I am happy to announce I will be running for City Council in November. I have lived in our Mile Square City for a decade, enjoyed our unique cultural events celebrating Hoboken’s roots, and have seen the challenges, changes, and opportunities our city faces. Though initially I moved here to start the local branch of an international non-profit focused on community building, in doing so I fell in love with the local Hoboken community. From Saint Ann’s Festival to (the hopefully born-again) Hoboken Saint Patrick’s Day, movies on Pier A to the community spirit and innovation that led to the creation of 3 charter schools and that drives participation at the Board of Education meetings, from the Fund for a Better Waterfront (which built the waterfront spanning public space we all enjoy) to the amazing churches all over town (which provide spiritual sustenance to so many), from the Mile Square Theater to other nightlife – Hoboken is a special place that I love.
Having lived on Washington St. and near the viaduct, I have seen the amazing changes in the north and western corners of town as well as the near constant change on our main drag. From the great falafel boom of 2011 on Wash to the birth of viaduct area businesses and residences, the heart and the peripheries of our city continue to evolve.
Unfortunately, our city’s “leadership” has taken the wrong path. Our political leaders are beholden to outmoded ideas, retrograde trends, and regressive policies that make life more difficult and more expensive for our citizens. From special interests, which organize to amplify niche agendas to the sad institutional inertia of politics as usual — radical change is required to correct course and address our city’s needs.
From the fundamentally basic role of local government in fixing our streets and paving away potholes to standing up to the county governments punitive taxation of our taxpayers, our political leadership has rolled over when we they should have stood up.
Instead of obligating taxpayers for yearly maintenance fees of over a million dollars to hedge against the unlikely event of another 265-year storm, our political leadership should have been fighting to include the west side anti-flooding measures within the $230 million federal funding they received.
Rather than eliminating parking, using eminent domain to build a park where once there was a monthly car lot and pontificating on raising the cost of the yearly permit to $300, our “leadership” should have been providing solutions such as a perimeter parking plan and the creation of a Parking Solutions Fund (modeled on the Open Space Fund).
Rather than paying lip service to affordability by supporting discriminatory, unreformed rent caps (that do not apply to many new developments and which create an economic incentive for condo conversion), our political leaders should have been liberalizing rent restrictions on owner occupied properties while easing zoning constrictions to encourage buildings to add a reasonable number of additional floors for rental units.
Undoubtedly, you may have reservations regarding some of the above proposed solutions and I welcome informed critique and creative, non-dogmatic, and out of the box proposals to help our city. What is without a doubt is that our political leadership has charted the wrong course of regressive special interest politics and making life in Hoboken more difficult.
Hoboken’s political leadership needs a drastic cultural change and infusion of new ideas that I will bring when you elect me to City Council. With your support, we can transform special interest transactional politics into common sense solutions that help our citizens without increasing the cost of living. Together we can build a better city.
Thank you so much!
Joshua Einstein is a member of the New Jersey Republican State Committee and the Hudson County Regional Jewish Council. He co-founded a Democrat-Republican Dialogue group which alternates meetings between Hoboken and Jersey City. He writes a regular column for a north Jersey community newspaper and has been published in over 14 sites and newspapers. He walks dogs in town and is an Executive Board member of the New Jersey State Young Republican Federation.