Our votes should not be minimized
Mar 03, 2013 | 2129 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

I both agree and disagree with Mary Ondrejka about the court's "set-aside" of the rent control vote. I also voted "no" and wish my vote to stand. Hoboken is, essentially, the "sixth borough" of NYC and the rents, here are prohibitive for truly middle class residents. We are currently weighing whether we can continue to rent here, especially knowing the flood-prone tendencies of the city. Sandy was a wake-up call for many of us who have made a home in town. Even though there is a free market, Hoboken has truly become a place of "haves" and "have not’s."

While landlords should make a profit in the fair market, leaping from rent control to full market value will displace by financial necessity many residents and deprive the town of true diversity and fair market values, and that's what has happened here. However, when Ms. Ondejka says that November 6 was a clear, flood-free day, I must differ. We were forced to evacuate to New York and returned on Nov. 5 specifically so that we could vote in place. Our efforts to vote absentee were frustrating and ludicrous. The State dragged its feet on allowing absentee voting for days. When we contacted the Hudson Clerk's office to get absentee ballots, we were treated rudely and were eventually sent only one of two ballots requested, and that one in illegible typeface and print color. Because we were deeply concerned about the national vote and also committed to local issues, we fought our way back but it was a stressful election for many, many people. I invite you and other readers to read my blog on the subject (wisewomennow.com/2012/11/11/how-i-got-to-vote/) published several days after the flood. No, the vote should not have been set asides at the whim of special interests but, yes, it took a lot of effort to vote in the November election and that dedication of those of us who made it to our polling places should not be minimized.

Lois Gross

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