I want to tell you a little bit about my friend, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, and why I’m supporting his candidacy for Mayor of Hoboken, along with his council candidates of Jim Doyle, John Allen and Emily Jabbour.
Two years ago, along with other local moms, I helped create the Hoboken Public Education Foundation (HobokenPEF), a non-profit organization to benefit our local district public schools. The founding team established multiple goals, and my vision was for the foundation to be a resource to help support important education programs for our children, including my two daughters. However, I didn’t know exactly how to help HobokenPEF engage and connect with key community members, and become better known and supported by Hoboken residents and businesses. Ravi was the first person I turned to for guidance, and not surprisingly, he immediately pledged his help.
Ravi set up meetings with key stakeholders and educated them on the importance of supporting our public schools. At a time when our organization was just a couple moms looking to make a difference, Ravi believed in us and our work. He gave the HobokenPEF a voice, when not many others gave us much of a chance.
A few months ago, at our second annual HobokenPEF Gala, we sold out of tickets within weeks and raised over $120,000 for the public school system. Needless to say, I believe our organization would not be where it is today without Ravi’s support.
Ravi shares the same goal and vision as me and so many other parents of supporting and improving our public schools so more families stay in Hoboken. As mayor, I know that Ravi will work hand in hand with our parents, teachers and educators to keep moving our education system in the right direction.
I’m thrilled to join Mayor Dawn Zimmer and many others in offering my unwavering support to Ravi, Jim, John and Emily and look forward to doing all that I can to help Team Bhalla through Election Day on November 7.
Shirael Pollack, Hoboken
Bhalla understands residents’ needs
My name is Elizabeth Ndoye. I am writing to let you know why I have been volunteering to elect and why I will be voting for Ravi Bhalla for mayor of Hoboken on November 7, 2017.
I have been living in Hoboken since 1979. I have raised one son and hosted many foreign exchange students that I am proud to call my children. I am a property owner and a tax payer who feels a responsibility to my friends and neighbors here in Hoboken.
During my professional life I was an elementary art teacher and after 13 years of marriage to my first husband I became a widow and single mother. I have struggled with a pay check that had to be stretched to pay for all our bills. Particularly after hurricane Sandy and the flooding and damage in my home, I experienced financial strain. Ravi Bhalla is my candidate because he understands and empathizes with the very problems and stresses I have described above. His tireless work on the behalf of residents like me makes him an impressive advocate for our residents’ needs.
His role as chairperson of the Citizen’s Advocacy Committee during the creation of the Rebuild By Design flood prevention plan showed that he listened and responded to the concerns of the citizens of Hoboken. He consistently
used what he heard to help make a plan that will drastically reduce and even prevent areas of severe flooding that we will continue to be having in the years ahead.
He is a staunch advocate of “greening” our city and making Hoboken a more energy efficient and less polluted environment. In fact, environmental issues are a priority for Ravi. When opportunities arise to opt for environmentally friendly alternatives and solutions, you can rest assured that he will choose them. One of Ravi Bhalla’s top priorities is to maintain the charm and history of our small city. He will fight hard to protect our quality of life from the overcrowding, transportation, traffic, and parking issues that can make our city (the 4th
densest city in the nation) a set of daily challenges to survive. He has already proven his commitment to strengthening our infrastructure, repairing our aging water and sewerage systems through his continuous voting record in favor of long range planning initiatives.
His commitment to improving and modernizing our school system has been proven by his active campaigning for school board candidates who have led the way in making our schools institutions of active and engaged learning. We can say that Hoboken schools are educating children to be people who can meet the wants of the age. As an art teacher myself, I am thrilled to have a candidate who has made it clear that he is determined to make the educational and cultural experiences of our residents richer and more meaningful. He knows that the arts are an economic engine that will generate economic growth as well as aesthetic pleasure.
He also has the advantage of having great running mates in Jim Doyle, John Allen, and Emily Jabbour. They are a terrific team that shares a common vision for the future of Hoboken. They are all committed to improving life in our mile square community and they have respect for each others efforts on behalf of all citizens of our city.
Finally, I want to commend Ravi for his belief in and work on the important task of maintaining the cultural, racial, religious, gender, and economic diversity of our Hoboken community. He has shown repeatedly that he will step up to defend and protect the rights of all Hoboken residents. He keenly feels, sees and understands the struggles of our citizen’s to afford the constantly increasing rent and property taxes. He will put in place plans to push and create more affordable housing and to build locations for buildings to house light industry and tech businesses to increase jobs and revenue.
In summary, Ravi Bhalla is a smart, savvy, empathetic, hard working, and caring individual who is the best, and I believe, only, choice for mayor of Hoboken, NJ.
Elizabeth Ndoye, Hoboken
Submit letters to the editor and guest columns at firstname.lastname@example.org.