Dear Neighbors,
I'm honored to share that I was awarded a 2023 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate distinction, which is given to candidates who will advocate for gun violence prevention and will govern with gun safety in mind.
The horrific impact of gun violence is very personal to me. In 2018, a member of our extended family, Alyssa Alhadeff, was killed in her classroom in Parkland, Florida when she was just 14 years old. I will never forget the sounds of her mother's raw cries at her funeral. No family should have to go through that preventable pain. But Alyssa's mom has become an activist for school safety, and I take from her strength and lessons that now is the moment to fight for safety and security. 
Unfortunately, gun violence can happen here too. Last year, my husband and son were at a sports practice in Hoboken when a shooting took place near the field that injured a young man. Having my husband duck and cover after being instructed to "Get down!" and my child and his peers run for their life out of fear from the sound of gunshots is not something I want anyone in Hoboken to experience.
As your councilperson, I will always advocate and fight to prevent senseless injury and death by guns. I have already been doing it. For years, I have been a volunteer for Moms Demand Action, and a vocal proponent of gun safety. In 2018, I brought my nephew, and Alyssa's cousin, to speak with me on the steps of City Hall, during a gun safety march hosted in Hoboken to share our story (Pictured is my newphew and me at the rally).  I also supported Alyssa's Law, which was passed in NJ and has been implemented in Hoboken, which requires that each school building in New Jersey be equipped with at least one panic alarm that is directly linked to local law enforcement.
I will work with our state and federal officials and continue to advocate for sensible gun laws at the state and federal level, and for enabling legislation that would allow cities to tailor laws to our circumstances.
But gun laws alone are not the answer. We need to attack the problem from all angles, aiming to prevent both mass shootings and individual attacks perpetrated by the young or old, and I intend to do that as your councilperson.
For example, we can support our youth before violence becomes the answer. We should give them ample opportunities to engage in positive activities, provide mental health support, and enable access to trusted mentors. I will do that through support of our public schools, diverse recreation programs, and community youth-support programs like Community Lifestyle and other private non-profits. 
I will also be a proponent for our police force, which is at the front lines of identifying risks and preventing violence. The Hoboken police department is suffering from a drought of eager and qualified applicants, and while steps have been made to change that, we can do more as a city to support them.
I will also support ways to uplift our at-risk and poverty stricken populations, for example, through the social work being done through the Office of Constituent Services, as well as other city programs. We can also support private organizations like the Hoboken Community Center, currently running out of the 2nd Ward, which is providing housing, mental health care, food and necessities to our neediest population.
Finally, I will foster a diverse and inclusive mindset in Hoboken so that hate doesn't fester and turn to violence.
Gun violence is preventable. I hope you will support me in the efforts to stop it.
Marla Decker
Follow me on Facebook here, and check out my website here.
Paid for by Marla Decker for Hoboken City Council Ward 2
1500 Garden St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030