Hoboken Councilman-at-Large/mayoral candidate Ravi Bhalla opened his campaign headquarters last night with about 100 supporters surrounding 404 Washington St. office.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer introduced the public to Bhalla’s slate to the crowd: which includes council-at-large candidates Jim Doyle (incumbent), Emily Jabbour and John Allen.
â€œIâ€™m thrilled to support [Ravi] because I think itâ€™s very-very important that we have a mayor thatâ€™s going to be committed to follow through on projects like Rebuild by Design that will protect our city for the long term,” said Zimmer.
Each candidate addressed reforms that will increase the overall quality of life, such as basic everyday necessities like plowing snow, or other issues like having fiscally sound affordable housing, as well as improving flood zoning while expanding and beautifying public parks.
With Hoboken’s proximity and vulnerability to the Hudson River, Bhalla promised that, if elected, he’d address not only local issues, but state and national ones that may affect the city.
“We all know that climate change is not a hoax because we felt the effects of Super Storm Sandy. We all know that issues like marriage equality impacts the residents of Hoboken. We know things like a travel ban impacts residents of Hoboken,” said Bhalla.
With development on the rise, Bhalla and Zimmer also mentioned how developers have high-powered lobbyists and attorneys driving their interests.
However, he plans to cater to the best interests of Hoboken residents when making critical decisions.
“You can count on me as a mayor, whether itâ€™s the local level, the state level or the national level. I will stand up for the residents of Hoboken and protect our interests no matter what,” said Bhalla, echoing Zimmer’s sentiment of supporting justice within the United States.
As a reform group, Doyle expressed his confidence in the 2017 ticket, even though in the 90’s his campaign team was less than successful in securing a nomination.
“With a regard to the reform stuff, weâ€™re almost a victim of our success because in the years gone by, we would not be successful in campaigns with one candidate weâ€™re all supporting. Weâ€™ve turned that corner and Iâ€™m confident that we will be able to unify under one tent,” added Doyle.
Some of the reform initiatives that Jabbour and other political officials have worked on with Zimmer was the fight for more green space in areas such as Southwest Park.
Jabbour also mentioned her work in a research office for the federal government and how her knowledge could help the city grow.
“It [my office] basically looks at trying to understand what programs work and evaluating how they work and so I would love the opportunity to take those skills and use them locally to help continue to move Hoboken on the right path because I want to continue to make this my home for my family and I think thereâ€™s a lot of people who Iâ€™ve met that feel similarly,” stated Jabbour.
“Hoboken is really not just a stop-over, we really want to continue to have roots here and part of that is being willing to stand up and making sure that this community “