Letter to the Hoboken Reporter, June 1, 2003
Citizens of Hoboken:
In last week’s Hoboken Reporter, we suggested a simple procedure for insuring that all the voters received information about all candidates: we recommended that along with the sample ballot, the City mail a “candidates’ statements” document to each voter containing a statement from each candidate running in the election. This would insure that each and every candidate could communicate information to each and every voter, so that voters could make an informed choice on election day. This was our suggestion to level the playing field and minimize the enormous money advantage that some candidates enjoy in order to permit a fair election.
At last week’s public meeting, we proposed to the City Council that they implement this “level playing field” procedure in the upcoming runoff election. None of them showed any interest in pursuing it.
As we indicated in last week’s letter, since Mayor and Council are not prepared to distribute candidates’ statements, the HCO will provide a neutral “Candidates Forum” on our website: www.HobokenCitizens.Org. We have invited each run-off candidate to participate in this forum by emailing his/her candidate statement of up to 1500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each candidate’s statement that we receive will be posted unedited and without commentary. We are encouraging candidates to include contact information and website links so that the citizens of Hoboken can access additional information on their candidacy.
At this writing, we are pleased to advise that one candidate has submitted a statement, which is available at our website. We are hoping that the rest of the runoff candidates will join in and provide the voters with the complete perspective they need to make this important choice.
In order to ensure the neutrality of our forum, we cannot and will not endorse any candidates. Even though that may be obvious, we feel a need to state it here because we have read newspaper reports quoting a runoff candidate as saying that he expected to pick up the votes cast for one of our candidates in the May 13th election.
If we had felt that we could support any of the runoff candidates, we would not have run for office ourselves. Those who supported us did so not because we were likely to win, but because they believed we would best represent them.
Our hope is that our supporters will continue to demand to know who they are voting for, and that the voters will not follow like sheep and vote for whomever we, or anybody else, endorses. We are continuing our campaign to inform and empower the voter, and hope that candidates and voters take advantage of our Candidates Forum.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Alice C. Misiewicz
Hoboken Citizens Organization