Hoboken Councilwoman Jabbour: ‘I am proudly voting YES for the high school referendum’


After already vocalizing support in a joint statement last month, Hoboken Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour is coming out emphatically in favor of the $241 million school expansion plan: ‘I am proudly voting YES for the high school referendum.”

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“I fully support our school community. I trust our amazing Superintendent Dr Christine Johnson. I do think our children deserve the best. And I am proudly voting YES for the high school referendum,” she said in an email blast this afternoon.

“This was not a difficult decision for me. The best education shouldn’t be only for those who can afford private schools. That’s not the community I want.”

She continued that it’s been six decades since the Mile Square City has invested in infrastructure for the public schools, claiming “now is the time to make this critical investment” since two elementary schools and one middle school are well above capacity.

The referendum would lead to an approximately $496 annual tax increase per household and includes amenities such as a new football field, ice skating rink, 27 general classrooms, and 11 specialized learning rooms.

The proposal has not been popular at public meetings or on social media thus far, which Jabbour said should be addressed by supporters at the polls.

“I know many of you are angry and have even felt insulted by some of what has been said, especially on social media – but to echo the words of President Obama: ‘Don’t boo. Vote!,'” she wrote.

“This construction project is not just about a new high school – it is about a long term vision that will benefit all Hoboken students and the larger community,” she told HCV.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla, Councilman-at-Large Jim Doyle, 5th Ward Councilman Phil Cohen, and Jabbour all said they were in favor of the plan on December 13th and the councilwoman has doubled down on her support here.

Her email blast came four days after 2nd Ward Councilwoman Tiffanie Fisher became the first elected official to come out against the referendum.

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  1. Emily doesn’t tell us why this specific proposal is a good idea. Sadly, the BOE didn’t engage with or seek community input during their design, so they came up with a ultra-luxurious, high amenitized plan that is maximally disruptive to the surrounding community, incredibly expensive, and does nothing to improve the abysmal educational outcomes for the vast majority of their students.

  2. I voted for and generally support your positions, Emily, but not this time. This isn’t the right plan for Hoboken, and trying to ram it through with meetings during the holidays and voting in January when turnout will be very low is certainly is not the way to decide such a huge, consequential matter.

    Vote NO.

  3. Yes Emily many people are angry and insulted at the way this massive proposal has been rushed to a vote without any public discussion by Christina Johnson and the BOE. They are also disappointed in Mayor Bhalla, you and his City Council Team for getting behind such a scheme. What happened to all those promises of full transparency ?

    Voting NO.

  4. Isn’t that nice… these elitists that dismiss the increase on $70 a month to the average taxpayer. ( as one Yes mon wrote ” The cost of take out dinner for a family”…

    At a time when the food pantry has people from all walks of life waiting in line here on Washington Street, for anyone to say that just shows this is nothing but a school for Emily’s wealthy pals to feel better about sending their kids. While they all live in million dollar apartments and brownstones, there’s still retired, fixed income and rent controlled tenants in this city who will get a pass along increase of at least $40 per month!

  5. So where do some other council people stand on it? I believe Cohen has come out in favor, what do Jen, DeFusco, Ramos, Russo, etc. stand? Haven’t heard anything from them, you’d think our city leaders would take a clear position on such a major issue.