Hi, I’m Toby Platt. Maybe a good place to begin is why this endorsement letter is titled “Why I stand with Team Bhalla for Hoboken” and not “Why I’m voting for Ravi Bhalla and his council slate.” First of all, they truly are a team – not just a slate. Second of all, put simply, I’m 12. I’ve lived in Hoboken all my life, (I suppose that’s not terribly impressive at age 12,) and I attend Hoboken Charter School.
My interest in politics was sparked in January, as I witnessed the administration change, I saw firsthand how polarized our political system was, even just looking at these two presidencies. Way back in June, my attention was brought to the mayoral election when I found out Dawn was not running for reelection, and that she had not only endorsed, but asked Ravi Bhalla to be her successor.
I decided I wanted to get involved. I did my due diligence on the candidates and each of their council slates, and Ravi’s Campaign did really stand out. First off, his was the only campaign who published several individual, in-depth platforms on a wide range of issues that have an immediate and noticeable effect on my life. And not only did I like the policy proposals they made, Ravi’s platforms gave an explanation of how this policy or these ideas would actually be implemented. Ravi’s campaign puts forth promises that focus on things that I think are important as a 12 year old living in Western Hoboken – improving our parks, zoning Hoboken’s undeveloped pockets in a responsible manner, mass transit west of Clinton street and beyond, flooding and making use of the $230 million grant we received, all of which Ravi and Jim have proven to care about during their time on council. As boring as some of these stuff sounds, it’s the stuff that’s going make big differences in Hoboken.
In mid-September, I started volunteering for Ravi and his campaign. Ravi’s campaign organizers welcomed me in and got me started immediately. I already felt like a part of the team. I talked to Ravi and his slate about the issues, and I realized they didn’t just have a manager or staffer write out these platforms for them – these were real people with real opinions on real issues, and wanted to take public office and make sure that these opinions were acted upon.
What sets Ravi Bhalla’s council slate apart from his competitors’ is that he chose each one of them carefully, (note that every one of them and Ravi has a career of public service in some form or another,) whereas, I would submit that each of his opponents either just filled the spots to get going quickly or sook out candidates who would help lock down voters.
Ravi and his candidates have personal stake in the city’s future. His council slate is composed of people who have been or are now raising a family in Hoboken. It’s important to me that I know my education and my 9 year old brother’s education and my friends’ educations are in good hands – these four pairs of hands. And frankly it’s not just education – Ravi caters to a plethora of issues important for the kids and future kids of our city. Finally, Ravi’s team has locally experienced members – Councilman Jim Doyle and Ravi, with dozens of years of service – but also new ideas and fresh personalities while still politically and personally competent – something Emily Jabbour and John Allen contribute.
The next mayor of Hoboken is going to have to make big decisions that affect every single resident of Hoboken, whether they’re 12 or 112. Ravi and his council slate are the team we need to make those decisions and continue moving us forward
-Tobias Platt, lifelong Hoboken resident