Mike’s record of progress

Our neighborhood deserves a representative who stands up for what’s right, even when it isn’t easy. We need independent leadership, new energy and new ideas, and that’s what I’ll always deliver as your Councilman.
— Mike DeFusco
Mike DeFusco for Hoboken Mayor

Independent Leadership

Mike isn’t part of the political establishment. As a private sector professional at a Fortune 500 Media Company, Mike is an independent leader who doesn’t rely on a government paycheck and will always do what’s right for Hoboken. He is not afraid to stand up to the Mayor, like speaking truth to power by reducing his proposed tax increase, and demanding greater accountability from City Hall . But, he has supported 90% of the Mayor’s agenda and worked with the administration to make each piece of legislation better to maximize the benefit for the First Ward and entire city.


Mike ensured that millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements from the upcoming Hilton hotel project will stay in the First Ward. He will continue to fight for responsible development that supports important priorities, like building new schools and expanding city parks while protecting taxpayers. He secured funding for an engineering study at Garage D on Hudson Street and is exploring options with key stakeholders to build a city pool and much needed community garden on the roof of the structure. Mike has proposed a plan to bring a performing arts center to the First Ward as part of a redevelopment plan on Observer Highway that will require the private developer to build a new, enclosed DPW garage to address quality of life issues. He worked with Newark Avenue residents on a redevelopment plan for the Neuman Leather site to minimize the impact on surrounding buildings.


Mike fights for the local businesses that make Hoboken special. He passed a Small Business Expansion Plan to help mom and pop shops succeed. Mike brought the first major zoning changes to Hoboken in the 30 years, creating three new neighborhood business districts that will pave the way for new restaurants, retail shops and corner stores to open in our community. Mike passed legislation that encourages more sidewalk cafes and has played an instrumental role in helping reestablishing Washington Street as the city’s primary commercial hub.


Mike is fighting to reduce both traffic and flooding. He fought for the long-overdue rebuild of Washington Street while holding the city accountable for delays and cost overruns. Mike worked for a better deal with the city’s water provider that’s now investing millions into our water system without increasing rates. He worked with County officials to have First Street, a major transportation artery in the First Ward, repaved.


Hoboken residents depend on transportation options to get to and from work and around our city -- as a daily commuter to Manhattan, Mike understands this completely. He’s fighting to increase PATH train and bus capacity to better serve residents, for traffic improvements to reduce congestion and for multi-modal solutions that work for neighborhoods, like bike lanes where space permits and new technologies like eScooters and ride sharing. Mike has advocated for additional bus service on the Western end of Hoboken to address overcrowding and long lines in our neighborhood. 


Parking in Hoboken is never going to be easy, but it should be much better than it is now. Mike successfully defeated the Mayor’s plan to raise parking rates up to 260%, and he worked with the City Council to ban the predatory practice of booting vehicles. He paved the way to allow residents to park overnight in city owned garages at minimal cost to accommodate commuters schedules, taking cars off the street. Mike supports using new technologies to improve parking, like real-time spot availability notifications and truly dynamic pricing models. He fought back against raising permit fees and passed legislation that prevents the city from ticketing cars in the first two minutes after parking meters expire. Mike secured funding to re-engineer parking garages in Downtown Hoboken to improve rusting and aging infrastructure.


The first openly gay elected official in Hudson County, Mike has played an instrumental role in making Hoboken more welcoming and accepting. He helped lead Hoboken to a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index. As the Chairman of the Hudson County LGBTQ Caucus, he’s working closely with all 12 municipalities to better serve the growing LGBTQ community. Mike refused to sit idle when protesters spreading hateful rhetoric came to his neighborhood and responded by bringing the community together for a Drag Queen Story Hour and brunch celebrating love and inclusiveness.


Speaking truth to power isn’t always easy, but Mike has been the leading advocate to bring transparency to local government. He isn’t part of the political establishment, and he’s not dependent on a taxpayer funded job. When the mayor broke his campaign promise and took a second job at a politically connected law firm, Mike fought to hold the mayor accountable for increasing his own office spending by an alarming 40% over the prior administration. He passed a sweeping ethics reform legislation to keep politics out of City Hall and prevent elected officials from misusing taxpayer funded services and dollars for personal benefit.


Mike has campaigned and advocated for a much needed dog run in the First Ward that opened in July at underutilized space outside the Hudson Street municipal garage. He helped bring long overdue improvements to the waterfront walkway, including new paving materials, updated plantings and restoration of the bike path. Mike has put forward a common sense plan to better manage bar crawls, preventing taxpayers from footing the bill for additional security and sanitation costs. 


Mike understands investing in the arts is essential in building a diverse community. He sponsored legislation to bring a responsible public mural program to Hoboken, is working to activate underutilized spaces as canvases for local artists to beautify the community while maintaining the character of each neighborhood. Mike has spearheaded a plan to bring small businesses and pop up shops to dormant kiosks at Pier A Park. He’s actively engaged with public and private entities to soon bring a European-style market to the Hoboken Terminal. Mike’s working with the property owners of 77 Park Avenue to revitalize the pocket park at the Newark and Garden Street intersection for the space to be better utilized by Hoboken residents.


Mike has been a leading advocate in making our streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. After a previous City Council spent years unable to reach a consensus on how to responsibly rebuild Washington Street, Mike brought all parties to the table to identify a sustainable streetscape plan for Hoboken’s main street that will benefit residents and businesses for years to come.   Mike has spent the past four years fighting to bring a multi-modal street design to Newark Street to shorten pedestrian crossings, address illegal parking on sidewalks and create a bike friendly roadway. The long anticipated safety improvements are scheduled to begin by year’s end. He pushed for a Southwest Traffic Study to increase traffic calming measures, resulting in less congestion in our neighborhoods. From these large scale projects to bringing new stop signs to downtown intersections and installing a pedestrian crossing signal at 333 River Street, Mike is committed to bringing the best traffic infrastructure to Hoboken. 


When Mike first ran for City Council, he promised to provide resources for tenants to ensure they were not being mistreated by landlords. He stayed true to his word and secured funding for a tenant advocate who provides renters with the information and legal advice they need. Mike proudly supported a new tenants rights law that requires landlords to provide renters with a detailed explanation of their rights under New Jersey and Hoboken rent control laws. He will continue to negotiate and advocate for more affordable housing options as part of new redevelopment plans as well as investing in the creation of a community land trust to create more rent controlled units.


Mike was an early advocate to bring an eScooter program to Hoboken because he believes the technology can revolutionize micro-mobility in our city. But with a rushed roll out by the administration and growing public safety concerns, Mike pushed the city to negotiate new contracts with eScooter vendors for the city to begin collecting substantial revenue to help invest in the resources needed to better enforce safety laws, promote rider education and make critical transportation infrastructure upgrades. He supported geofencing on the waterfront to lower the speed limit to 8 mph Mike will continue to work with the administration and scooter vendors to identify the best way to proceed with the trial program.