Op-Ed: Hoboken must become a ‘human smile sanctuary,’ council hopeful says


In an editorial, Hoboken 3rd Ward council candidate Ed Reep says that the city should become a “human smile sanctuary” if they are going to approve “waste of time” resolutions.

Photo via Google Maps.

The Hoboken City Council has a tendency to involve itself unnecessarily in national social issues controversies for attention, most notably by declaring itself a “sanctuary” of some sort and then passing a related overly-broad waste-of-time resolution that no reasonable person would fully agree with if they read it.

Most recently, the City Council declared Hoboken to be a “Book Sanctuary” via unanimous resolution, a frivolous pandering move I criticized not only for its cynicism but also because the resolution text itself stated rather absurdly that “all types of books shall be made accessible to all without regard to their content”… which is to say there should be no regard to readers’ age or any concerns folks might have about extreme content like pornography or Neo-Nazi hate propaganda.

And in 2022, the City Council declared Hoboken to be an “Abortion Rights Sanctuary“, which might have been fine if the council did not also pass an accompanied resolution making another overly-broad ridiculous statement very few pro-choice people would agree with that “anyone should have a right to abortion, on-demand, and without question”… completely feeding into far-right propaganda that pregnant folks in New Jersey are actually able to get elective abortions of healthy children up until the day they’d otherwise give birth.

As a candidate myself for the 3rd Ward City Council spot this year, I just want to ask my opponent, whom I know loves his family and loves God, to make a statement fully clarifying his position on the topics I just mentioned, confirming that he was only cynically pandering in his past votes and that he actually holds the mainstream socially-liberal viewpoint most all in Hoboken hold on matters like child access to extreme pornographic content and allowing the elective abortion of healthy children in months eight and nine of the pregnancy. 

Of course, these “sanctuary resolutions” likely have minimal if any enforceability and are fixated on issues that don’t matter locally to residents… pure distraction that by accident (or by design?) removes the City Council’s focus from other vital issues that might upset interest groups.

If I were on the City Council, I would actually focus on issues that do matter immensely to people’s lives, such as the need for a formalized cap or legal limitation on excessive rent increases in Hoboken following after a modified version of the law to do just that that recently passed in Newark.

But since I’m still just a challenger candidate with only so much to do on my plate compared to a supposed “experienced incumbent”, why don’t I join in some of the City Council’s fun and talk about other ways Hoboken can become a “sanctuary?”

As a modest proposal, I’d like to suggest that Hoboken become a “Human Smile Sanctuary.”

With a hospital in Cape May County now reinstating sweeping COVID mask policies, the threat I warned many about when I first got involved in local politics might be on the horizon, the threat that COVID-related mandates and restrictions might never end even after the ailment becomes more akin to a regular cold or flu and less like an emergency disease.

Though I seriously doubt there will ever be sweeping mask mandates across New Jersey again, there is a chance this Fall and Winter that attention-seeking school and hospital administrators as well as municipal public health officials (if not also municipal politicians?) could try to implement local mask mandates in order to virtue signal, without any mind paid to the mental health havoc they will wreak on folks.

Warm everyday human connection via being in the presence of others and witnessing their facial expressions is utterly essential for at least 50% or so of people I’d imagine, and callously tormenting those folks (myself included) who require that human connection to find life worth living is simply unacceptable when immunity to COVID (from vaccines or natural infection) is now widespread among the population, with the disease itself also having now mutated into a much weaker strain that it was before.

Even in hospitals, there is no reason to require masks among staff and patients except in high-risk situations… why needlessly harm the development of personal relationships between staff and patients that could save lives in and of itself with clinical trust and open communication?

To ensure that Hoboken remains a free city without perpetual COVID mask mandates and the like that will torment so many residents, I propose we make the city a “Human Smile Sanctuary” and pass a resolution to put this into effect stating “no mandate to cover one’s face shall ever be allowed by any institution within the mile-square under any circumstance.”

C’mon, Hoboken City Council, you got to pass your ridiculous “Book Sanctuary” resolution recently… how about you give us this far less ridiculous one to be fair? Or how about you focus on something real and powerful that might upset some interest groups and pass a law to cap the rent increases?

The lives of residents are being utterly ruined as we speak, and all the City Council wants to do is make itself look virtuous on side issues.

Edward Reep
Hoboken 3rd Ward City Council candidate

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  1. There’s at least several major hospitals across NJ bringing back the anti-science face masks. They simply won’t let go. In Hoboken, they won’t let go of their grooming “book” promotion.

    Anti-science and anti-children. They won’t leave us alone but fight for the children!

  2. Need local schools to brink back masks asap. COVID unfortunately is back and a risk to our communitu and need to be safe ala what the hospitals and experts are doing. Gov Murphy wont order it given the statewide November elections.

    Really need HCS to lead on our local school front and set the example. Social justice and equity. HCS pillars.

    • It’s not back, it’s Omicron, more than several generations in and never left. Hospitals are empty with their Communist China virus victim patients mostly the unfortunate mRNA victims. That’s a statistical fact.

      Exactly what do you think a mask does other than show your political religious belief and your anti-science ignorance? Dozens of global studies show a virus isn’t stopped by a mask. Anyone with common sense knew that a micron-sized respiratory virus was never stopped by any mask years ago. Masking children for your anti-science political and religious beliefs is child abuse.

    • We should always keep those beset by ignorance, fear, indoctrination and low information among us in our thoughts and prayers. That maybe one day they will be able to accept the well known failures of the lockdowns, facemasks and the mRNA shots debilitating, maiming and killing more than the virus itself.

      Most of all, let’s remember the people who lied about all of it and continue to to this day.
      Nuremberg calls out in the name of humanity for justice. Again.