LETTER: ‘Leadership that Listens’ Hoboken BOE slate are already improving our schools


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken parent Tammy Li Peng says the “Leadership that Listens” Board of Education slate are already improving our schools.

Photos courtesy of Tammy Li Peng.

Dear Editor,

Leadership that Listens candidates are transparent, experienced, and already improving our public schools.

Transparency. It is a word that is being thrown around a LOT in this Board of Ed election. But what does it actually mean for our Board of Ed candidates to be transparent?

Definitions for being transparent include “readily understood,” “free from pretense or deceit,” and “characterized by accessibility of information.”

All of these things hold true for the Leadership that Listens slate and have always held true to me for superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson as well.

My first conversation with Dr. Johnson was in 2018 at a Hoboken Public Education Foundation Moms Night Out when my older son was still only in Pre-K.

I was immediately drawn into her detailed vision to serve kids of all socioeconomic backgrounds and raise the academic level of the middle school.

Witnessing progress in these goals and a plethora of other accomplishments in our district has been a huge part of what has kept my family in Hoboken, and this sentiment is shared with all of the public school parents I interact with.

But after a failed referendum earlier this year to fund a long-range facilities plan, it is obvious that there is a lack of trust and communication with a part of our community.

I am confident that the Leadership that Listens slate has the integrity and breadth of experience to mend and improve this.

Board of Ed meetings have always been open to the public, however, LTL has stated a platform on their website that calls for the meetings to be live streamed in real time.

Furthermore, Leslie, Antonio and Alex call for all strategic plans and monthly financials to be published for public consumption.

They also want to conduct regular community roundtables. These are all incredibly direct ways to build more transparency with our BoE. They’ve already started this transparent and accessible culture by scheduling multiple Meet and Greets all through town!

When I searched for ways that the other slate suggests making the BoE more transparent, I only find platitudes but no actionable items and a very sparse social media channel.

On a personal note, Leslie and my older sons have known each other since they were toddlers in daycare.

I know that she is principled and operates with a no-nonsense approach, both in her career as a securities lawyer focusing on infrastructure finance (isn’t this the added voice and exact experience we want in the BoE for discussing a future plan for facilities needs?) and as a citizen.

Her wealth of knowledge is astounding and her ability to explain it in layman’s terms is just as impressive. I know she will scrutinize and challenge every decision the BoE has to make, and we will be better for it.

Leslie, Alex and Antonio have already proven their commitment to the Hoboken public school district for over a decade by sending their kids from Pre-K through high school and personally putting in blood, sweat and tears to improve the schools, whether through the PTO, the Hoboken Public Education Foundation, or the Board of Ed.

Their long track record as committed and humble public servants with no hidden agendas or political aspirations is as clear as day, and I am thankful and proud to vote for them for our Board of Education.

Tammy Peng has been a resident of Hoboken since 2008 and volunteers on the leadership team of the Hoboken Community Center Pantry. She and her husband have two kids in the public school district.

Leadership that Listens: https://www.leadershipthatlistenshoboken.com/

Hoboken Public Education Fund: http://www.hobokenpef.org/

Meet and Greets: https://www.leadershipthatlistenshoboken.com/events

Leslie, Alex and Antonio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc5suH2tNPo&t=3s

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  1. LTL would be more aptly named LTLTTT – leadership that listens to themselves talk. Describing campaign events like meet and greets as evidence of a commitment to transparency shows just how out of touch these people have become with the concepts of transparency and accountability.

    They seem to think messaging and transparency are one and the same. They are very much not. Transparency means providing the public in a timely manner with compete, objective, honest information devoid of spin. The manner in which the high school project was developed and the bond vote was scheduled was pretty much a case study in government not just failing to be transparent, but actively conspiring not to be.

    Here in the real world, no government entity devoid of diversity of opinion will ever voluntarily be transparent or genuinely consider input from people who disagree.

    Simply put – single party rule is the antithesis of democracy. I am voting for KF because my belief in democracy demands having a diversity of viewpoints represented on the Board. At least for the next year, majority control and therefore actual policy will not change. Since a lot of progress has been made since the changeover from the old guard, I consider that a good thing.

    All that will change is that the ruling faction will be more accountable and have to work to earn the right to keep control next year. Barring the unexpected or an effort to push the same project through again, I would probably support them then and most Hoboken voters probably would too

    There is literally no downside in putting KF’s diversity of opinion in as a minority unless you believe in the infallibility of the current ruling regime. And that belief is simply incompatible with a belief in democracy

  2. Donald Trump is not running for the Hoboken School Board.
    The School Board election should be non partisan.
    Almost all of the people involved in misleading and hiding the public about the $330 million construction project in an forcing a take it or leave it referendum were Democrats. Does that make all Democrats evil?

    A second hate and fear mongering LTL mailer arrived in voters mailboxes today.

    Voting to have someone on the Hoboken School Board who will question the bully mob is a good thing.

  3. “But after a failed referendum earlier this year to fund a long-range facilities plan, it is obvious that there is a lack of trust and communication with a part of our community.”

    That’s a mischaracterization. The reality is that the BOE spent years and millions developing a plan behind closed doors with no community input whatsoever. Then, they tried to spring it out in a dead-of-winter referendum, giving voters only six weeks to consider it. They created the lack of trust. They were the ones who didn’t communicate. Now, our children will pay the price because they’re stuck with inadequate facilities for years to come. That is on the candidates of LTL.

  4. You want transparency? Here’s what’s transparent? Liars that Lie (LTL) and the BoE people behind them refuse to get the message.

    We’re going to send another one in November.