Hoboken’s Mayor Bhalla leads protest on MLK Day

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Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla addressing a congregation on MLK Day. (Photo: @CityofHoboken on Twitter)

Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla honored the spirit of Rev. Martin
Luther King on Jan. 15 by leading a protest and addressing a Christian
church.

Mayor Bhalla was joined by scores protesters early morning on Martin
Luther King Day to protest the building of a waterfront maintenance facility
by a private company, NY Waterway, a step approved by N.J. Transit
Authority. Scores of Hoboken residents and others joined Bhalla
traveled with and joined him, at the headquarters of N.J. Transit
Authority in Newark, to stop the board from voting on the measure.

Bhalla and his predecessor Dawn Zimmer, had plans to take the property
and convert it into a public park. But according to the New York Times,
the private ferry company asked N.J. Transit to buy the site and lease it
back to it, in order to continue using it as an industrial site.

The board meeting which had earlier been scheduled for the week before
and postponed to MLK Day, was again postponed for a later date.

Mayor Ravinder Bhalla was joined by scores of protesters in Newark to protest an industrial site in Hoboken. (Photo: @CityofHoboken on Twitter)

Bhalla, in a statement, said the NJ Transit Board of Directors which was
again scheduled to vote on the acquisition of the Union Dry Dock
property and to lease the property back to NY Waterway for a ferry
refueling and maintenance facility, “pulled” the matter from its meeting
agenda.

“This is a huge step forward and a continuation of Hoboken’s decades-
long efforts to transform our industrial waterfront into public open
space,” Bhalla said. “Our waterfront is an asset not just to our
community, but the entire state, and I will fight tooth and nail to
preserve the former Union Dry Dock property as open space.”
He urged NY Waterway to work with all stakeholders to find a
“comprehensive solution that will benefit our entire region.”

Bhalla thanked, among others, Governor-elect Phil Murphy, U.S.
Senators Cory Booker , D-NJ, and John Menendez, (D-NJ) as well as
N.J. Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, the Hoboken City Council, “and all of
the activists and residents who raised their voices and made a
difference.”

The same day, Bhalla addressed a Bapist congregation, thanking the
local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, NAACP, and the Mt. Olive Baptist Church for inviting
him. “The best way to honor his (MLK) legacy is to push with great
vigor and strength knowing we have the truth by our side,” Bhalla said
in a tweet.

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