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Dawn Zimmer became the first female Mayor of Hoboken in 2009. Prior to that, she served as a Councilwoman after becoming involved in civic life as an advocate for park space. She was a member of the steering Committee of the Southwest Parks Coalition, and was one of five individuals who were named plaintiffs in a lawsuit that stopped a developer-friendly redevelopment plan that would have added 1,200 high-rise condo units to Southwest Hoboken. Zimmer supported a better approach to redevelopment that included smaller buildings, more park space, traffic controls, restaurants and shops.

As Mayor, her priorities include restoring fiscal responsibility and improving quality of life for residents. Since taking office, she has steadily reduced and stabilized taxes and established a responsible cash surplus for the first time in many years. Following audits of the police and fire departments, restructuring and redeployment allowed the city to save millions of dollars per year while enhancing community safety. Through privatization, she saved the City’s cash-strapped hospital from closing, saved more than 1,200 jobs, and relieved taxpayers of a $52 million bond guarantee. Combined, these actions positioned Hoboken to improve its near-junk bond rating to AA+. Mayor Zimmer is using technology to make government more efficient and provide new services and information directly to residents at minimal cost. Under her watch, Hoboken is transitioning from a car-centric city into a nationally-recognized leader in progressive transportation initiatives. Through a public-private partnership, Hoboken is home to Corner Cars, the first on-street, city-wide car sharing program in the country.

Mayor Zimmer led Hoboken through several major crises, including Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and has developed a comprehensive resiliency and readiness plan to protect the city from flooding, power outages, and other impacts of climate change. Her leadership and advocacy helped secure $230 million in federal funding for a flood resiliency project through the Rebuild by Design competition. She has been an outspoken advocate for changing federal and state regulations related to flood insurance, reconstruction funding, and building standards in order to meet the unique challenges and characteristics of urban communities.

Mayor Zimmer is a member of President Obama’s Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Government Advisory Committee.

Before taking time off to care for her two young sons, Dawn worked in communications for a large Japanese trading company and did crisis communications for one of the top public relations firms in the country. She’s also a photographer and served as marketing director for a family business. She is a Cum Laude Graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she rowed crew for four years. Dawn is a runner who has run the New York City Marathon. She lives in Southwest Hoboken with her husband and two children.

Mayor Dawn Zimmer

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Mayor Dawn Zimmer

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Awards & Recognition


  • Top 10 Great Streets  – Washington Street, American Planning Association)



  • Bronze Bike Friendly Community, League of American Bicyclists
  • “Una Voce” Award, Italian American One Voice Coalition


  • Top 10 Great Places in New Jersey – South Waterfront, American Planning Association, NJ Chapter
  • Outstanding Local Floodplain Leadership Award, New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management
  • Service to the People Award, New Jersey Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Complete Streets Excellence, NJ Complete Streets Summit
  • Hero of the Harbor, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance


  • Outstanding Municipal Plan for Hoboken Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan, American Planning Association, NJ Chapter
  • Bronze Award, New Jersey Smart Workplace


Memos From Mayor Zimmer to the City Council


Hoboken Community Celebrates Opening of Newest Park at 1600 Park Ave

Hoboken residents, community activists, and elected officials joined together to celebrate the opening of its newest park at 1600 Park Avenue, the first phase of a planned 4 acre park along the waterfront in northern Hoboken.

“The opening of this new park is the capstone of an overall parks vision to create enough active recreation space for all ages, renovate existing parks, and ensure everyone lives within short walking distance of a neighborhood park,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “It is the fulfillment of the vision of the Hoboken Parks Organization and other community activists who fought original plans to build residential towers at this site a decade ago and who advocated to preserve this land for open space. I want to especially thank Directors Brandy Forbes and Leo Pellegrini for managing this project to a successful completion.” 

Open Letter from Mayor Zimmer on Parks in Western Hoboken

I am writing to update the community on the progress we are making towards acquiring land for new parks in Western Hoboken, including a large Southwest Park, the Pino site at 7th St. and Jackson St., and the BASF site at 11th St. and Madison St. With Hoboken’s growing number of young families, our senior community, and active recreational community, the neighborhoods in Western Hoboken need more active and passive park space. The City is focused on acquiring land to provide large active space for residents at a fair market price in the interest of Hoboken taxpayers.

Mayor Zimmer Introduces Budget With Municipal Tax Rate Cut

Includes Funding for Redesign of Washington Street and Sinatra Drive

For the third year in a row, the Zimmer Administration is introducing a budget with a reduction in municipal taxes. The 2013 calendar year budget holds the municipal tax levy approximately equal to 2012, which will result in an estimated 2% reduction in the municipal tax rate due to an increase in the ratable base. The budget includes funding for the planning process for complete street redesigns of Washington Street and Sinatra Drive.

“Without the responsible rainy day surplus that we fought so hard to maintain, the $10 million toll from Hurricane Sandy would have been devastating to the City’s finances,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer. “Just as we need to build a more physically resilient city, years of prudent planning have made us more financially resilient. After all our residents and businesses have been through this year, I am glad that not only will we not have to raise taxes, but that we can provide a modest tax decrease while we make investments to improve our quality of life, such as the redesign of Washington Street and Sinatra Drive.”

Mayor Zimmer Delivers 3rd State of the City Address; Announces Plans for Making Hoboken More Resilient

Mayor Dawn Zimmer delivered her third State of the City address on February 13, 2013 at the DeBaun Auditorium on the campus of the Stevens Institute of Technology. Her prepared remarks and a video of the State of the City are available below.

Mayor Zimmer Announces Open Office Hours

Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s next scheduled open office hours will take place in Southwest Hoboken on Monday, August 6 from 5pm-7pm at Mission 50, located at 50 Harrison Street, Suite PH in the Hoboken Business Center. Mission 50 is Hoboken’s first coworking space. Office hours visitors may park for free in the Hoboken Business Center parking lot during office hours.

The following office hours will be on Monday, September 10 from 5pm-7pm in the Mayor’s office on the second floor of City Hall, 94 Washington Street. No appointment is necessary.


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