Op-Ed: Hoboken Dem Committee won’t get involved in BOE race & GOP should do the same


In an editorial, the Hoboken Democratic Committee’s executive committee says they won’t get involved in the board of education race and their Republican counterparts should do the same.

Photo courtesy of the Hoboken Democratic Committee.

Historically, Hoboken Board of Education elections have remained nonpartisan with great results for our community.

The work done over a decade ago by the original Kids First campaign (no affiliation to the current slate of the same name) to modernize our school district managed to unite residents from across the political spectrum.

Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters came together with the common goal of improving and investing in the daily operations and governance of our school district. This coalition building has been successful!

Our schools are flourishing! And it was done without interference from the local branches of the Democratic and Republican parties.

Until now.

The upcoming 2022 Hoboken Board of Education races, like so many others in the United States today, are being co-opted by partisan politics. Across the country, school board races are turning into culture conflicts.

Heated discussions about critical race theory, gender identity, and coronavirus protocols, have shifted the focus from the classroom to the cable tv wars.

As the leadership of the Democratic Party here in Hoboken, we are concerned about what these partisan tactics mean for our children.

In the past weeks, we’ve seen multiple examples of this type of involvement in our local Board of Education race.

The Chair of the Hoboken Republican Party, acting in his official capacity, is the Campaign Chair of one slate of Hoboken Board of Education candidates which also has filed its official paperwork from the same address as the Republican Party’s official address.

And we’ve heard rumors that the Republican Party plans to invest significant dollars into the race.

We, the Hoboken Democratic Party, will not be getting involved. It is not our job to determine curriculum, oversee facility management, or create and maintain budgets. It is not our job to bring culture conflict to the school district.

And it is certainly not our job to pull focus from what’s really important – discussing the investment in our school district so that every child can succeed and thrive.

Today, we call on our Republican counterparts to do the same.

Hoboken has worked for years to make our school district a welcoming community where children of all backgrounds and abilities can flourish together.

Turning our Board of Education into a partisan battlefield will only prevent us from continuing that progress.

The election is Tuesday, November 8th. You can look up your polling place, register to vote, see early voting information, request a mail-in-ballot or find other voting information here. Make your voting plan today!


The Hoboken Democratic Party Executive Committee
Rachel Hodes, Chair
Phil Cohen, Vice-Chair
Eileen Carvalho, Vice-Chair
Joe Quintero, Vice-Chair
Nora Martínez DeBenedetto, Secretary
Vera Sirota, Secretary
Reny Rosado, Sergeant-at-Arms
Marla Decker, Treasurer

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    • And nothing but quiet but total support for Ravi’s weed store kickback scheme.
      Don’t forget their Ravi Terror Flier hate crime support. Silence.

  1. Does Rachel think we are all idiots? She is literally one of the two endorses of the Leadership that Lies slate. Something like 70% of Dems voter against the Referendum, and yet she still has her Vote Yes picture on Twitter.

    Most of the people who signed, are actively involved in the BoE slates campaign, and they best they could do is “we heard a rumor”.

    We need Democrats who stand for Democracy, not this group who are the same corrupt machine, until they inevitably start going to jail like usual. If you guys actually cared start with Grana and his misogyny towards women without children.

    • Based on their passed actions Rachel, Christina and their board of rubber stamps do think Hoboken taxpayers are idiots or uninformed to the point they can be bullied and manipulated. They will keep trying.

      Councilman Cohen a very well compensated lawyer who also collects a second salary and benefits from Hoboken taxpayers, he is not at all concerned about any possible monumental tax increase that a runaway School Board could be a crushing on burden Hoboken taxpayers. If it ever does he will just vote himself another tens of thousand of dollars taxpayer paid raise.

