In an editorial, Rachel Hodes details the last four years from the perspective of a local partisan position after being re-elected chair of the Hoboken Democratic Committee.
Just four years ago, in November 2016, the Presidential Election gutted me. I was distraught, and completely at a loss as to how to do something – anything to help our country.
After some nudging from my husband, I signed up to run for The Hoboken Democratic Committee, the most local branch of The Democratic Party.
My first campaign was focused on youth engagement, voter registration, and getting Democrats elected in Hudson County and across the country.
Today, having just been re-elected to my second term as Chair of the Hoboken Dems, I
see a committee which fulfills those dreams, and so much more.
Almost half of our committee is under the age of 50, and nearly 40% of the committee
was just elected to their first term in office.
Our Executive Committee is comprised of some of Hoboken’s most committed community leaders, and is diverse in age, ethnic background, and life experience.
As we entered this most recent election cycle, I worried about our ability to recruit passionate people to run for committee.
Between COVID restrictions, pandemic fatigue, and burnout from the 2020 election, it seemed folks might be done raising their hand and volunteering their time.
I could not have been more wrong.
People are fired up and raring to go and The Hoboken Democratic Committee is ready
The past four years have shown us how important it is to be engaged politically, and the events of January 6 at the Capitol reminded us how truly fragile our Democracy is.
We cannot and will not give up our fight to for the principles of the Democratic Party
that drove us to this moment in time – voting rights, healthcare for all, strict gun control,
racial justice, reproductive freedom, climate change mitigation, criminal justice reform,
protections for our LGBTQ+ friends, and so much more.
I couldn’t be prouder of the team elected last night to lead this work on the Executive
Committee – returning for second terms are 1st Vice Chair Phil Cohen, 2nd Vice Chair
Eileen Carvalho, 3 rd Vice Chair Joe Quintero, Recording Secretary Nora Martínez
DeBenedetto, Corresponding Secretary Vera Sirota, and Treasurer Marla Decker; and
joining us for the first time is Sergeant-at-Arms Reny Rosado.
Last year, with the Presidency and both Chambers of Congress up for grabs, our
community pushed us to think bigger and bolder. We had to do things differently.
Many of the young people on our committee rose to the challenge – our campaign strategy was developed by someone in their 30s, our relationships with campaigns across the country were brokered through 20-somethings, and our voter registration committee is
comprised entirely of millennials and Gen Zers.
The world is shifting constantly and younger people are demanding more of their
elected officials than ever before. And for us, here in Hoboken, that means creating more room at the table, for everyone.
The Hoboken Democratic Committee is a place where people across generations are coming together to work on common issues and continue with the same fervor of the past four years.
All those successful campaign efforts previously mentioned – they wouldn’t have worked without our senior members activating their long-standing networks of activists.
I look forward to the work we will do, together with those who have supported us along the way – our two Honorary Chairs Mayor Ravi Bhalla and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro, the Hudson County Democratic Organization Chairwoman Amy DeGise, and our county and state representatives Commissioner Anthony Romano, Senator Brian Stack, and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji.
And make no mistake, we still have a lot of work to do – re-electing Governor Phil
Murphy, helping Democrats in competitive congressional districts, and building our base
of registered voters.
But as I looked out at the committee last night at our Reorganization meeting and saw the faces of lifelong Hoboken residents, mixed with new transplants, I feel confident that together we can help shape the future of the Democratic Party, for our friends, neighbors, children, and grandmas alike.
Hoboken Democratic Committee Chair