In 2009 Dawn Zimmer became the first woman to serve as the mayor of Hoboken, NJ. Prior to being elected mayor, she served as a councilwoman after becoming involved in civic life as an advocate for park space. As mayor, she focused on restoring fiscal responsibility and making Hoboken as flood and energy resilient as possible against the impacts of climate change. She recently served as Co-Chair of the Urban and Regional Growth Committee for Governor Murphy’s transition team.
As part of her energy strategy, Mayor Zimmer and her Administration implemented the redevelopment process to negotiate a land swap agreement for the construction of a modernized and elevated $170 million PSE&G funded substation to ensure Hoboken has reliable energy for the future. Turning a crisis into an opportunity, she also partnered with the U.S. Dept. of Energy and Sandia National Labs after Superstorm Sandy to develop the foundation for NJ’s first municipal microgrid that will ensure critical facilities remain operational through the next storm.
In her 8 ½-years as mayor she successfully led the City through the devastation of Superstorm Sandy which flooded 80 percent of the City and led the initiative to win a $230 million HUD Rebuild by Design competition that will protect the region and its critical assets for the long term from rising sea levels and hurricanes. During her term she acquired 9 new acres of land for the construction of three resiliency parks built with green infrastructure to protect from flash flooding. A number of funding strategies were used to achieve these park goals, including the use of the redevelopment process resulting in a 2-acre resiliency park and new recreational facility currently under construction by the developer. During her time in office Mayor Zimmer and her team transformed Hoboken into a community with city-wide transportation alternatives including bike share, car share, and a local bus system.