LETTER: ‘Leadership that Listens’ is the best choice for Hoboken BOE, councilwoman says


In a letter to the editor, Hoboken Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour gives her take on why the “Leadership that Listens” board of education slate is the best choice in the November 8th non-partisan race.

Photo courtesy of Hoboken Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour.

Dear Editor,

My most important title in Hoboken is mom. My two children are thriving at Brandt Elementary School in the Hoboken Public School District.

I have regularly attended Hoboken Board of Education meetings since they started in the PreK program, and I have witnessed first-hand the incredible progress that has been made in the District under the leadership of Superintendent Dr Christine Johnson with the support of the Board of Education Trustees.

Leadership That Listens is a slate of experienced, knowledgeable, thoughtful, long-time District parents. Leslie Norwood, Antonio Grana, and Alex De La Torre took the time to provide and publish a detailed platform that includes increased transparency and accountability, a focus on improving academic results, increased community outreach, improving facilities, and student safety.

Leadership That Listens took the time to participate in the Moms Demand Action gunsense candidate survey to commit to governing with gun safety in mind and earned the Gunsense Candidate Distinction.

Further, the Hoboken Education Association (HEA) – a group of education professionals committed to the betterment of the Hoboken Public Schools – has endorsed the Leadership That Listens slate.

Based on information that I have reviewed regarding other candidates’ personal opinions, as shared on public forums, I have concerns about how these opinions will shape decisions that these alternative candidates will make, if elected to the Board.

To be clear – this isn’t about partisan politics or personal attacks – this is about accountability for fringe policy positions, a questioning of science, and a lack of regard for medical advice – positions that run counter to the welfare of our children, teachers,  and larger community.

I strongly believe that the Leadership That Listens’ civic engagement, volunteer record, and knowledge of the issues is stronger and more robust than any of the candidates in this election cycle.

I also believe that residents should do their own research about past statements made by some of the other candidates running for election that give clear indications about their views on science and data – some of these public comments, which I believe are more than fair to assess, are deeply concerning.

I believe that a respect for science and a commitment to following public health regulations are critical concepts for candidates who wish to make decisions that impact children.

Ultimately, I trust that Leslie Norwood, Antonio Grana, and Alex De La Torre will be Board of Education Trustees who make decisions based on sound judgment and fact

. On November 8th, I encourage you to do what is best for the Hoboken Public School District and vote for Norwood, Grana, and De La Torre – 2i, 3i, and 4i.

Emily Jabbour
Hoboken councilwoman-at-large

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  1. This is the councilwoman who fought against the democratic process in January and directly benefited from hiding the referendum from the Nov 8 ballot. Corruption at its finest. Emily was wrong then and is wrong now.

  2. Science and data…you mean how Cindys husband’s end of July 2022 letter anticipated a week in advance precisely what the CDC issued in terms of school guidance? Not sure there is a better exame of science and data around.

    Yet you and your LTL friends keep trying to skewer her for that. I imagine it must be worrisome to have sunlight shone on all the shadiness and backroom dealing should LTL not sweep this election.

  3. The public had concerns about a high school clocked in at a $330 million construction price tag but you didn’t think they deserved to know Emily.

    You kept it a secret from them last November. You, Ravi and the BoE kept it a secret; the most expensive high school in the entire country was not worthy of the public’s concerns.

    Then you all backed a referendum for shortly after in January, the dead of winter. Because you care so much for the public “concerns.”

  4. It’s great that your children are thriving, Emily, but our district’s performance statistics suggest that most others aren’t. We owe ALL of our students the best education we can provide, which won’t necessarily come in a shiny new building. For you to assert that this “isn’t about partisan politics or personal attacks” and then proceed to accuse the Kids First candidates of “fringe policy positions” regarding science and medicine is disingenuous and is absolutely partisan and personal. The January referendum was a disaster and everyone on the school board at that time- and on the City Council, for that matter – is accountable. It’s time we get some transparency and independent thinkers on this board and I encourage all Hoboken voters to vote for Kids First next Tuesday.

  5. I keep seeing pushes based on track record and a desire to improve educational results, but hasn’t the current board been responsible for the present reality which has us at the bottom of the results table based on test scores (0 8th graders proficient in core math aptitude) and at the top of the table in dollars spent per student ($27,000 per student)?

    General comments about the importance of math and science seem less credible when the board itself struggles with both the math of delivering efficient outcomes and the science of using existing data to build an approach that yields different results.

  6. We can not elect Antonio, Alejandro and Leslie Norwood-Blanos

    Arrogant Antonio

    Millionaire who Hid the High School Alejandro

    And Secret Maga, election denier spouse Leslie.
    Wrong for Hoboken, wrong for taxpayers and renters.

    Evil Elitists who do nothing for the HHA and Hoboken’s neediest. Want to elevate the High School for rich kids, not all kids

  7. Dr Johnson slammed Ms Jabbour’s obvious Bike to School Kids Rally tomorrow.
    Its unsafe and uninsured. Save your kids and schools, boycott the Bike Bus
    The lives you save may be your kid’s lives