Dear neighbors and friends –
Everyone has that one issue that gets them out of bed and compels them to take action – whether it is fighting for better education, more affordable housing, a park in your neighborhood, safety on your streets, or something else. In 2011, I discovered that a building was going to be built outside my window on a site that I had understood was going to be open space. Monarch was my issue. My first but not my last. And once we – the entire Hoboken community - all understood that we were betrayed by the developer, I soon realized it was everyone’s issue as well.
What inspired me to get more involved was a few things…. First, was seeing how people wanted to be informed about an issue that they felt was important. Second, watching the community engage around an important issue once they better understood it. And finally, and most importantly, seeing the impact that more voices can make.
Around that time I took over the role as President of the Hudson Tea Buildings Condo Association. The title itself means little, but the position put me suddenly in front of approximately 1000 of my neighbors who either owned or rented in my building – all of whom had different issues. These issues ranged from those that were more individual in nature to those that affected a large number of our community. And I realized that in my role I could help my neighbors better understand issues and seek changes that were important to them.
For example, when the Hoboken revaluation occurred in late 2013, like many in Hoboken, my neighbors were unsure about the process and what to expect. So in response, I prepared and distributed a summary on the process and then later followed with the results of the revaluation including whether and why their taxes would go up or down. When my neighbors were frustrated by safety concerns on 15th Street, I invited them to attend a Hoboken Planning Board meeting as well as a meeting with Mayor Zimmer to voice their concerns and to be heard. And after 15-20 attended the HPB meeting and 50+ the meeting with the Mayor, they were heard.
The public should never be the underdog, but it often is. And I naturally root for the underdog. Not necessarily to always win, but at the very least to have a level playing field to compete. And most of the time, this can be solved with better public engagement and better information – making sure people can find information about important issues, but more importantly in this day and age of multitasking, making sure we are giving people the right information about issues important to them. This is the heart of my platform - Engage. Inform. Advocate.
This campaign is less about me, and more about what I want to do with and for you. There has never been a more important time in Hoboken to cast your vote. I promise that your vote for me is my vote for you.
Thank you and I am looking forward to representing you.