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Peter Yacobellis


We’re sat down with Peter Yacobellis, a council member at large in Montclair, New Jersey. We’ll be chatting about his journey into politics, the challenges he faces as a public figure, and why building relationships with constituents is so important. We’re also going to dive into the nitty-gritty of handling public discussions and managing conflicts of interest. Peter will be sharing his passion for community engagement and his involvement with Out Montclair, an organization working to make the LGBTQ+ community feel more included and supported. So, stick around – this episode gives us a cool peek into the life of a local politician and what he was like grown up. Follow Peter on Instagram.

And check out our second interview with Peter Yacobellis discussing life after Montclair.

[00:00:19] Councilman at large.
[00:04:23] Handling public discourse.
[00:08:45] Connecting with diverse perspectives.
[00:11:29] Perception of conflict of interest.
[00:15:23] Conflict of interest and recusal.
[00:18:26] Becoming a superhero.
[00:23:28] Council meetings and drama.
[00:25:03] Advocating for infrastructure upgrades.
[00:29:00] Challenging New Jersey government operations.
[00:33:35] Sustained programming and community-building. [
00:37:23] Emergency fundraising efforts.

Peter Yacobellis Podcast Episode Detailed Synopsis – AI Generated

The hosts of the podcast episode emphasize the importance of speaking authentically and being willing to make mistakes in order to connect with others. They discuss the significance of genuine connections and caution against coming across as rehearsed or scripted. While acknowledging the risk of saying something foolish, they believe that having a sincere dialogue with others is worth it.

Social Media Engagement

In the age of social media, they note that people can now freely express themselves and make mistakes, but stress the importance of remaining open-minded and willing to learn from those mistakes. The hosts also acknowledge the challenges of being a public figure, constantly under public scrutiny and subject to feedback, but maintain that it is crucial to speak confidently and connect with people, even in the face of criticism. Overall, they emphasize the importance of authenticity, openness, and a willingness to learn in order to foster meaningful connections with others.

Challenges of Public Discourse

In the episode, the hosts delve into the challenges of navigating public discourse and finding a balance between personal beliefs and community desires. They acknowledge the tension that arises when trying to listen to constituents while staying true to their own values. They stress the importance of considering multiple perspectives and casting a wide net in order to distill them into a coherent point of view.


The hosts also address the contentious nature of public discourse, both online and offline. They recognize the multitude of voices and opinions, and acknowledge that opposing viewpoints may bring valid points to the table. While they admit that it is natural to feel defensive when faced with criticism or opposition, they express their willingness to learn from their mistakes, receive feedback, and remain open-minded.

Furthermore, the hosts highlight the dangers of people segregating themselves into echo chambers and only adhering to what they want to believe. They express concern about the spread of misinformation and its impact on public discourse. They mention instances where false accusations can quickly gain traction and spread across social media and other media channels. They emphasize the importance of not reacting emotionally in the moment and being mindful of other considerations when in a position of influence.

Overall, the episode explores the complexities of engaging in public discourse, the challenges of balancing personal beliefs with community desires, and the importance of listening to various perspectives while maintaining one’s own values and integrity.


The guest in the episode values listening to a wide range of perspectives and believes in the importance of distilling them into his own point of view. He acknowledges that his own value system and life experiences have shaped his beliefs and perspectives. Having traveled the world, he recognizes the responsibility to balance his own identity and perspective with the needs and values of the community he represents.

Engaging is Important

He understands the importance of blending who he is with the community, considering both long-time residents and newcomers who have brought change and sometimes friction. Overall, the guest believes in actively engaging with constituents, building relationships, and being responsive to their concerns and questions. He aims to be connected and attentive, even when faced with contentious opinions. While he admits to feeling defensive at times, he strives to listen to counterpoints with a level-headed approach and give them thoughtful consideration.



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Montclair Election 2024 Mayor & Council at Large

Montclair Election 2024 Mayor & Council at Large

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