  2. This is a wonderful op ed! I applaud these non-partisan Democrats for staying out of BOE matters in the same way we all did when we tried to pull a fast one over you back in January. No one on my administration knew about the $290M high school; we only learned about it when it was released and had the same runway that the public had. It was just a coincidence that Philip, Emily, Joseph, and I all spoke out in favor of it. Seriously. We need to focus on Hoboken priorities and leave our education system to the elected officials at the BOE. In the same way, I will continue to stay out of national politics like abortion and Black Lives Matter, and advocate for the rights of Asian-Americans and other communities of color, both in the workplace and in connection with public accommodation and police misconduct and excessive force claims. I will be helping our firm in its own diversity and inclusion efforts as a member of our Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

  3. The Hoboken Dem COMMITTEE is abstaining from supporting (a.k.a. DONATING) to any BoE candidate or campaign… that does not stop member INDIVIDUALS from exercising their right free political speech, and expressing support for a candidate or campaign– likewise donating.

    That concept too difficult for you? (Answer: YES)

    Mind you, I disagree with the Hoboken Dems’ position in this election cycle. Gotta fight fire with fire.

    Branco and Pavel have shown they pump GOP money into their campaigns, no reason to expect anything different this time. It’s a worthwhile investment of Dem party money to keep Republican partisans OFF the non-partisan BoE. Pavel and Branco, unashamedly suckled off the NJ GOP’s teat on the referendum.

    Their flow of Trumper cash should be neutralized by Dems who want to protect the schools from Repub infiltration. The GOP has notoriously been taking over local school boards to ban literature, LGBTQ education, censor textbooks, and implement religion in classrooms.

    C’mon Hoboken Dems.

    • LOL,
      Didnt vote no literally crowdfund a couple grand from hoboken residents and win. It says plain and clear in Rachel’s endorsement “HDC Member” This is the same slime that the BoE members poured on us when they unethically wrote Vote Yes endorsements. Most funny is that a supermajority of Dems support Pavel and Joes Vote No efforts and the Non Partisan Kids First Slate. I did notice though, leadership that lies is using the partisan ACTBLUE site to raise money?

    • Funny, Rachel is a Dem committee leader , her hubby is the BA (on the job training ) Nora is the constituent services staff, Ms Caravallo lives in Marineview and is at every free meal event the city hosts…

      Then there’s Phil… while his neighbors and ward is targeted by weekend gangs on cycles, trash in street and home raids he plays national politics

      This is such a amateur move

      Just like the phony Moms Demand Action endorsement by their yacht club friend Amy Faucher who refused to interview all candidates

  4. Its truly a new day in Hoboken when the Hoboken Dems have to resort to Fox news Trumpian fearmongering and slander. Please consider actually representing the views of Democrats in Hoboken, an overwhelming majority of them hated the referendum and want the BoE slate voted OUT. Anyway, or how long can Chairwoman Hodes hang on as party head, the Hoboken Dems weren’t even able to put together a table during this summers Arts and Music festival.

    In any case we should give Pavel and Joe a big thank you for helping stop that idiotic referendum, we don’t need 330mil of our tax dollars going into a slush fund for Hudco Patronage.

  5. To me, a person who identifies as an Indian male (he/him) and can get pregant, this nonsense wreaks of “ORANGE MAN BAD!” and “MAGA hurts my feelings” desperation more than anything.

    Mr. Sokolov might be a member of the Republican Party, but he has made it clear that unlike the current mayor and each of his rowdy sheeters, he won’t let his political party affiliation affect his service to my kids, and yours. I recently met Pavel, and I believe him. And I’m not sure about Ms. Wiegand and Ms. Magen, but I don’t think either are registered as Republican. And, even so, who cares? GOP = Government of Parents! Rest is fine.

    The person who did write this article is correct, that the Democratic government introduced “critical race theory, gender identity, and coronavirus protocols, have shifted the focus from the classroom” years back. Why should we discuss about it today morning? I believe team Kids First Hoboken is going to put that focus back where it should be: on a quality education in the mathematics, the reading, and the science for each and every one of our child.

    Do the needful and “Make your voting plan today!” But vote FOR the child. Vote FOR Kids First Hoboken!

  6. “We, the Hoboken Democratic Party, will not be getting involved.”

