In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Cheryl Fallick lays out why she feels 1st Ward council candidate Rafi Cordova is committed to housing justice in the city.
As a 40-year resident of Hoboken, former Rent Board Chair, former candidate for City Council, and longtime rent control activist, I am enthusiastically supporting Rafi Cordova’s candidacy for 1st Ward Council in Hoboken.
I firmly believe that Rafi Cordova will bring an important perspective to the City Council that we desperately need: a strong voice for housing justice.
Hoboken’s elected leaders have for too long done too little to address the housing affordability crisis facing many of our residents.
As a result, many of Hoboken’s working people, families, and seniors – particularly those who have lived here the longest – are being squeezed by rapidly escalating housing prices at a time when the cost of everything else has substantially increased due to inflation.
If Hoboken is to remain the inclusive, dynamic community we love, we need elected representatives who are dedicated to the mission of helping to control housing costs.
This is why Rafi Cordova’s candidacy for Hoboken City Council excites me.
Having known Rafi for years and watching him now serve as Hoboken’s Rent Board Chair, I am confident that he will work hard to protect our neighbors from being pushed and shut out of their City.
In other words, Rafi will work every day while in office to preserve what makes Hoboken great: its people.
As we know, Hoboken’s housing legacy is anything but just. Alongside our many successes, we have a sad, almost heartless legacy to contend with (landlords literally burned down buildings in the 70s and 80s to get rid of tenants they did not want), and today housing justice rarely is a focus of any candidate’s election season platform.
Rafi Cordova is an exception, having declared housing justice to be a central pillar of his campaign. To be sure, housing justice is not the only cause that Rafi will support and champion.
Check out Rafi’s website, raficordova.com, and you will see well-reasoned plans addressing public safety, the needs of our seniors and the disabled, people-first development and, of course, Hoboken’s rat infestation.
But Rafi is the only candidate in the 1st Ward race for Hoboken City Council who is committed to addressing housing in all of its dimensions: affordability, insecurity, taxes, tear downs, and displacement.
In deciding to support Rafi, I had to acknowledge that he is supported by Hoboken’s mayor and others who I believe have wrongly kept me off the Hoboken Rent Board (notwithstanding my many years of service), and who’ve also at times denigrated me and others who disagree with the recent changes to Hoboken’s rent laws because we believe those changes do not best serve the needs of tenants.
Nevertheless, I have set aside my pride and disagreement with how current elected officials have addressed rent control and housing in Hoboken to support Rafi because I believe he has the strength of character to be an independent voice and a leader on the council, committed to ensuring that those who live and work in Hoboken have a home here for many years to come.
Ultimately, this election is not about what is in the best interest of any one person or faction, but what is best for Hoboken as a whole.
And I believe that electing a representative like Rafi Cordova who will prioritize issues such as displacement and housing affordability is paramount.
Indeed, in my opinion Rafi is the only 1st Ward candidate who will take on this challenge seriously because he is the only one who appreciates its urgency.
On November 7th or during early voting, I encourage all voters in Hoboken’s 1st Ward to vote 3E for Rafi Cordova to be the next Council Representative for the 1st Ward.