Tuesday, January 21, 2014

FLASHBACK: May 2013 Hoboken NJ Mayor Dawn Zimmer PRAISED Rockfeller Investment in Hoboken's Future

"We are thrilled..."
Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, NJ
May 22, 2013

This week, Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, has hit the media with accusations that NJ Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno, threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy Relief funding if Zimmer didn't throw her support behind a Rockefeller development project.

Zimmer claimed earlier this week in an interview with MSNBC that, on May 13, 2013, she was approached by Lt. Governor Guadagno who suggested that the release of Hurricane Sandy Relief funds was contingent upon Zimmer's support of the "Rockefeller Project." According to Zimmer, Guadango was speaking on behalf of Governor Chris Christie when she gave the ultimatum to the Hoboken Mayor.

In a personal diary account submitted to the media, Mayor Zimmer allegedly wrote on May 15, 2013:

"'At the end of a big tour of ShopRite and meeting, she [Lt. Governor Guadango] pulls me aside with no one else around and says that I need to move forward with the Rockefeller project. It is very important to the governor. The word is that you are against it and you need to move forward or we are not going to be able to help you. I know it’s not right – these things should not be connected – but they are, she says, and if you tell anyone, I will deny it.'”

Meanwhile, on May 14, 2013, just ONE DAY after Zimmer claims she was given the ultimatum, the Rockefeller Foundation announced a $100 Million commitment to the "100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge." 

The international project, developed in celebration of the Foundation's 100th Anniversary was created to help cities develop planning and infrastructure to protect against weather-related disasters. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on May 14, 2013, Rockefeller Foundation President, Dr. Judith Rodin, specifically mentions Hurricane Sandy and its devastating aftermath. The project is intended to reach cities in the United States and abroad.

Just 8 days later, on May 22, 2013, it was announced that a portion of the Rockefeller project known as the "Re. Investment Initiative" had chosen eight U.S. cities as recipients of funding for a "two-year study to look into how to solve flooding and other storm-water infrastructure problems."

One of those first eight cities was Hoboken, New Jersey.
Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, NJ

The award was announced the same day on the Official Webpage for the City of Hoboken, NJ, with Hoboken Mayor, Dawn Zimmer quoted as saying:

"'We are thrilled to be one of the first cities in the country chosen for this innovative partnership to develop and finance sustainable solutions to address our flooding, transportation, and other infrastructure challenges,' said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. 'The tremendous technical and financial guidance provided through the RE.invest Initiative will facilitate Hoboken becoming a more resilient community.'”

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