties. He was the first Latino elected Presbyter by the general Assembly in New Jersey history. 

Additionally, Gonzalez has served as Vice President of a multimillion dollar high-tech defense manufacturing firm lauded by President Ronald Reagan as a premier minority-led corporation. He’s worked for Lockheed and served as a subcontracts administrator and systems auditor for various defense manufacturing firms over the years.

Gonzalez graduated Fordham University with a degree in economics and is studying law at Cardozo School of Law. He is a product of NYC public schools. Gonzalez is a long-term resident and homeowner in Jersey City Heights – where he lives with his wife Leigh, and his two daughters Stephanie and Sarah.

Gonzalez joins previously announced Team Healy council candidates: Council President Peter Brennan, Councilwoman Viola Richardson, former Jersey City Schools Superintendent Charles Epps, Democratic Committeeman Omar Perez, and community activists Janet Chevres, Jerry Meyers and Dan Levin.

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