I encourage HobokenLocal readers to do the same (Follow this link for a pdf of the flier which you should feel free to use). Then follow me on Twitter to join the discussion.
Canvassing is a proud American tradition that dates back to Thomas Paine and the 18th century pamphleteers. Imagine what Paine could have done with access to the Internet!
Here’s the copy of my flier:
Who Am I?
I am a non-aligned Hoboken resident who has devoted this day to do what I can to improve life in our community.
I supported Barack Obama in 2008, but this is the first time I have become involved in local politics.
It cost me about $12 to print 500 of these fliers, and a day away from family to pass them out to people like you. In exchange I ask you to take five minutes today to read this, and additional time on Tuesday to Vote.
If you want, you can do more. Please print out a stack of these fliers (or craft your own) and hand them to the people in your neighborhood. And then tell me about it!
Why Do I Care?
On June 9, Hoboken faces an important choice. We can choose candidates who represent a break from the patronage system that is sucking our city dry. Or we can elect the status quo by voting for Peter Cammarano and his crony slate.
Cammarano presents himself as a force for “real change,” but don't believe it. His political pedigree is a textbook case of the machine in action. He has ascended by seeking favor from behind-the-scene power brokers – including property developers, real estate and insurance companies, career politicians, and city employee unions.
This is not speculation. It is written into the financial reporting required of all candidates. It is also reflected in the back-slapping endorsements that Cammarano has received -- all people who expect a return on favors if he is elected.
Patronage machines use these types of insider networks to hold our democratic process captive. Over time, the machine breaks faith with the public and seeks only to serve itself. Hoboken's political machine has elected nearly every mayor over the past 75 years. Look what it has gotten us:
- A crony entitlement system where 80% of the operating budget pays for personnel costs -- at salary levels far out of proportion with other U.S. cities.
- Fiscal mismanagement so severe that in 2008 the state had to step in to take over the city’s budgeting.
- Lack of transparency in decision making and governance that has spawned dozens of law suits against the city.
- Short-sighted urban planning, which favors extravagant "luxury" developments that inject short-term cash into a corrupt system, over any longer-term vision for a better city.
- Neglect of infrastructure that has darkened our drinking water, flooded our basements and streets, and short-circuited our electrical grid.
We can break the machine and build a better Hoboken by voting on Tuesday, June 9. It doesn’t matter if you were born in Hoboken or are a recent arrival. All votes count the same. Please choose wisely.