Please take the time to read this letter from the PBA Local 102, representing our HHPD officers.
OUR Republican OPPONENTS ARE LITERALLY CUTTING HHPD SHIFTS & FUNDING, PUTTING OUR OFFICERS & RESIDENTS AT RISK.
THIS TUESDAY, VOTE FOR REAL LEADERS. VOTE FOR GABRIELLE & JASON!
a statement from
My husband, Ivan and I have lived in Hasbrouck Heights for over 11 years. We have two wonderful children that keep us very busy! Our son, Angelo is 11 and attends Hasbrouck Heights Middle School. Our daughter, Alena is 5 and is in kindergarten at Lincoln School! They are both proud Aviators and take advantage of all of our fabulous recreation programs in town. I previously was a volunteer CCD teacher at Corpus Christi Church and had a short run as a soccer coach for our rec program. I am currently a long-term member of the Hasbrouck Heights Junior Women’s Club, where we dedicate our time and resources to give back to our community.
I am a special education teacher in the Bergen County school system. After working in financial services for two multi-million-dollar corporations, I decided to change careers when my second child, Alena, was born. At that time, I felt called to do something to help and support children in our state. I pursued a graduate degree in Elementary Education, Reading, and a certificate in Teacher of Students with Disabilities in 2016. I graduated with honors in 2019 just in time to teach during the pandemic. This virus and all of the things that came along with it has taught me how to adapt to an ever changing world. This experience taught me that I can persevere in difficult situations but also convinced me that my transition from corporate America to the classroom was the right one.
Recently, I’ve felt called again. This time to serve in a larger capacity and run for council in Hasbrouck Heights! I am so thankful that my wonderful running mate, Jason Hodrinsky is here alongside with me!
I love this community, and I think our council leadership team would benefit from someone like me. I am a working mom, from a working class Italian immigrant family, who knows how hard and wonderful our day to day lives can be. My father came here from a small town near Naples and he, along with my amazing mom, showed me that hard work and perseverance takes you far in life. I am running because I believe it takes a village to make those hard times less hard. I want to represent and work with everyone in this town. I want OUR Hasbrouck Heights to be a place where our children and families feel seen and welcomed.
It is extremely vulnerable to step up in this way. I am praying that there are others in our town who believe that our council could benefit from the leadership of this wife, mother, sister, friend, and neighbor. I want to get to know you. I want you to get to know me. I hope I will earn your trust and your vote.
Gabrielle Riccardi Mendoza
a statement from
Many people have asked me why I want to run for town council...
I truly love Hasbrouck Heights. When my wife and I first visited Heights, we couldn’t help but notice the town’s beauty and charm, but it was the friends and neighbors that we eventually met that truly made us feel at home. Since moving to town, almost seven years ago, I have worked to be an active contributing member of our community, volunteering for town cleanups and charity drives with the Green Team as well as delivering meals to senior citizens.
I'm seeking office because I was raised to believe that community service is a civic duty and there is a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that we can offer our time and skills to effect positive change. Our elected leaders should always put public service above partisan self-interests, so I am running to ensure that the needs of all Heights’ residents are reflected in the Hasbrouck Heights Council.
As a practicing attorney, I’ve spent my career fighting for the underdogs – fighting for the rights of clients irreparably harmed by corporate wrongdoing. I’ll bring that same passion to Heights’ Council to fight for greater transparency and accountability, lower taxes, preserve the character of our neighborhood and safeguard our green spaces, and deliver essential services to our residents. With an undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Law, I have a deep understanding of how local government should work, how it should be accountable to the community, and how essential thoughtful planning is to sustainable communities.
If elected, I pledge to fight to end the rolling reassessments which so unfairly redistribute the tax burden for new, expensive homes and redevelopment on to all. Hasbrouck Heights is lucky to have two vibrant business districts, and the Council should work to encourage a more diversified commercial tax base to further lighten the residential tax burden. We should encourage green municipal projects to better position the town when applying for competitive federal and state grant programs.
Despite higher taxes year after year, Heights has seen its essential services come under attack – whether it be the incomprehensible delay in ratifying the HHPD contract, privatizing EMS services, or the politicization of our volunteer Fire Department – Heights deserves better. I will work tirelessly to ensure our police officers have a voice on the Council, to restore our volunteer EMS services, and to ensure the Fire Department has the vehicles and gear necessary to protect themselves and our residents. Lastly, I will propose true ethics reforms via an enforceable code of conduct, restoring the public’s trust and confidence in Heights’ public officials.
My wife and I planted our roots in Hasbrouck Heights and I’m excited to do my part to build a platform where honesty, open conversation, and open minds can make Heights thrive. I humbly ask for your support and encourage you to go out to vote on November 8th. Your vote ensures your voice will be heard.