Newark Demands Jobs At Port

Mayor Baraka Leads March for Jobs at Ports Newark/ Elizabeth

In this video, Mayor Baraka speaks to demonstrating residents, marches with them to port facilities, and blocks trucks from entering and leaving port. He vows that the demonstrations will continue and larger port shutdowns will occur until ILA and NY Shipping Association end hiring discrimination against minorities and Newark residents.

Mayor-led coalition demands open and fair process for job hiring

This week, Mayor Baraka led a march and rally for jobs at Port Newark & Elizabeth.

The marchers demanded that the Waterfront Commission do more to remedy severe racial, gender and ethnic inequality in employment at the Port and an apparent bias against the hiring of local residents.

Mayor Baraka said, "Port jobs have an enormous potential to boost the economies of Newark and Elizabeth, two cities struggling with high unemployment and underemployment. Port jobs can be an important source of well-paying middle class jobs. Yet, clearly, those hired to work at the Port are not representative of the diversity of the surrounding community.”

"International Longshoremen's Locals 1 and 1804-1 both have fewer than 6% Black members and under 13% Hispanic members. Local 1804-1 has no women. The Port is located in one of the nation’s most diverse communities. Newark and Elizabeth have a combined Black and Latino population of 77%. The two locals remain segregated despite years of attempts by the Waterfront Commission, Civil Rights organizations and the City of Newark to desegregate the Port."

A 2015 report stated that of the 3299 registered Longshore workers at the Port, only 299 (6.3%) had Newark addresses and that of the 3299 workers, 2055 are white, 787 Black, 410 Hispanic, 17 Asian and 30 others. Only 302 were women. Most of the Black workers (523 of 787) come from the predominantly Black I.L.A. Local 1233.

In March of this year, Mayor Baraka sent letters to both Venita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice and US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez requesting that they thoroughly investigate the extent and causes of inequity in hiring for jobs at the Port of Newark and Elizabeth and "act to remedy severe racial, gender and ethnic inequality in employment at the Port and an apparent bias against the hiring of local residents." He also asked the Attorney General to determine whether federal Civil Rights laws have been violated.


Mayor Baraka said this week that the benefit to taxpayers of careful budgeting by city government will be taken away by irresponsible state operation of Newark schools.

In news coverage, Mayor Baraka and Governor Christie clash over the huge Newark school deficit caused by state control of our schools.

Statement by Mayor Ras J. Baraka:

“The amount to be raised by local property taxes in the 2016-2017 school years in the budget proposed by the State-controlled Newark Public Schools is 10.3% higher than the previous school year. This increase from $115,650,165 to $127,561,585 will cause higher tax bills in both 2016 and 2017 for Newark residents and businesses. The school portion of property tax bills for this year will increase by 6.20%.

“Under this budget, the people of Newark are being forced to pay for bad decisions by state officials, including:

  • The hole left in the budget by state-appointed School Superintendent Cami Anderson’s One Newark Plan which turned a $40 million surplus into a huge deficit.
  • The EWPS list (Employees without Placement Sites) of Cami Anderson that forced the Newark Public Schools to pay twice for every unassigned teacher on the list.
  • The expansion of charter schools without regard for the impact of that expansion on the budget of the remaining traditional public schools.

“With the support of the Newark Municipal Council, State legislators, and advocates for both traditional public schools and charter schools, we asked Governor Christie for $36 million to cut the $72 million Newark Public Schools budget deficit in half. In a letter, we told the Governor that the loss of every student to a charter school would cause traditional public schools to bear a disproportionate share of fixed costs, significantly reducing the amount that each school has available.

“We received $27 million, not $36 million. That was not enough to avoid a school tax increase. The State of New Jersey’s control of our schools created the schools deficit, and the State has the responsibility to fix it.

“The increase in school taxes comes at a time when the City of Newark has acted responsibly to get spending under control. Our City faced a $93 million deficit when I was sworn in. We have significantly reduced the deficit, generated increased revenues, stepped up tax collections and renegotiated contracts to put our finances on a sound footing. But the benefits of that responsible budgeting are dwarfed by the pending school tax increase."

Mayor Baraka said that it is the responsibility of the State, not Newark taxpayers – to eliminate the need for a school tax increase. He told the Newark School Advisory Board that while he continues to fight for additional State funding, he will also find other ways to prevent the school budget from causing a big property tax increase for Newark residents.

Mayor Baraka Hails Victory of Unity Slate in Newark School Advisory Board Election

"The victory of all Unity Slate candidates in the Newark School Advisory Board election sends a powerful message that Newark parents demand the best possible education for all children whether in traditional public schools or charter schools."

In his vlog, Mayor Baraka explains the significance of the Unity Slate victory:

Mayor Baraka's Vlog April 26, 2016

"The members of the Unity Slate have different points of view and come from different backgrounds. But they are united in seeking the return of our schools to local control, fighting for the full funding necessary to achieve quality education and rejecting ideologies in favor of proven education practices.

