Mason campaign manager: ‘Myths are wrong’ about Hoboken stereotypes
May 20, 2009 | 2275 views | 4 4 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Below is a letter from Jake Stuiver, who helped run Beth Mason’s mayoral campaign, regarding her endorsement of Dawn Zimmer yesterday, and defending the two Mason council candidates whom Mason also endorsed.

Stuiver notes that some stereotypes about newcomers/old-timers in Hoboken are wrong, and that Beth’s two council hopefuls are reform-minded.

Dear editor:

I am proud to join Beth Mason in endorsing Dawn Zimmer for Mayor, while standing firmly behind Vinny Addeo and Raul Morales II for City Council. Like Beth, I am supporting Ravi Bhalla for the third open Council seat.

Dawn Zimmer’s and Beth Mason’s platforms are more alike than they are different, and now is the time for all residents seeking change to come together. Let’s unite and support a good-government, reform-minded group that represents diverse pockets of the community. Beth may be out of the running, but the dream of “One Hoboken” is alive and well..

As a Fourth Ward resident, I supported Dawn enthusiastically in her City Council run in 2007. As a fellow member of the United Synagogue of Hoboken, I have spoken with her a number of times and can attest strongly to her character and values. I share her perspective on many issues, and believe she has the potential to be a great mayor. Working in alliance with Beth Mason will serve her well, given Beth’s years of experience and numerous accomplishments in the name of good government, along with her far-reaching network to different elements of our community.

Ravi Bhalla is a gifted and accomplished attorney whose track record indicates great concern for issues such as rent control and affordable housing, which are important to all Hoboken residents new and old.

The job of the next mayor will be challenging indeed. I believe from the bottom of my heart that a vital ingredient in the remedy to our city’s troubles is a City Council that includes Vinny Addeo and Raul Morales II. Hoboken is a proud community composed largely of people who were born and raised here, whose parents or grandparents arrived from overseas and set down their roots. They weathered the many economic storms that once made this city a much more difficult place to live than it is today, and established customs and traditions that are the very fabric of our community, what makes it unique and special and a truly desirable place to live.

Our current political climate contains a fundamental misunderstanding between people who were born here and those who arrived more recently. Working on the Mason Team for One Hoboken was a valuable experience for me, as it helped me understand the depth and nuances of this divide. Many members of “Old Hoboken” fear that newcomers have contempt for their traditions and rich history and want to do away with everything that came before they arrived. Many members of “New Hoboken” believe that most of the born-and-raised community are connected to city government and benefit from it in ways that render newcomers second-class citizens.

These myths are wrong, and I am here to tell newcomers
that Addeo and Morales are gentlemen of character and exceptionally reform-minded, and want government to function properly and effectively for all residents. The time I’ve spent working with them has been an honor and a privilege, and I urge you to vote for them on June 9.

To people who were born here, whose families laid the foundation of this community, I urge you also to look past the stereotypes and consider what Zimmer and Bhalla really represent. They are fighting tirelessly not to change the character or culture of Hoboken, but to change its government, and make it serve all the people, from Harrison Street to Hudson Street. It’s not about new vs. old, it’s about exclusive government for the connected few vs. inclusive government for everyone. Please vote for them on June 9, and help us build a real team for One Hoboken.

Jake Stuiver

Mason Team for One Hoboken Campaign Manager

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May 21, 2009
It is because Jake Stuiver is so fundamentally wrong about Hoboken voters and so convinced he is right that Mason lost the election. Someone on Hoboken411 said it best, Zimmer's campaign assumed the voters were smart, Mason's campaign assumed the voters were stupid.

Old vs New Hoboken is a simplistic view of the electorate. Tom Vezzetti was old Hoboken so was Cappiello, but the voters choose Vezzetti because he did not represent the entrenched power players of Hoboken, ie; the out of town developers and lawyers and moneyman instead of residents, the school administrators instead of students, the slick instead of the real.

Under the guidance of paid consultants Mason went slick instead of real. Her TV ads, her flyers, her mailers and her consultants had the direct effect of turning voters away from Mason. Zimmer's lack of money and decision to go with her heart instead of professional advisers led to her victory. Clearly, Mason was overwhelmed by her political braintrust, her campaign showed that she was incapable or unwilling to lead from her heart, her reliance on experts was her fatal flaw and she paid for it both with a lot of money and a damaged reputation.

Politics makes for strange bedfellows but who a politician goes to bed with says a lot about them as a person. The Citizens of Hoboken clearly denounced the corruption of the Russo Family who Mason blindly invited to her bedchambers. What Jake does not want to comment on is the fact that Mason choose the defaming, lying, deceitful and may I say immoral Russo family over the good and honest Kid's First school board slate. As Max Smart might have said, If only she had used her money for niceness instead of evil she might have been in the runoff.
May 20, 2009
I encourage you to go meet Vinny and Raul and see for yourself. As someone who spent time with them virtually every day of the past several months, I tell you categorically that they are men of impeccable character for whom I have the utmost respect. They may come from a different point of view, but ultimately they want the same things -- to make Hoboken's government open and accountable to the people, fiscally sound and responsible, and offering equal rights and equal protection under the law to all residents. They are top-shelf.
May 20, 2009
Hey Jake- It's incongruous to support Vinny Addeo and Raul Morales and talk about changing Hoboken government in the same thought. This is just one of many reasons why Beth got her hat handed to her.

There is a basic flaw in your logic. Addeo and to a much lesser extent Morales(because he is to young to have done anything) represents the old Hoboken that you claim to want to change.

How do you reconcile this?
May 20, 2009
I guess it's a start. Thanx Jake.