Dear Editor: On 03-20-00, the Committee of Petitioners submitted a Referendum Petition signed by 1863 Hoboken voters which protested against the City Council's passage and Mayor's approval of amendments to Hoboken's Rent Control ("RC") Law. These amendments would have allowed Vacancy Decontrol ("VD") of hundreds of apartments and would have been the first step toward dismantling RC. Pursuant to New Jersey State Law, this petition stops the amendments from going into effect and gives the City Council a choice: repeal the amendments or put them to voters in a Referendum election. I want to first thank all who participated in the petition drive, especially those who circulated and signed the petition. You took a decisive step toward defending your friends and neighbors from being thrown out of their homes and toward bringing democracy to Hoboken. We are taught in our schools that we have a democratic form of government, but usually our participation is strictly limited to voting for "representatives" who ultimately represent nobody but themselves and their supporters. Referendum is the only form of true democracy left to us, where our vote can have a direct effect on what the government does. It was very encouraging to me to witness the enthusiasm which enlivened the petitioning process: citizens finally had some reason to become involved--their opinion and their signature actually meant something. Rent Control Officer Carol McLaughlin's letter of 03-19-00 was yet another dose of misinformation posing as explanation. It should have been published before the RC amendments were first introduced on 02-02-00 rather than 18 days after the amendments were passed. But public exposure and debate is not the style of this Administration.