It has been a long, winding, and difficult road on the way to saving rent control in the City of Hoboken. But as of Tuesday, Nov. 27, twenty-one days after the election, all the votes have finally been counted and on Hoboken Public Question 2 (to decontrol all rental units on vacancy), the ‘No’ vote prevailed with a 52 vote lead. This result seems inconsistent with the tally of the Nov. 6 voting machine ballots (before the absentee ballots were counted) where the ‘No’ vote was 560 votes ahead. Gee, why do you suppose the absentee ballot result was so different than the much larger machine vote? Could absentee votes be bought?
I personally lived and breathed this campaign fight to preserve the rent control protections that Hoboken tenants have relied upon for years. While rent control protections have been under attack for decades, it is especially galling that this latest attempt to destroy rent control was orchestrated by hired mercenaries whose expertise is getting rid of rent control throughout New Jersey.
In our fight, many tenants have united and will stay united to be informed of their rights and to fight to keep those rights. No tenant should ever be afraid to defend their right to live a peaceful existence in a safe and comfortable home without the threat of possibly being evicted so a landlord can maximize his profits.
On the night of the election, I had to walk from Newport back to Hoboken from my job in New York. I was tired and it was cold when I arrived at City Hall for the machine vote results. When I heard that we had won on the machine, I was sedate and reserved. I did not take for granted that we would win in the end since so many other absentee and provisional votes had to be tallied before the final results would be certified. But as I left that night I was pleased we were ahead and I truly believed we would prevail. We had all worked so hard for what we believed was the right thing to protect the tenants of Hoboken.
Lastly but most importantly, I am grateful to many people who fought the good fight and helped us win. I am especially grateful to Carolina and Julian of Printing Lab in Union City who came through during the week of the hurricane and delivered our postcards to the Hoboken Post Office. I am also proud to say I thank all the fine men and women of Hoboken’s main post office who came through to deliver these postcards to the citizens of Hoboken since the Post Office had been closed all week and could only open up on Friday after the hurricane of Monday. Their delivery of these postcards allowed our important message to be told to the voters. Thank you so very much. Many tenants are indebted to all of you.