I am so proud to put my name on the ballot to continue representing the First Ward on the City Council. Downtown Hoboken has been my home for over 15 years and working with all of you for the past nine years, first on the Zoning Board and now on the City Council, has been the opportunity of a lifetime.
This will actually be the third time in four years that I’ve had my name on a ballot and what a journey it has been. In 2015, I took on a 21-year incumbent who everyone said was unbeatable. They said I was crazy and would lose, yet we won by 14%. After a year on the City Council I saw the tremendous inefficiencies within local government first hand and decided to take on an even more ambitious plan -- run for mayor.
The political world laughed at me, telling me to wait my turn. I remember thinking that excluding young people from the conversation was exactly why Hoboken wasn’t moving forward. Though we lost the mayoral by just over 400 votes -- under painfully questionable circumstances -- we changed the dialogue for the better and have been moving our city forward ever since.
Many of you have followed me every step of the way on my political journey, which certainly hasn’t been easy. I’ve made a number of personal sacrifices and after facing an incredibly trying time in my own life, I had to think about whether or not I could withstand another election, whether this was the right path. I know it sounds odd for a politician to question something as simple as running for re-election, after all power always holds onto power in American politics — but I seriously did just that.
In the end, I decided that we needed to continue what we started together because if I didn’t stand up, who else would?
The decisions I have made over the past several weeks have set a tone of authenticity for my campaign. I’ve committed to being myself -- it’s exactly why I ran for office the first time and if I am going to continue down this path it needs to be on my terms with my vision. Under the surface and what people, including myself, sometimes forget is that I’m still just a guy who got involved because I had the courage to make a difference.
Things are different this year. I’m not hiding behind suit jackets and polished campaign pictures to prove to anyone that my legislative accomplishments are worthy of their vote… but time for a little shameless self promotion -- you can read more about that here! I want my neighbors to see me for who I really am. Make no mistakes, I’ll still be out in force in my district campaigning, but I’m unabashed to show the honest side of who I am because that’s why I’m going to continue running. You’ll bump into me at Retro Fitness as I take care of myself. You’ll find me on Pier A with my nieces because time is moving fast and I refuse to let that get away. And I’ll be having dinner at Greek Town with my parents, because they, too, have gotten older over the past four years and time is fleeting.
This journey has never been about me, it’s been about us – and I know I can’t do this alone. Thank you so much for your support and friendship. On to Victory November 5!