I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and safe New Year. As I reflect back on the past year, I think about the outpouring of generosity that defined our response to Hurricane Sandy and how fortunate we are to live in such a wonderful community. It hasn’t been easy, but we’re rebuilding and persevering because of our shared strength and resolve.
Our first responders kept us safe during the worst storm our city has ever seen, and we are all so grateful for their service. Along with our Police and Fire Departments, Office of Emergency Management, Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Community Emergency Response Team, and city employees from Sanitation, Parks, Health, and Construction offices, thousands of volunteers came together to help their neighbors. The response through the recovery process from our community and beyond has been heartwarming and there are simply too many people to thank. Recently, a generous donor reached out to me about wanting to help, and last weekend we partnered with him to distribute thousands of $100 gift cards to our seniors and Housing Authority residents.
I recognize that there is a tremendous gap between what FEMA and insurance will cover and the true cost to rebuild, especially for those with garden level units who are unfairly shortchanged by the National Flood Insurance Program. Last week I testified before the U.S. Senate to ask them to fix this problem and to provide direct grant assistance to individual homeowners and businesses.
While I will continue to advocate for as much federal aid as possible, I also recognize that the federal government won’t be able to provide 100 percent of the funding we need. That’s why I’m working with a talented group of volunteers to raise additional funds for our community through the Rebuild Hoboken Relief Fund. We’ve raised $250,000 so far and we’re just getting started. If you can afford to make a donation or you need help and would like to apply for assistance, please go to www.RebuildHoboken.org. I encourage everyone to apply because the clearer the picture we have about the needs of our community, the easier it will be to raise private funds and advocate for federal assistance.
It is an honor and privilege to serve such a tremendous community, and I look forward to the year ahead and to working together to make our city even stronger.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer