My name is Phil Cohen and I am asking you for your support of my friend Ravi Bhalla (3H) for Hoboken’s upcoming mayoral election, as well as Ravi’s team including Councilman Jim Doyle (13I), Emily Jabbour (14I) and John Allen (15I).
I moved to Hoboken 31 years ago. Watching our city transform, I know we are at an important crossroads. For one, our next Mayor will be tasked with implementing the Rebuild By Design program, which is an historic opportunity to invest $230 million to protect our City from future devastating floods and storm surge, like Superstorm Sandy five years ago. As the co-chair of the Rebuild by Design Advisory Group, Ravi is the only candidate for Mayor to help move this project forward. He attended meetings and worked diligently to solicit feedback and communicate directly with various stakeholders and residents, to make sure that all voices are heard moving forward with the most ambitious public works project in our City’s history. Thanks to Ravi’s stellar leadership, we well on our way to protecting our City for the long term, as a model for the nation on dealing with climate change and living with rising seas.
Ravi’s track record on the Council also distinguishes himself from the other candidates. As the Council President soon after Mayor Zimmer took over the City eight years ago, Ravi played a large role in implementing a plan to stabilize our City’s finances after a previous 70% tax hike and near junk bond status (we now enjoy an AA+ bond rating). Additionally, Ravi is the only candidate to have supported Mayor Zimmer’s open space plan from start to finish, which led to a new Southwest Park and purchase of the Northwest Park, where we currently have a pop-up park. Finally, Ravi was a key partner of Mayor Zimmer’s in securing funding for the H-5 flood pump, which is now alleviating flooding in Northwest Hoboken.
As important as Ravi’s extensive experience as a civil rights attorney who has served 8 years as a dedicated Councilman-at-Large, representing our entire City, is Ravi’s temperament. Particularly in Ravi’s first four years on the City Council, Hoboken’s Council meetings could get pretty crazy. Kind of like a bad reality TV show, complete with insults, yelling, and the kind of behavior we teach our kids not to practice. During all this turmoil, Ravi has served as an anchor on our City Council. His calm, thoughtful approach to the issues have prepared him well for the inevitable challenges and pressures he will confront as the Mayor of Hoboken.
On November 7, I will cast my vote for Ravi Bhalla for Hoboken Mayor, and Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour and John Allen for Hoboken City Council, and I hope that you will as well.
-Phil Cohen, 5th Ward Committeeman