On Thursday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m., the College Democrats at Stevens (CDS) held their third general body meeting with special guest Michael DeFusco. CDS also advertised that Michael Flett (one of DeFusco’s councilmen) would be joining them, but he was unable to attend. DeFusco is the second candidate to attend one of CDS’s meetings, and he was preceded by Ravi Bhalla. CDS is pushing for the people of Stevens to learn about these candidates and choose one to vote for. CDS has even partnered with the Student Government Association and College Republicans for this push as well, with the coalition hoping to register 1870 voters in Hoboken.
Following CDS’s initial presentation, Michael DeFusco entered the room with his office assistant Julie. DeFusco spoke about how he became invested in politics, even though he never thought he would be running for mayor. His reasoning was his satisfaction in helping other people, which led him to run for city council. DeFusco is also part of the LGBT community, and while this turned into an obstacle for him in running for office, he states he has not let it get the best of him. DeFusco is looking to bring many changes to Hoboken by becoming mayor, with some changes leading him on and off the path of current Mayor Dawn Zimmer. Although he has come into disagreements with her, he expresses that through “disagreement, you find commonality,” which led him to encourage those at the meeting to stand up for what they believe in.
One of DeFusco’s ideas has Stevens in mind, which is rebuilding part of the train terminal in conjunction with the university to create a market that rivals Chelsea Market in New York. DeFusco also had a few things to say about the newly named Gianforte Family Academic Complex, stating that although “money is a strange bedfellow, the administration should not be taking money from a violent man.” DeFusco also argues that the history of the Stevens family should have no influence on the name either.
Before DeFusco closed, he answered some questions from members and guests, including his opinion on the Washington Street construction. He says the project has been delayed due to “government inefficiency,” as they delayed the project and even added an extra $3,000 to the initial budget plan without letting the council know. DeFusco closed the night by encouraging Stevens to go out and vote no matter who they voted for, as long as he knew the students of Stevens were getting involved in their community.