In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Nora Martinez-DeBenedetto says she’s voting for Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his ticket since they “kept Hoboken safe and secure” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a mom, there is nothing more important to me than the health and safety of my family, and that’s why this November I will be proud to cast my ballot to reelect Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his team. They have kept Hoboken safe and secure during a worldwide pandemic.
In March, 2020, when the whole world shut down, I wrapped an old bandana around my face and walked a couple of blocks to under the viaduct, in a routine that has become frighteningly familiar to many Hobokenites.
A doctor in a hazmat suit stuck a Q-tip up my nose. The walk was too much for me, and I had to stop and sit on a curb on the way home. Although it would be more than a week before I found out for sure, I already knew what the result would be. Covid.
I was terrified. There was no place to quarantine in the small Hoboken apartment that I shared with my husband and young son. We had all been with the grandparents just before I showed symptoms. Would they get sick too? What about my neighbors?
The science was so nebulous at that time, and heaven knows there was zero leadership at the federal level of government. I felt helpless and scared as I laid in bed for over a month.
There was no playbook for municipalities here either. No past practice. But yet, Mayor Bhalla acted quickly and effectively, and as I binge watched some show I don’t even remember, he was taking action to keep us safe.
His only guiding force was keeping Hoboken residents alive, and that was exactly what he did.
With Councilpersons Emily Jabbour and Jim Doyle at his side, Mayor Bhalla immediately partnered with Riverside Medical Group to provide free testing to all Hoboken residents.
Who knows how many residents are alive today because of Hoboken’s aggressive testing campaign? Along with my family, I have utilized the free testing well over a dozen times.
When covid meant that the average trip to the grocery store also meant taking your life in your hands, Mayor Bhalla, Councilwoman Emily Jabbour and Councilman Jim Doyle ensured that Hoboken’s senior citizens never went hungry.
And when the vaccine was finally available, this administration went door to door to make sure that seniors got first shot at the shot.
As we continue to adjust to pandemic life, I know that there is no one better to join Mayor Bhalla’s team than Joe Quintero.
As the son of Columbian immigrants, Joe will bring much-needed diversity to the city council and will be an important voice for our city’s Latino population.
I’ve known Joe for years as a member of the Hoboken Democratic Committee and I’ve seen firsthand how hard he works for marginalized communities.
Please join me on Tuesday, November 2in reelecting Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and Councilpersons Emily Jabbour and Jim Doyle, along with my good friend Joe Quintero for Councilman-at-large. It is the best choice for keeping all Hoboken residents healthy and safe.
Nora Martínez DeBenedetto
Lifelong Hoboken resident