In a letter to the editor, Anju Starace, the wife of Hoboken Council-at-Large candidate Sal Starace, says that Ravi Bhalla’s campaign tactics make her “want to cry.”
I’m an immigrant, a green card holder, born in the West Indies, and of Indian heritage. I had to go to speech therapy as a child, because people thought my accent was a speech defect.
I was traumatized by September 11th too, but it was made worse by being called names, spit on, and told to go back to my country by a few, but I was grateful for the many more who recognized our common tragedy.
With each successive mailer from Ravi Bhalla I become a little sadder. It astonishes me that someone who shared the same experiences I have faced of being judged based on color would run this type of campaign.
True leaders unite they don’t divide. We are paying a terrible price for divisiveness.
I am proud to live in a city who without comment or fuss had twice elected someone who’s heritage is close to mine and I was proud that my neighbors had judged him on what he could do, not what he looked like.
When I see a flyer saying that this eight-year public servant who graduated from Berkeley, Tulane Law School and the London School of Economics should be elected mayor because he is brown, wears a turban and Donald Trump hates him, I want to cry.
Does he think so little of the voters of Hoboken that he believes this will help him get elected? Does he think so little of himself that he is willing to stir up hatred and divisiveness and partisanship just to advance his own ambitions?
Jen Giattino has been my dearest friend in Hoboken for more than a decade. She is godmother to my youngest daughter and our kids have grown up like siblings. The Jen I know unites people she doesn’t divide them.
But Ravi is right in one way, Jen doesn’t spend a lot of time denouncing this or calling out that, she spends her life helping people and solving problems.
While Ravi’s denouncing Trump for defunding housing assistance Jen is helping people in Hoboken scared of being displaced navigate through the problems they face.
While Ravi is dividing us by race, party, or heritage Jen is working with everyone on all sides to make Hoboken a better place. Jen Giattino is Hoboken’s most accessible, hardest working, best problem solving, and most compassionate public servant.
Ravi knew that when he proudly supported her and was supported by her in their last two elections. He may have forgotten but we shouldn’t, she will make a great Mayor.
1113 Garden Street