Thumbs up for board candidates, and β€œno” on runoffs

Dear Editor:

My name is Vera Sirota and I am writing to share my thoughts about the upcoming School Board race. I will be casting my three votes for Tom Kluepfel (1), Malani Cademartori (3), and Ailene McGuirk (4). An easy way to remember those numbers is 1-3-4 open the door. These three candidates have the temperaments, heart, and experience to lead the public school district to live its values of equity and excellence. The children of Hoboken will be well served by these public servants.

Tom Kluepfel (1) is a longtime education advocate in Hoboken. He was one of the founders of Elysian Charter School. I believe that his commitment to progressive education is unparalleled. Tom is an incumbent seeking his third term for the Board of Education. Tom works closely with the Superintendent, Dr. Christine Johnson, and as one of the senior trustees on the Board, is a critical partner in bringing Dr. Johnson’s vision to fruition.

Malani Cademartori (3) is an attorney and district Mom whose children attend the Calabro School. Through her husband, Malani’s family goes back generations in Hoboken. Malani is a parent leader in the Calabro PTO. Malani will bring her legal and negotiating background to the table, a great skill set to have on our School Board.

Ailene McGuirk (4) is a proud resident of Southwest Hoboken. She is a parent leader at the Connors School. Her dedication to Connors is always driven by an equity lens, something that I cherish about her. Ailene is committed to centering all of our kids and their needs within the district.

I also wanted to note that the citizens of Hoboken have the opportunity to vote on a referendum question regarding reinstating runoffs. I am urging our fellow citizens to vote β€œno” on this question. Hoboken residents voted on this very issue in 2012 and the voters spoke loudly and clearly. Despite Superstorm Sandy engulfing our town, our residents showed up to cast their votes in this historic presidential election year to make their voices heard about our local democracy. Instead of voting a second time in December, we value the tradition of November elections because more people participate. We should continue the community conversation regarding instant runoffs, a topic that has been brought up by Councilwoman Emily Jabbour, Councilwoman Jennifer Giattino, and Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro. It’s my humble opinion that whenever women lead, good things will come. Hoboken residents, let’s do the work in partnership with Governor Phil Murphy to make instant runoffs a reality.

Hoboken, let’s remember 1-3-4 open the door for School Board and no means no for question 1. Thank you!

Vera Sirota