Dear Neighbors,

As election day fast approaches, I’m glad to lend my full support to Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his Council team: Jim Doyle, Joe Quintero, and Emily Jabbour.

Some other prominent Third Ward residents have joined me. A few examples like Coach Charles “Buddy” Matthews who has been an outstanding role model, Coach, and educator for our children and Tom & Eileen Foley, who collectively, have been caring for our youngest and oldest neighbors. Eileen as an educator and Tom as our head of Senior Services.

The past year and a half have been trying times for our community. The pandemic has tested Hoboken residents in ways that we’ve never experienced in our lifetime. But throughout it all – Mayor Bhalla, along with his team in Emily and Jim, worked around the clock to ensure that Hoboken shut down to stem the spread of the virus – a decision that led the rest of the country into taking the pandemic seriously. I worked closely with the Mayor and Councilmembers Jabbour, and Doyle and I can say without question that if it were not for our collective efforts on vaccines, testing, meals for seniors, and more – Hoboken would have seen more lives lost.

Beyond the pandemic, I’ve worked hand-in-hand with the Mayor and his team on everything from expanding the HOP bus service, acquiring additional open space at 800 Monroe for an additional park in the third ward, moving forward on the Northwest Resiliency Park to become New Jersey’s largest resiliency park, and much, much more. What I appreciate about them is that they act with the best interests of Hoboken residents, even if it isn’t a popular decision. When push comes to shove, we’ve always found common ground, compromising on solutions even if we didn’t always agree. That’s what government is about, and what I love about serving on the Hoboken City Council.

I’ve gotten to know Joe, also a third ward resident, and I know his heart is in the right place. Joe, is committed to working with everyone on the City Council, leaving the politics behind. As Chair of the Transportation and Parking sub-committee on the Council, I look forward to having Joe’s advocacy on pedestrian safety issues of which he cares deeply. I also know Joe to be a strong supporter of our Hoboken Public School District, as his five-year-old daughter attends Wallace School. Finally, what impresses me about Joe is that he plans to hold open office hours in all parts of Hoboken, so no one is left behind.

Whether you’re a born and raised resident or you only moved here a few months ago, we should all support a team that will truly do the best for Hoboken – and that team is Team Bhalla. I along with Buddy, Eileen and Tom urge you to vote for Mayor Bhalla, Jim Doyle (5-H), Joe Quintero (6-H), and Emily Jabbour (7-H) on Tuesday, November 2.

Michael Russo

Third Ward City Councilman