It’s hard to believe, but today marks one year, to the day that Hoboken took steps to become the first in the nation to enter into lockdown, which was soon followed by cities and states across the country. Every step of the way, we’ve operated with one main goal in mind: to save lives – a mentality that still persists to this day.
And while so much was lost over the past year – friends, family, community members, jobs and our sense of security, we also saw the resilience of our community in action. I believe, above all else, we saw the very best of who we are: neighbors who help each other, citizens who come together for the greater good and people who have the spirit of service in their hearts.
Volunteers from our Community Emergency Response Team initiated a call center, signed up residents for testing, and helped comfort our elderly population. The Hoboken Food Pantry was quickly created to help feed those residents who suddenly were without a paycheck. Residents raised tens of thousands of dollars for our small businesses. Volunteers helped pack and deliver thousands of meals to seniors and the Hoboken Shelter. Restaurant owners who themselves were struggling, routinely donated food to our first responders. Our emergency personnel went above and beyond to keep our community safe, despite the risks to themselves and their family.
A year into the pandemic, these acts of kindness and selflessness continue to inspire me. While we were ahead of the curve throughout the pandemic, it’s the way our community came together during dark times, to lift one another up, to support those who lost loved ones, that make me so grateful to serve Hoboken as Mayor. I also want to say thank you for taking precautions throughout the year, including wearing a mask: there is no doubt that this saved lives and continues to do so.
Today, we also pay tribute to the 46 Hoboken residents we’ve lost to the virus. To the families of those who are no longer with us – know that their memories will live on in all of us and Hoboken will forever remember them.
There is now a light at the end of the tunnel. With greater access to vaccines on the horizon, I am optimistic that we are moving towards a post pandemic world. Please know that we won’t rest as a City and administration until each and every person who wants a vaccine has access to one.
Until then, we can’t afford to let up on the efforts we’ve all taken to save lives. It’s on all of us to continue wearing a mask, to practice social distancing, avoiding travel out of state and getting tested when necessary. And when it’s your turn, please get vaccinated. And if I can ask you for one more thing, please continue to support our local businesses. They are the heart of our city.
If the past 365 days has taught me anything, it’s that Hoboken is resilient. Our citizens are brave, generous and strong. During tough times, we pull together. Because we’re one community, one City, and together, we will continue to move Hoboken forward.
Brighter days are ahead.
P.S. Our collective community wide-effort to proactively confront the virus in 2020 received national recognition over the weekend on CNN with Fredricka Whitfield, take a look: