In a letter to the editor, Hoboken Housing Authority Vice Chairman James Sanford says that Frank Raia’s conviction of vote-by-mail fraud shows it’s time to declare an independent HHA.
For the past 6 years I’ve served as a Commissioner on the Hoboken Housing Authority Board.
Last May I was elected to serve another term as Vice Chair of the HHA. As a public housing
advocate I am on the front line defending the HHA, our staff, and our residents. The needs of HHA residents must come first!
The needs of politicians are far from first!
Now a jury has confirmed what many of us have long suspected in Hoboken; illegal vote buying operations targeting HHA residents do exist! The blatant shameless corruption of our democratic process must end. Preying upon HHA residents must stop!
When I joined the HHA it was a very dark time. Imagine being a resident without a lock on your door. Now imagine being told to “vote the right way” or else. Between the false choice of cash for votes or eviction from your home; what would you do?
I hate that the most vulnerable members of our community endured this rampant corruption.
And, I have nothing but contempt for the politicians who engage in these manipulative schemes.
We should all feel indignation for these people who think that everyone has a price, elections are for sale, and citizens likes us are just rubes waiting to be easily fooled again.
When we needed a new Executive Director I hired a competent professional from outside of
New Jersey. Together we have worked to improve the living conditions of HHA residents.
Unfortunately, success is fleeting without public support. Vigilance is the price we pay for the cost of corruption.
Our residents have the right to be safe, left alone, and free to vote for whomever THEY choose.
I will not stand for any form of intimidation, retaliation, or coercion of HHA residents and staff!
Therefore, to all members of our community, please follow my lead in calling on all candidates running for Hoboken City Council to sign the following pledge:
1. Unequivocally denounce any GOTV campaign and similarly organized schemes that pay voters to volunteer for a candidate or issue based campaign.
2. Refrain from campaigning on HHA property or at HHA sponsored events.
3. Commit to an apolitical HHA where both residents and staff are free from political coercion, intimidation, and interference.
4. Donate all money received from Mr. Raia, his affiliated third party entities, and any other entity or person affiliated with similar paid voter volunteer schemes. Further, that all donations be made directly to the Hoboken Housing Authority as contrition for the many years of serial abuses committed against HHA residents and our community at large.
5. That all city council candidates who sign this pledge will hold accountable all candidates who fail to honor this pledge.
Hoboken has been through enough of this corruption. As an unpaid volunteer fighting for our community; I have had enough! Again, join with me in defending the HHA and declaring our freedom from public corruption!
Hoboken Housing Authority