‘Delivered Vacant’ goes on the ballot
Oct 14, 2012 | 3956 views | 4 4 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

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.

Thank you,
Mary Ondrejka

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October 14, 2012
....btw I should have added.....You would benefit from some of Nora Jacobson's ethic to present a factually accurate picture of the issue. Your statement that the proposal will allow or promote tenant evictions is factually wrong. It is deceptive to suggest otherwise. It is also flatly wrong to indict and convict all current landlords based on the actions of a few greedy developers 30 years ago. It certainly isnt the way to make policy that is good for the City.
October 14, 2012
No one can question your dedication to the cause of radical tenants---the destruction of all landlords!. More broadly you oppose anything that comes close to helping a landlord improve his/her property.

Unfortunately, the version of rent control that you are promoting has been long ago abandoned by every city considering the issue. Do the laws of economics not apply in Hoboken? New Jersey tenants are protected by state law that is one of the strongest in the nation. It creates a virtual right of lifetime occupancy for tenants in multifamily properties. For you to suggest that events that occurred more than 20 years ago---before the city was transformed by condo conversion---before the state exempted new construction from rent control---belies your true purpose.

You and your group are trying to exploit those that don't know better, into supporting your view. congratulations---it worked on Mayor Zimmer.

It will not succeed with the electorate of taxpayers in Hoboken who know that voting YES on Question 2 is a fair solution. while protecting all existing rent controlled tenants it creates a long term incentive for property owners to invest in their property and corrects unfair taxation on condominiums and small property owners.

Charles Gormally

Bach Eichler LLC
October 14, 2012
Mr. Gormally, in three simple words - HOW DARE YOU. How dare you suggest that Ms. Ondrejka opposes anything that helps others in this community? Unlike you, she is a longtime resident, tireless in standing up for her friends a neighbors. Eminently loyal to Hoboken, the town that she calls home. Ms. Ondrejka wishes no harm to any of her friends and neighbors; that's why she is standing up for her community now, the same way she always has. Towns are not abandoning rent protections! Powerful lobbyists are suing communities and buying off politicians to remove tenant protections. You should know, you and your sidekick brag about how you've destroyed rent protections in 16 or 18 communities in NJ. We here in Hoboken are lucky to have citizens, like Ms. Ondrejka, that speak up and shine a spotlight on your dishonest wealthy developer tactics.

Yes, you are the perpetrator of exactly the things that you accuse others of. With your recent loss in the court system where you tried to pilfer over $1million dollars from Hoboken taxpayers to line your own pockets, the citizens of Hoboken can see how you exploit the legal system in a shameful attempt to sue the protections our friends and neighbors have out of existence.

Let's all join our longtime friend and neighbor Mary Ondrejka on Election Day and VOTE NO on Hoboken Public Question #2 to protect our community.
October 14, 2012
Are we going to have to wait until Mary Ondretkja is gone from Hoboken to celebrate all that she has brought to our community?

If North Bergen or Union City get this level of citizenship it will be Hoboken’s loss.

I believe Mary lives in a smaller (three or less unit) building. If Hoboken Public Question #2 is passed on the 6th, it will be entirely legal for her landlord to remove her from the building, after taking possession of one of the building’s units as his or her primary residence. (Yes, it’s legal now, but there’s no incentive. If this passes, there will be tens of thousands of dollars tempting the landlord.)

Mary’s letters and tireless advocacy on a range of issues are great gifts to this community. These are the neighbors we need to fight to keep in Hoboken.