Last week, I took the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. and meet with federal officials to discuss our community’s oppostion to the proposed Monarch Project. I met with numerous federal officials, including our Congressman Albio Sires, as well as Hudson County’s two other congressmen, Bill Pascrell and Donald Payne, Jr. I explained that the proposed site was designated for a tennis pavilion and several courts, a waterfront walkway and parking and that replacing these community amenities with two high-rise buildings will greatly strain our roads, sewerage system, and public transportation.
Our community is seeking federal assistance to help make our city more resilient to future storms and to help solve our flooding issues, so it is important for our federal officials to be aware that there are plans to build two high-rise buildings on a pier that is prone to flooding. That is why I have asked them to review this project and work with our local government to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our residents. The mayor and City Council are all united in our opposition to the Monarch Project, and we will continue to work together to protect the small town feel of our neighborhoods.
During my visit, I also expressed my support for the Vision 20/20 concept plan, which would revitalize the Hoboken Housing Authority. The Hoboken Housing Authority is home to a diverse group of Hoboken residents including low income families, veterans, senior citizens and disabled residents. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I personally witnessed many of the residents left stranded in their apartments with no electricity and no heat for over a week. Our local government promised HHA residents that we would take the steps necessary to ensure that this would not happen again. Climate change is an increasing threat to our community and we must leverage available federal resources to bolster Hoboken’s resilience.
Some members of the current administration are critical of my support for the HHA, because there are no HHA buildings located in the 2ndWard. This divisive rhetoric has no place in our community. A majority of HHA residents, as well as 4th Ward Councilman Tim Occhipinti, are standing with residents of the 2nd Ward in our opposition to the Monarch Project. Furthermore, to suggest that any public official or resident of Hoboken should turn a blind eye to residents who are in harm’s way, based on who lives in which neighborhood, is irresponsible and dangerous. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
As I receive more information from our federal representatives I will provide an update. It is important that we continue to work together make our community an even better place to live and raise a family.
2nd Ward Councilwoman