I was fortunate to have served as Mayor of this great City for 12 years at a period of transition that eventually gave birth to our renaissance. Today, I am grateful to witness the results.
Thanks to the efforts of Mayor David Roberts, Hoboken is continuing to transform into one of the New York metropolitan area's premier urban communities. Much has changed over the past 20 years since I left office; even more since I served from 1973 to 1985. Hoboken was undergoing a period of social and economic unrest largely due to the decline of its industrial base and changing demographics.
I had a responsibility to take charge of this transition to ensure that Hoboken and its neighborhoods survived. We needed to build for the future while preserving our past. While this was not a simple or quick task, today we have achieved great results. Our waterfront has been transformed into an urban oasis that for the first time in decades can be accessed by all residents. Retail and service businesses are thriving on Washington Street and elsewhere. New parks and recreational opportunities are abundant and our City has been recognized as one of New Jersey's most family-friendly communities.
Mayor Roberts has been instrumental in furthering this evolution and has a bright vision for the future. We have completed our first Master Plan in nearly two decades, we have taken innovative approaches to education and we have upgraded public safety. To accommodate future growth, Mayor Roberts is seeking to maintain and expand recreation for all residents through his open space initiative that has identified 17 new acres of parks and facilities.
I would like to see this process continue and that is why I would like to publicly endorse David Roberts, an individual who I have known for decades and admired his dedication and love for our City.