Hoboken rent leveling board chair announces 1st Ward council run with mayor’s support


Rafi Cordova, the chair of the Hoboken Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board, is announcing his run for the 1st Ward council seat with the support of Mayor Ravi Bhalla and others.

Hoboken 1st Ward council candidate Rafi Cordova. Photo courtesy of the Cordova for council campaign.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

A graduate of Yale University, raised in Puerto Rico and fluent in five languages and works professionally as a freelance film editor and private coach. He has also lived in Hoboken for over 30 years.

“As a council member, my top priority will be serving and supporting those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community and in the 1st Ward especially,” Cordova said in a statement.

“I will support strong tenant protections and affordable housing, as well as the infrastructure upgrades and recreational opportunities that we all depend on for the quality of life and quality of city services that we deserve.”

Bhalla cited Cordova’s record of volunteerism, which also includes the In Jesus’s Name Charities, an interfaith group that feeds vulnerable populations, as a reason why he’d be an effective public servant.

“As an active volunteer, Rafi Cordova has demonstrated his deep commitment to Hoboken and the people who live in our city, particularly those with difficult life challenges, over many years of service. I know he will bring that same dedication and proven effectiveness to the City Council,” the mayor said.

Former 1st Ward Councilwoman Terry Castellano endorsed Cordova and noted his long record of community service.

“Constituent Services is a huge aspect of holding a council seat. Rafi has done so much for our residents without a title that I can only imagine what he can accomplish as our First Ward Council Representative,” she said.

“Rafi has a deep understanding of Hoboken’s communal needs and a longstanding reputation for committed service. He is indefatigable especially in support of those most vulnerable within our community.”

Eileen Carvalho, a Hoboken Democratic Committee member who lives in the 1st Ward, said she is also supporting Cordova since “I know he will fight for us, helping all who need help.”

With 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, who unseated Castellano after about two decades in office in 2015, not seeking re-election, Cordova is the first candidate to challenge Paul Presinzano in the downtown race for the open seat.

He formally kicked off his campaign on Tuesday after announcing he would be running early this year.

The non-partisan Hoboken city council races are on November 7th.

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  1. Tough position, considering rent has been a key issue this year , it’s going to be tough to defend his record with all these massive hikes

    • Hoboken’s Rent Leveling and Stabilization Board under Mayor Bhalla’s hand picked representatives has been and absolute failure and disgrace. Bhalla picking Cordova as his candidate for the First Ward is why his other City Council puppets have been bending over backwards recently to find ways to praise Boards actions despite the reality of the facts.

  2. Hoboken residents especially those in First Ward need someone who is independent, challenge and will lead, not be yet another rubberstamp for Ravi Bhalla’s city council crew. That is not what Mr. Cordoba is or has ever been.

  3. If the rent leveling board chair experience is any indication, the only thing Rafi will represent is the current Administration’s desire for a dissent free governance. The rent control issue has been poorly researched, confusingly communicated, and incompetently executed. Those of us in the first ward deserve a more competent and responsive constituent representative.

  4. Rafi’s a longtime volunteer in In Jesus Name charities, a wise and kind and helpful human being. I met him sometime back, when he offered to help my family in a crisis. He’s the anti- Presinzano. Not a partisan. Not active in the social media space, just boots on the ground. I doubt he’ll read the inevitable slurs against him on this board, nor care if he did. I wish him all the best.

    • An endorsement from Castellano is illuminating. Never heard of this guy over decades. Now Terry and Ravi are backing him. Where was he when Castellano, Russo and Mason were trying to sabotage and shut down the local hospital? Terry hated that effort failed and I mean she hated to her bone marrow the hospital was saved.

  5. “A graduate of Yale University, raised in Puerto Rico and fluent in five languages and works professionally as a freelance film editor and private coach. He has also lived in Hoboken for over 30 years.”

    Damn, that’s more impressive than most people currently on the council.

  6. The real question is whether he believes the School Superintendent should be fired for lying to the public for seven years regarding her academic credentials. That will tell us everything we need to know about his character and judgment.

  7. Presinzano told Hoboken Patch: “I think that strength and resolve, to be in this race from the beginning, speaks volumes to the voters of this ward.”

    Does it? Like Trump?

    Presinzano jumped in early to bump his rival, DeFusco. Mission not accomplished. Trump jumped in early to bump off his rivals. Mission not accomplished. Candidates who jump in early have strategic aims.

    Presinzano also told Patch, “Our movement to bring a responsive, effective councilperson to the first ward has grown by the hundreds over the last several months.”

    Hundreds? Did hundreds pack his kick-off? No, it was more like tens. He definitely got past eleven.

    Didn’t Trump wildly inflate his inaugural attendees too? “The biggest crowd EVER!!!”

    Aside from their GOP alliances, Presinzano and Trump are running like twinsies.

    • I get that you appear to be one of those irrational ultra left wing Democrats who equate everything in terms of your hatred of Former President Trump
      The truth is First Ward Candidate Paul Presinzano is unaffiliated to any party

      • once he became a Hoboken candidate, council run #1. Ask him if he voted Repub before his conversion. Let’s see if he comes clean. lol

    • Love to see idiot Dems tearing each other apart in stupid purity tests.

      Trying to paint the Obama New Liberal Paul as Anything other than a obvious leftist is hilarious.

  8. Rafi is part of the Bankrupt Mike Russo team along with self proclaimed Fan of Witches his “Cousin Terry” who along with Beth Mason tried to bankrupt HUMC