Dear Neighbors,
Here are your summertime 🌞 community updates.

Confronting Antisemitism
Sadly, at last week’s Council meeting, a member of the public expressed antisemitic sentiments in Council chambers. I addressed the hateful comments during the meeting because I believe it is important to stand up and speak out whenever antisemitism or other forms of bigotry and hate surface in our community.
Thanks to all my Council Colleagues, led by Council President Jabbour, for their support in denouncing antisemitism and hate speech. Thanks, as well, to Mayor Bhalla and Council President Jabbour for their statement, as well as the many political and religious leaders who both publicly and privately made clear that hate has no home in Hoboken.  
Finally, thanks to the many members of our community – including many I have never met – who reached out to me to express their solidarity and support — standing against hate and standing up for the values of respect, diversity, and generosity of spirit that make Hoboken the special community we call home.  
Tattoo Parlor Ordinance
Hoboken Body Art, a valued local business based in the 5th Ward for over 24 years, closed its doors last January. Hoboken Body Art’s owners posted a farewell message to the community announcing its closing including this statement:
We were one of the first to challenge the preconceived stigmas attached to this art form and remained the oldest in the county and among the oldest in the state. Hopefully, that will be remembered after our absence.”  
After seeing many tributes to Hoboken Body Art, I learned that in 1998 the City Council banned new tattoo parlors from opening, but “grandfathered” existing establishments — like Hoboken Body Art. The Council’s 1998 tattoo parlor ban reflects an era when both tattoo parlors and their customers were stigmatized
As a Trustee on the Hoboken Business Alliance, and recognizing that Hoboken Body Art operated as a good neighbor for many years next to Anthony David’s Restaurant — one of the fine dining establishments in our City — I worked with the Corporation Counsel’s office and drafted two ordinances allowing tattoo parlors to operate. These ordinances, which last week passed unanimously on introduction, return for a final vote on August 23rd. The legislation allows tattoo shops to operate in Hoboken’s commercial districts if they meet all applicable State tattoo parlor regulations. I welcome your thoughts and encourage folks to participate at the Council’s August 23rd meeting. 

New Municipal Bike Racks Installed Near Trader Joe’s 
I continue advocating for sustainable ♻️transportation 🚴‍♂️options. Last week, new municipal bike racks I had requested were installed outside Trader Joe's.
So, dust off your bikes, grab a shopping bag, and pedal over to this popular 5th Ward market, knowing your bike will be securely parked while you shop!  

Three Important Community Surveys:
Maritime Park Survey
I have advocated for years for a continuous, public waterfront, taking on corporate interests and fighting for the public’s right to enjoy the Union Dry Dock site as part of a connected waterfront park.  So, I am proud that we are now formulating a forever vision for Maritime Park on the Union Dry Dock site. 
The planners and landscape architects that I and my Council colleagues approved retaining earlier this year have prepared three draft concepts incorporating a blend of civic, ecological, and recreational elements, offering a vision for our long-awaited access to this approximately 8-acre piece of Hoboken's waterfront — property that has been inaccessible for decades. 
The first concept, "Civic Pier," aligns the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway along Frank Sinatra Drive. It aims to create a vibrant waterfront destination centered around community gatherings and immersive river experiences.
The Civic Pier Plan
The second concept, "Habitat Terraces," integrates the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway through the heart of the park. It will provide opportunities for public enjoyment and education while embracing native ecologies.
The Habitat Terraces Plan
The third concept, "Waterfront Promenade," places the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway along the water's edge. The concept redefines and celebrates the water's edge, fostering immersive and active recreational programs.
The Waterfront Promenade Plan
The survey remains open until July 26, at 6 pm, and can be found here. The feedback collected from the survey, along with input from previous surveys and public meetings, will shape the final, future Maritime Park design.

916 Garden Parking Garage Survey
My family is and has been a tenant of the automated 916 Garden Parking Garage since the garage first opened, over 20 years ago. Due to aging technology and outdated internal infrastructure, the garage has reached the end of its mechanical life.
As a member of the City’s Transportation and Parking Committee, I have been actively involved with creating an online public survey designed to collect community feedback on the garage site’s future. Feedback obtained from the online survey will play a crucial role in informing the City's decision-making process regarding the future of this City property. Options include: 
  • Retrofitting the software and mechanicals to maintain a garage on-site;
  • Considering alternative community uses for the site; 
  • Selling some of, or all, the property; or 
  • A combination of the above options.
To participate in the survey and provide your input, please click here. The survey closes at 12 pm today. A separate survey will issue to the tenants of the 916 Garden Street garage to further gauge their feedback.

Church Square Park Survey
Church Square Park is due for a makeover! The City recently initiated an online survey to gather community feedback on two draft concept designs for the Church Square Park Vision Plan. 
The first concept, "The Oval," proposes a reimagining of the park by relocating active elements to the park's perimeter while restoring the historic oval as a tranquil space for leisurely walks, gatherings, and relaxation.
“The Oval”
The second concept, titled "The Central Spine," envisions a division of active and passive areas along the park's historic spine.
“The Central Spine”
The final park design will be implemented gradually over the upcoming years as park repairs and upgrades are planned or required. To participate in the survey, click here. The survey is scheduled to conclude at 6 pm on July 28. For additional information about the Church Square Park Vision Plan, click here.

COVID Vaccinations and Vaccination Records
To get current information on Hoboken’s COVID vaccination clinics click here. If you are a Hoboken resident and would like a copy of your vaccination record, please contact Vaccination records also are accessible for New Jersey residents through the Docket app
Coffee with Cohen … the home edition
I hosted my 83rd Coffee with Cohen community event on Monday featuring special guest John Allen, Candidate for NJ State Assembly representing the 32nd District. 
We discussed John’s anticipated legislative priorities, his personal and professional work with New Jersey Public School Districts, and more. I also addressed the ongoing surveys for Church Square Park, Maritime Park, and the 916 Garden Municipal Garage, the return of Summer Streets, the settlement over damages incurred related to the February 2023 water main break, the tattoo parlor ordinance, confronting antisemitism, and much more.
More than 70 people have already watched this event, which you can watch here. This event, and many past Coffee with Cohen events — are recorded and hosted on my Facebook page and you can watch them here. 

Staying Up To Date and Seeking My Assistance
I issue this newsletter every other Friday. You can stay up to date by following me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. If you have any questions, or I can be of assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact me at  
Phil Cohen
Hoboken City Councilman
Hoboken, New Jersey
(862) 234-9053
P.S. You can learn more about me and my ideas for Hoboken (as well as read this newsletter and prior newsletters) on my website
Paid for by Phil Cohen for Hoboken City Council