    …which is **precisely** why we are writing this Op Ed. We just want to let you know that we will not be getting involved. We’re. Not. Involved. We know nothing. We don’t operate in the dark. We’re totally above board. We’re not getting involved. But this team is bad. We’re just saying that. MAGA or something? Are you scared? But still, we are not getting involved. And we know nothing. And we knew nothing. What racist fliers? We are not involved! At all. Not involved.


  7. How long until these Hoboken “Dems” continue down the long tradition of HDC members going to prison. If they all got together to lie about the 330 referendum, what else are they lying about? Somehow several of these people have jobs in City Hall or relatives in City hall? Hmm?

  8. This is idiotic , but even worse they think Hoboken voters are dumb.

    It’s like the Student council is treating this like a PTO Meeting

  9. I bet the Hoboken Dems didn’t write this. It reads too much like a form letter from the NJEA that the union gets the local slates it supports to send out. “Critical race theory, gender identity and coronavirus protocols” haven’t been issues here, or in most of the state, but if the NJEA can pretend that they are, then it feels it can drum up more support from Dems who are friendly to its agenda.

  10. Rachel wasn’t here
    Cohen was a Mason tool
    Carvahlo was with Russo
    Quintero was still looking for Hoboken on a map
    Nora was nowhere

    The Reformers who created the first kids First were people like Carol Marsh, Dawn Zimmer , Peter Cunningham and Ruthy McCallister

    Nobody in the above photo would have supported that reform team

  11. Forget about party affiliation, some of these folks are simply not credible. A few had to know about the referendum and chose not to share with the public. Why should we follow their lead?

  12. Its impressive that within two years the Republicans in town went from basically non-existent to having the Hoboken Dems embarrass themselves publicly begging for mercy. I guess that’s what happens when you can focus on local Hoboken issues vs having to be beholden to a National agenda like the Crony Dem Exec board. I feel bad for the ordinary Dems in town whose leadership has completely abandoned them.

    • Former Obama operative David Axelrod once said something like, “if local politicians want to get involved in national issues, they need to make sure the garbage has been picked up.” We have a lot of garbage in this town, and these folks need to get their act together – or be replaced.

  13. Theses Fauxwoke young Dem social climbers are silly. They know nothing about reforming government – many in the photo are wealthier today thanks to public payroll than when they joint their little committee

    Rachel and Phil go outside and play, kids need air.

  14. Phil Cohen is the most hyper-partisan political creature there is. In 2018 he is ousted Tiffanie Fisher for backing another candidate for Mayor in 2017 from the democratic committee. How more Hyper-partisan can you get? Now the democratic committee consists of automatons that are all in for Ravi Bhalla. Otherwise known in my vernacular as Ravi-bots. As such, the committee and has gotten away from its mission of supporting democratic ideals and instead backs one and only one candidate, Ravi Bhalla. If you read this as me saying The Hoboken Democratic Committee is a cult, you got my point. Again, how can Phil Cohen be any more hyper-partisan? I simply do not know.

    I find Phil Cohen and his remarks to be utterly sanctimonious, condescending, and outright fraudulent. If he truly believes that supporting the $330 boondoggle of a proposal of a new high school is the way to go, he should own it and spread his misinformation as only Phil knows how. Likewise, Joe Branco the head of the Hoboken Republican Party should be allowed to opine however he feels on the issue as well.

    The only thing I would ask members on both sides is that they say they are speaking on behalf of themselves rather than whatever committee they are on. For example, I am on the North Hudson Sewerage Authority until 2026 and I am speaking on behalf of myself to vote Pavel, Cindy and Donna 6-7-8, to help put the kids first instead of asking the taxpayer to foot a $300+ million tax bill on nothing more than a vanity project.

    Kurt Gardiner
    North Hudson Sewerage Authority Commissioner aka HobokenResistance

  15. It should be noted that HDP committee members have confirmed they were not consulted before this letter was made public. This unnecessary letter expresses the feelings of the HDP Executive Board members ONLY.