Hoboken is known for many firsts, some notable births, and many transformations over the decades, but on an emotional and moral level, nothing is more memorable and profound as Nora Jacobson’s movie “Delivered Vacant.” I was privileged to go to its world premiere at the New York Film Festival in 1992 and have never ceased to be affected by the message it relays of what people will do to other people because of money and a class system that has existed in this country and proliferated since the 1980’s.
On Saturday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m. at the Community Church, 606 Garden Street, for $10, Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA) is proud to present the screening of this pivotal film along with another, unreleased, Jacobson film, “Hoboken Waterfront Footage, 1985-1991,” concerning Hoboken’s 1990 waterfront referendum, a democratic vote to preserve the waterfront and fight the out-of-scale development in the community that threatened our little town. It shows the strength and fortitude within a conscientious group of citizens who used the power of referendum to stop the city and the Port Authority from overdeveloping and ruining Hoboken’s southern waterfront, seriously affecting our quality of life with enormous traffic and infrastructure problems, and passing an enormous financial burden onto Hoboken’s taxpayers.
“Delivered Vacant” is Hoboken’s own masterpiece that represents what has happened in many cities that have ousted the people that lived there. What is horribly frightening is that the ‘almighty buck’ (as Karl Malden’s Character Father Barry says in the 1954 movie “On The Waterfront”) is the determining factor that caused Hoboken people to lose their homes in the 1980’s and continues to force people out of their homes to this very day.
Recently, I have heard of cases where an owner is offered an enormous amount of money for their property on one condition: “Get rid of the tenants.” Or someone buys a building from an out-of-town owner and then they tell the tenants they have to go because the new owner wants to tear the building down and get variances to build higher! ‘Delivered Vacant’ comes in many forms for a developer who has no concern for current (and often long-time) tenants and view them as only an inconvenience ‘in the way’ of them making a lot of money.
Please come and help support HFHA who are working to preserve the homes of current renters and to fight the temptation for new and current owners to get rid of tenants who have made Hoboken their homes.
On November 6, on Hoboken Public Question No. 2, the voters will be asked to approve rent control amendments that will eliminate rent control protections for new Hoboken renters and encourage landlords to evict current tenants so they can raise the rent without limit. To defend Hoboken’s renters and preserve our wonderful community of friends and neighbors, please consider voting no on Hoboken Public Question No. 2.