1st Ward Councilman/Hoboken mayoral hopeful Mike DeFusco revealed former board of education candidate Vanessa Falco as his third and final running mate at a Pier 13 fundraiser last night.
4th Ward Councilman Ruben Ramos, a supporter of DeFusco as a mayoral candidate from day one, expressed why he feels his council colleague is the best choice to succeed Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
“What’s really important is ideas and bringing those ideas to put Hoboken in a better position … tomorrow than what it is today,” began Ramos in front of a crowd of about 100.
“And we feel that Michael DeFusco, I’ve been working with him [for] the past year-and-a-half has those ideas, has that energy, has that connection with new Hoboken, with old Hoboken that could bridge that divide, make those ideas a reality, bring Hoboken to the forefront, to the next decade as we move on.”
DeFusco elaborated when he took the microphone, briefly touching on what he has in mind in terms of affordable housing, the arts, education and the city’s finances.
“I was knocking on a door last night and I think that I found the perfect example of what a Hobokenite actually means. She moved here this year but she said to me: ‘what is your view on affordable housing?’ We must, we must keep Hoboken affordable,” stated DeFusco.
“But, to keep Hoboken affordable means imagining what the next generation of Hoboken can do and what it is going to be. So I imagine a Hoboken that’s going to look towards the arts. I have a Hoboken in mind that’s going to look towards schools and training our next generation of young children in a way that they’re going to be competitive in tech, that they’re going to be competitive in marketing, they’re going to be competitive in all areas.”
DeFusco also thanked Zimmer for her two terms in office, but said it’s time to start looking forward to the next administration: hopefully one with a more business-oriented approach to things.
Falco, a lifelong resident of the Mile Square City who graduated from Hoboken High School and has a master’s degree from St. Peter’s University, spoke about improving the way city government works – as well as the public school system.
“I’ve witnessed first hand the growth and population, development and exclusivity. It appears to me that, sometimes, decisions are made that are not in the best interests of the people, but of a small minority. And for this it’s time for a change,” stated Falco, also the niece of former Hoboken Police Chief Anthony Falco.
“As the mother of two boys, I want the possibilities for them to be endless and it starts here in this community. As a parent, I want to have confidence in the public school system. I want to know that all children will be given access to a quality education that will prepare them to succeed in this technologically advanced society.”
While tickets to the event were available for as cheap as $20, DeFusco’s campaign fundraiser Ray Ferraioli said the event netted his client about $75,000, adding to an already hefty six-figure war chest.
Other officials in attendance included Reed Gusciora (D-15), Hoboken Parking Authority Director John Morgan, former Hoboken Councilman Tony Soares, ex-Hoboken Public Safety Director Angel Alicea, Hudson County Building and Construction Trades Council President Pat Kelleher, Academy Bus Vice President of Real Estate David Lehmkuhl, former Hoboken Community Development Director Fred Bado, Jersey City Board of Education candidate Matt Schapiro, among many others.