My name is Sheri Alimonda. I’ve been a Hoboken resident for the past 13 years and own 7 Fine Arts, an art studio built largely by community effort. This is my first mayoral endorsement letter, and I’m proud to endorse Ravi Bhalla for Mayor and his council team of Jim Doyle, Emily Jabbour and John Allen.

When I moved to Hoboken in 2004 it was with the hopes and dreams of finding a community of thinkers, dreamers: a unique and diverse community to raise my daughters in. As an artist and single mom I wanted my children to be in an inclusive environment where single artist moms were welcomed.

I moved alone, knowing not a soul-just trusting my instinct to guide me. It was the best move I’ve ever made, and through the community my daughters and I found a haven of like minded people. It takes a village to raise a child, and Hoboken became our village.

My business started at my dining room table and is now a unique studio designed and created by our students, friends, and family. Mayor Dawn Zimmer and her team were at both of my grand openings, discussed my business and encouraged me that our studio would benefit the town. I consider this to be the mark of a team that cares for the community and is involved

Regret

In the presidential election this past year I voted. That’s it.
I did not make calls. I did not hang signs. I did not fight for the person I believed would win. I expected different results, and each day I awake to read the newest scandal, the newest travesty in our country.

and I’m angry.

Hoboken is a diverse town, with diverse community. We need someone that will represent our ideals on inclusivity. We need someone that has the strength and fortitude to stand up for what’s right.

The elephant in the room..

In this local election, each resident will look at the candidates in a different light. Some will vote based upon what they see, and will look at Ravi and see a turban.

There. I’ve said it.

How do we feel about that as a community? Does it matter? Will it influence voters? I think it may, which is why I’m addressing it.

The Sikh faith teaches the humanitarian principles of freedom, equality, and justice – the same principles this great democracy is founded on.

Sikhs at a Glance:

99 percent of people wearing turbans in the U.S. are Sikhs from India
Sikhs have been in the U.S. for over 100 years
There are roughly 700,000 Sikhs in the U.S. today
Sikhs believe in one God, equality, freedom of religion, and community service
Sikhs cover their uncut hair with a turban
The Sikh turban represents a commitment to equality and justice
Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest religion with 25 million adherents worldwide
Sikhism is a distinct religion, separate from Hinduism and Islam
It’s hard to look at Ravi and not see what is clearly in front of us.

A man that has worked with Mayor Zimmer in achieving goals in this town.

$230 million in funds for Rebuild by Design
H-5 flood pump
Future goals include improved transit systems, recreational areas, open spaces.

I could list the many assets this NJ born lawyer brings to the table. But today I choose to address the elephant in the room. In respect to our community, I feel it is very important to vote for the person best suited for the job. Ravi clearly is the person to move Hoboken into the future. Just look at the changes we’ve seen over the last eight years.

Through grassroots work Dawn Zimmer made amazing improvements in this town. She made sure she was known in our community. Ravi is the same.

He has knocked at our doors.
He has stopped on the street to help with advice.
He has visited businesses and will continue to move our community forward during these challenging times.
He will stand up to Washington on human rights.

Our country is headed into uncharted territories. Now is not the time to go backwards, but to continue moving forwards the future.

I’ll see you at the polls.

-Sheri Alimonda

“Elephant in the room” is an English-language metaphorical idiom for an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss,
or a condition of group-think no one wants to challenge.