For the last four years as your Councilman I’ve been proud to represent downtown Hoboken as an independent voice on the City Council. When I first ran, I promised to bring new energy and new ideas to a stale political conversation, and that’s exactly what I’ve done. .
Just recently I advanced a plan to bring a marketplace experience to Lackawanna Terminal, much like Chelsea Market in Manhattan or Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. This is a game changing activation that I have long envisioned and sought after to encourage makers, creators and tech innovators to bring their talents and skills to Hoboken. I have passed legislation that establishes new small businesses districts to bring more retail spaces, dining options and corner stores into our neighborhoods, as well as establishing a plan to re-open neglected kiosks on Pier A. I’ve also advocated to make the best of underutilized city property by bringing public art to our community and securing our neighborhood’s first dog run on Hudson Street.
With Hoboken’s water mains crumbling before our eyes, I pushed for a new contract with SUEZ that requires the private water provider to make $30 million in critical infrastructure repairs while avoiding a costly lawsuit. I’ve stood up against predatory parking enforcement to prevent the city from monopolizing on small parking violations at the expense of Hoboken residents while integrating new technology to provide real time availability of spaces, to make parking easier. I also secured necessary funding to make our streets safer and more attractive, like the upcoming Newark Street redesign project -- which will make Hoboken more friendly whether you drive, walk or bike -- and the historic preservation of Court Street, our city’s oldest street.
As you can see, I’ve been busy these past four years working hard for you and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together. With my re-election approaching, I need your help to continue the progress.
Since taking office, I’ve been proud to identify ways for us to improve the quality of life in our community, like adding more trash cans throughout downtown Hoboken to keep our streets clean. I have always stood up to the bars who have failed to control the rowdy crowds and loud noise they attract to our neighborhood. Unfortunately, my opponent is unwilling to do the same as a candidate who is being supported by some of the most disruptive bars in the entire city. We need a council representative who is going to protect our neighborhood and not look the other way when it’s politically convenient.
November 5th is Election Day and your vote is your voice. Much like in 2017, the opposition is again armed with a powerful Super PAC that will pour special-interest money into our local election to intentionally spread false information and fund mudslinging. They are doing this to distract from the unprecedented fact that my opponent is a City Hall insider and paid aide to the mayor looking to push a political agenda, rather than serve as an independent leader. She has refused to take a temporary leave from her public job while she runs for public office, creating a serious conflict of interest.
Being an elected official has never been about a job title for me. As a media executive at a Fortune 500 company, I have been able to bring a private sector mindset to our local government, helping it operate more efficiently and transparently. Unlike many, I am not afraid to stand up to the mayor to make Hoboken work for all of us, like earlier this year when I fought to stop the administration’s ill-conceived parking rate hikes or when I worked with my colleagues to size back the mayor’s massive tax increase.
At the same time, the mayor and I have worked together on a number of important initiatives. I’ve supported over 90 percent of his agenda, making it better in the process. I’ll continue to be an independent voice on the City Council who works with the Mayor when he’s right and holds him accountable when he’s wrong, because that’s the kind of honest leadership Hoboken deserves.
Our grassroots movement has always been about bringing new energy and new ideas to the forefront of Hoboken politics. It’s been an honor and privilege to serve as your Councilman and I hope to have your support again this November 5 to continue the progress we have made together.
Mike DeFusco is a lifelong resident of New Jersey and Hoboken homeowner. In November 2015, he defeated a 21-year incumbent to represent Hoboken’s First Ward on the City Council. Prior to his election, he served five years as the youngest-ever Commissioner on the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Mike works in the private sector as a media executive at a Fortune 500 company in Manhattan where he is responsible for managing a multi-million dollar budget and a large team of employees. He's a progressive Democrat who believes strongly in the party's core values of inclusiveness, fairness and opportunity.