Reader Mail: Diversity-less Zimmer

1/12/2010:

Will Zimmer’s speech include equality?

This Friday, January 15th at 10:15am, the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Day March will take place in Hoboken. The mini-parade of politicians and notable speakers will launch from Church Square Park, and end up at Hoboken City Hall – the Mile Square way to honor the civil rights leader.

One such speaker is our current Mayor Dawn Zimmer, who ironically hasn’t appointed or hired one single African-American individual to her administration. 91% of her appointments or hires were white/caucasian, many campaign contributors and zero blacks.

Hoboken411 reader Emma finds the whole charade hypocritical – and is today’s reader mail of the day:

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer in White Boys Club

Tired of the hypocritical Mayor…

“Like many other Hoboken residents, I was excited by the prospect of electing our first woman Mayor of Hoboken and believed that this would be a great opportunity for our local government to show positive change, not only by overhauling the structure and practices of our governing bodies, but also by the inclusion of the growing diversity in Hoboken. To say that I am sorely disappointed in Mayor Zimmer’s administrative appointments and hires thus far is an understatement.

The message Dawn Zimmer is sending me and my daughter, and everyone else in town, is to propagate that old stereotype that a woman needs to surround herself with (or hide behind) a lot of men to do her job. A lot of white men that is, mostly affiliated with the Zimmer campaign. Maybe it’s just Dawn Zimmer that needs this type of organization because it’s more representative of her hometown in New Hampshire, but needless to say, she is keeping the old boys network alive and well in Hoboken. Sure, some are new faces, but it’s the same old game of shutting out gender and race equality. Out of 40,000 residents, Dawn Zimmer couldn’t find one highly educated African-American woman to hire as a Director?

I’ve watched Mayor Zimmer and the Zimmer council majority hire and appoint about 22 people. 16 men, 6 women. 20 are white. I suppose that Tejal Desai and Eduardo Gonzales are meant to represent Hoboken’s racial diversity, sort of a One-Size-Fits-All theory?

Well, it’s sad that Mayor Zimmer who ran on a progressive platform of Change and the concept of embracing our diversity as she stated many times, has chosen instead to follow the same path of her male predecessors.

There’s nothing progressive about Mayor Zimmer’s administration. Even my condo board shows more diversity.

Recently, Mayor Zimmer announced publicly that John Pope, Director of Environmental Services, should be aware that she may replace him. I think how she handled that was classless, however, if she does replace Mr. Pope, maybe she’ll find the strength to hire a highly qualified, educated woman of color, perhaps, someone who was not affiliated with the Zimmer campaign?

Sincerely,

Emma G.”

For your information:

Zimmer Appointees & Hires

  • Ian Sacs (Director) – Transportation & Parking Utility 103K
  • Leo Pelligrini (Director) – Health & Human Services 103K
  • Brandy Forbes (Director) – Community & Economic Development 103K & Planning Board
  • Michael Lenz – 4th Ward Council seat
  • Dan Bryan – Confidential Aide 35K
  • Jonathan Metsch – Swine Flu Task Force and HUMC Board
  • Jake Stuiver – Hoboken Housing Authority Board
  • Eduardo Gonzales – Hoboken Housing Authority Board
  • Tony Soares – Zoning Board of Adjustments
  • James Aibel – Zoning board of Adjustments
  • Phil Cohen – Zoning Board of Adjustments
  • Michael Evers – Zoning board of Adjustments
  • Nancy Pincus – Zoning Board of Adjustments
  • Tejal Desai – HUMC Board
  • Michael Kates, Esq. – Corporate Counsel 103K
  • Ann Graham – Planning Board
  • Keith Furman – Planning Board
  • Demeitri Sarantitis – Planning Board
  • Toni Tamarazzo – HUMC Board
  • Forde Prigot – Library Board
  • David Downs – Historic Preservation Board
  • Cheryl Fallick – Rent Control Board

On MLK Day – Monday, January 18th

One other note – on the real Martin Luther King Day (Monday, January 18th) – you can attend a show dedicated to MLK at All Saints Episcopal Parish (7th & Wash) where our students along with some local musical artists will perform. Check the Church calendar later for exact starting time.

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27 Comments on "Reader Mail: Diversity-less Zimmer"

plywood
Member
plywood

If anyone asks what goes on here, this thread would be a good example of off-season.

jc5201
Member
jc5201

I guess this is the nature of any mayoral relationship. People from her campaign, her temple and Revolt were given preferential treatment because of the relationships they have with her, because she knows them best and hangs out with him. It’s no different than what Mayor Roberts did or any mayor before him.

jman01
Member
jman01

Didn’t Zimmer fire Hoboken’s first African-American Director, Todd Poole?

Zimmer is racking up the hypocritical score points.

HansBrix
Member
HansBrix

While I agree that “diversity” is often a red herring and even harmful in the wrong hands (GWB’s for example) there could be a use for it if correctly applied.

The problem with places like Hudson Cnty is that when large groups of people are more loyal to their ethnicity than their political geography, and they occupy the power structure, ethnic spoils systems develop.

How many people in Hoboken do you think got away with outrageous things because someone in power felt they were “one of us”?

I don’t think this is what the letter writter had in mind, though.

emarche
Member

That’s an interesting point, Hans, re: the ‘ethnic spoils systems’, and I think it’s one that deserves further consideration by many, many people – particularly the person who wrote the initial letter to 411.

While it’s easy to claim that it’s simply a case of black vs. white, a lot of times people fail to realize that there’s a lot of silliness along ethnic lines (ex. Italians helping Italians) and the end result is that even qualified white people get shut out of jobs simply because they’re not ‘from the mother country’ or some other related nonsense.

Bottom line: the best person should be hired for the job based upon – and only upon – their qualifications. In this town, good luck with that.

In response to HansBrix who said:
While I agree that “diversity” is often a red herring and even harmful in the wrong hands (GWB’s for example) there could be a use for it if correctly applied.

The problem with places like Hudson Cnty is that when large groups of people are more loyal to their ethnicity than their political geography, and they occupy the power structure, ethnic spoils systems develop.

How many people in Hoboken do you think got away with outrageous things because someone in power felt they were “one of us”?

I don’t think this is what the letter writter had in mind, though.

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