Guest of the stable: Phil Cohen

A few weeks ago, I woke up to find on my car (and on all the other cars parked on my block) a flyer with my name on it.

This flyer, titled “Lies, Damned Lies and Zimmer”, focused on financial supporters of Dawn Zimmer (including myself and a number of other Hoboken residents – not PACs or corporations – just residents who supported Dawn Zimmer’s campaigns) and also highlighted my appointment by the City Council to serve as a commissioner on the Hoboken Zoning Board.

I believe it is important to support candidates we believe represent the best interests of our community. Some do it by writing letters. Some do it by blogging. Some do it by generously volunteering their time. Some do it by making donations to candidates they believe in.

I made financial contributions to Dawn Zimmer’s campaigns because I support her ideas, her goals, and her courage for stepping into the often ugly arena of Hoboken poli tics. I didn’t support her campaigns for special favors or special treatment. I didn’t do it for financial advantage. And I didn’t do it to be appointed to the Zoning Board, a volunteer position that requires reviewing technical applications and regularly attending meetings until the late hours of the evening.

I contribute to candidates that I believe in because campaigns are expensive affairs, even in our mile square city. Sometimes the people I support win, which is a very gratifying thing, and sometimes the people I support lose, which is disappointing, but that is the political process. The candidates I support then publish – as required by law – the names of their supporters and how much the supporters contributed. This is transparency in politics. (You might have read in the papers about certain Hudson county candidates that were less than transparent in their fundraising efforts.)

So, while I regret that my family’s car and my neighbors’ cars were decorated with flyers like the ones we found in the neighborhood, I recognize that if you want to make change in Hoboken and be politically involved, you’ve got to have a thick skin and keep on moving forward.

That’s what I plan to do. 

The following letter was submitted by Hoboken resident Phil Cohen and was featured in this weekend’s Hoboken Reporter.

If you would like to submit a piece as a “Guest of the Stable” please email your topic, along with 1000 words or less and a photo if desired to  The “Guest of the Stable” series is unedited and is a direct voice to the Hoboken community. 

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