LETTER: Team Bhalla is the best choice for Hoboken council-at-large, charter school parent says


In a letter to the editor, Heather Saydah, a parent of a children attending a Hoboken charter school, explains why she feels Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s slate is the best choice for city council-at-large.

Photo courtesy of Heather Saydah.

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my support for Emily Jabbour, Jim Doyle, and Joe Quintero in their candidacies for city council. I am excited to vote for Team Bhalla because I truly believe they will work to serve all constituents.

Jim and Emily have a proven track record of dedicated service to our city, and Joe comes to the table with enthusiasm, diverse work experience, and logical ideas and goals that will benefit all of us.

Joe, while new to the council, is committed to Hoboken, raising his family here, with a goal of making it possible for everyone who wants to stay in town to do so.

As a mom, I have felt the impact of Emily’s tireless service to our community almost daily. In addition to working at the food pantry, running our local Moms Demand Action chapter (an issue near and dear to my heart), and running all over town during the pandemic to hand out food and COVID tests to seniors, Emily is always on call.

She is there to answer questions and address concerns related to a myriad of topics, including traffic, parks, sidewalks, public spaces, and community events.

Thanks to the wonders of social media, Hoboken parents know that they can call on Emily any time and she will always respond with remarkable speed. Emily is a force of nature and a gift to all of us.

In the same vein, Jim’s work has improved our family’s quality of life, adding park space for my kids and working to preserve our city’s unique character by spearheading the plan to save the Neumann Leathers building, and preserving affordable spaces there for artists and small businesses.

Further, in a city with significant geographic challenges, Jim’s zeal for and focus on environmental issues is vital. I am grateful to Jim for all of his hard work on these logistically complicated and often controversial issues.

Mayor Bhalla, Emily, and Jim have made a fantastic choice in adding Joe to the slate. While getting to recently know Joe, I am impressed by his passion for our little town.

Like me, he was the first in his family to graduate from college and to obtain a graduate degree, and like me, he is a parent who loves Hoboken and is here for the long haul. Also like me, Joe has worked a variety of jobs in different industries starting in his teens.

I think it’s important that local government represents a variety of viewpoints and Joe’s life experience – which includes being raised by his parents who immigrated to America from Colombia – makes him uniquely well-suited to problem solve and work with all constituents and council members.

And Joe’s goals, to make our town affordable and accessible to everyone, will benefit all of us.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how incredibly fortunate we are to have had such solid leadership in Mayor Bhalla over the last 4 years, especially during these unprecedented times. It’s easy to forget that in the early part of 2020, there was so much we didn’t know about the pandemic – it was downright terrifying.

Mayor Bhalla, in collaboration with Jim and Emily, made swift, reasoned, and sometimes unpopular decisions that protected all of us and resulted in Hoboken having some of the lowest COVID numbers in the state. I trust him, Emily, Jim, and Joe to put our best interests first.

Heather Saydah
Hoboken resident/parent

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  1. “Mayor Bhalla, in collaboration with Jim and Emily, made a swift, reasoned, and sometimes unpopular decisions that protected all of us.”

    Anyone with a remote clue knows this is utterly false. It’s utterly false in Hoboken, and NJ, the United States, and the world. The scientific data proves it. The lockdowns did not stop the spread of a respiratory virus but did achieve destructive ends to local business, education, health with suicides, diseases unchecked, and other negative health outcomes unaddressed.

    See: https://gbdeclaration.org

    We’re going to see the results of this destruction for years to come. That’s not Ravi Bhalla’s fault but his zeal in locking down Hoboken did not “save us.” The lack of attention for the vulnerable senior population is what hurt Hoboken. Sadly, this goes unaddressed even with scientists around the globe putting the data upfront for critical examination.

    Why people sign their names to campaign crap like this is beyond me. But especially now, it’s particularly embarrassing.

  2. Why attack this parent for expressing their opinion and support for a candidate or slate?
    If you don’t agree, write a piece expressing your support for other candidates with your name on it.
    Heather is no puppet, extremist or right wing blogger, yet her letter is ignored by a nut job insurrectionist failed blogger that appears on pro gun podcasts.
    That blogger should tell us who he supports. I’m sure those candidates will welcome his endorsement -NOT!_ just like the council people in 2nd ward and 6th ward who have to continually disassociate themselves from him – even more than Ms. Mason had to do with her minions after they went too far.

  3. We should all just accept that the failed blogger (“on hiatus”) has no influence on anyone or anything, and ignore him. Yes, I realize he’s annoying and admit it can be fun to call out his nutty lies, but he’s really not worth anyone’s time or energy.

    The barn door closed long ago, let him yell at clouds. No one cares.