Residents of Hoboken,
You may be against rent control. Or you may be pro-rent control. But one thing I bet many anti-and-pro supporters will agree on—the 16,644 residents who voted to keep rent control last year got screwed. They voted at the polls and they voted provisionally and they voted absentee. And the well-funded anti-rent control forces went to court with dubious evidence and succeeded in having a perfectly valid election overturned. They were fortunate to find not one, but four judges who did not deem it important enough to examine their evidence of 114 “disenfranchised voters." We don’t know if any of these judges examined the list or not. But we do know that they did not notice the five duplicate names – otherwise the list would be 109 “disenfranchised voters."
The anti-rent control forces will tell you that if HPQ #1 passes absolutely nothing will change. No tenants will be pushed out. No unscrupulous landlord will start to do whatever they can to get rid of a tenant who isn’t paying $3,000. Our community won’t change from a stable mix of families, working people, young professionals, artists, and seniors, to a town with a much more transient population and gated-type developments for the very wealthy. Remember: absolutely nothing will change.
But why would a group of business people spend so much time and money (Oh the money. So much money!) on something that won’t change anything? How are we to believe they are honest brokers? They have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on this because it will change everything—which is exactly what this faceless group of out-of-towners, the wealthy developers, the Liberty Board of Realtors, and the NJ Association of Realtors, wants.
For them it will mean lots more money in their bank accounts. For the community of Hoboken it will mean a loss of character, a loss of community, and the loss of many of our friends and neighbors who will no longer be able to afford to live here. So many will lose so much – just so that a few can have even more.
If you want to reward the down-trodden developers and suffering real estate lobby, then you should vote against rent control. But if you value democracy and living in a diverse community, if you respect many of your tenant friends and neighbors, you’ll vote no on HPQ #1 on Tuesday. No for no changes to rent control.
-Hoboken Fair Housing Association