"The new board members will serve after Newark schools return to local control. They understand the importance of open honest discussion and the importance of finding common ground. They understand that the way forward for our schools is collective action, cooperation, and above all total devotion to our children."


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Plan assures safety of riders, provides revenue to Newark, and protects the taxi industry

Under the agreement, UBER will:

  • Pay $1 million a year over 10 years to the City of Newark with the option of a $3 million upfront payment
  • Provide $1.5M of commercial liability insurance coverage for all drivers operating on the platform
  • Conduct background checks on all drivers through a nationally-accredited, third-party provider. These checks will examine county, state and federal records, as well as motor vehicle records, sex offender registries and terror watch lists
  • Enforce a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use by drivers using the UBER app

Even if a state-wide law is passed regulating UBER, UBER will remain obligated to pay the $10 million. Newark may audit UBER's compliance with the agreement annually.

Mayor Baraka said, "In proposing to regulate UBER in Newark, my goals were to protect the safety of UBER riders, to require UBER to pay its fair share including fees and permits under the same kind of regulations as other businesses in Newark, and to create a level playing field for UBER and the Taxi and Limousine Industry. This agreement achieves just that.

"UBER provides a valuable service. All we asked is that UBER drivers who service the people of Newark submit to strict background checks and pay license fees just like other transportation companies in the city. We license every business from restaurants to nail salons. It is only fair that UBER be subject to this same standard to operate in Newark. The agreement we reached is fair to all and allows UBER to become a good corporate citizen alongside Airbnb, another Internet-based company that recently agreed to regulation by Newark.

"This agreement is good for economic development and job growth in Newark. UBER now is in a position to contribute to our city's rapidly expanding technology sector.

"I continue to believe that the State Legislature must enact uniform regulations for companies like UBER and for the Taxi and Limousine Industry. The existing patchwork of different regulations in different cities is unfair, bad for riders, bad for safety and bad for the transportation industry."


Incubator aims to build a coalition of business owners, entrepreneurs and local stakeholders in order to sustain a vibrant community business corridor, thriving businesses, and new jobs for the West Ward community

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Mayor Baraka cut the ribbon to open Newark’s second Community Storefront Incubator on Monday, April 25, at 11:30 a.m., at 989 South Orange Avenue, in Newark’s West Ward commercial corridor.

The Community Storefront Program (CSP) was launched in 2015 as part of the Mayor’s mission to see economic development activity touch all five wards. The initiative was designed to enable Newark entrepreneurs, who have a retail business idea, to experience the full business lifecycle, concept to market. This program opportunity gives participants the practical training and experience necessary to learn to market their self-produced products. Participants undergo a 16-week entrepreneurial development course covering an array of topics from financial literacy, bookkeeping, corporate infrastructure, insurance, leases, contracts, and more.

Upon program completion, participants move into an actual “real-world” shared retail storefront (the business incubator) that is set up “flea market style” allowing each to sell their goods/services to the general public.

In June 2015, Mayor Baraka and the City received a $75,000 award for the initiative on behalf of Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) as a part of the 2015 Community WINS/Working/Investing in Neighborhood Stabilization Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and funded through the Wells Fargo Foundation.

As an additional component of this program, Newark CEDC and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership will connect local businesses with professional, and field specific mentors.


The Youth Who Uplift Awards program, held on April 29th, marks the first time that a recognition program has honored a student from every high school in the city, every public school, parochial, private and charter school in Newark.

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The program is a presentation to acknowledge the heritage and achievements of Newark students. The Office of Arts, Cultural Development and Tourism and the Office of Comprehensive Community Education honored senior high school students who have excelled in one or more of the following categories: scholarship community service, arts, leadership, sports, or overcoming (seemingly) insurmountable obstacles.

The young people show us what can be achieved through commitment, determination, study, hard work and moral courage. As we observe the 350th anniversary of Newark's founding, it is timely to honor the future generations of Newark's leaders, artists, thinkers, advocates, activists and warriors.

Each school was asked to select a student to receive this recognition based upon the school’s standards of measuring success and superior performance. Twenty-two students were honored. The event took place at the School of Law at Rutgers University-Newark. The honorees:

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On Saturday, May 14, All Stars Project of NJ and Newark’s Centers of Hope will host a free citywide talent show open to young people and community members of all ages.

The City of Newark has launched a partnership with the All Stars Project (ASP), a privately funded national nonprofit organization with a long history in Newark. A leader in the field of Afterschool Development, ASP programs help young people develop using a performance-based approach designed to attract and impact young people from the poorest communities. From the Development School for Youth (DSY), where young people engage with corporate America to the All Stars Talent Show Network (ASTSN), where they produce and perform in hip hop talent shows in their own neighborhoods and to its award-winning police-community relations program Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids, the All Stars Project brings new approaches to urban youth.

Newark School Principal Honored by White House for Excellence

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Erskine Glover, Principal of Quitman Street Community School, was honored by President Barack Obama.

A Newark school principal and some of his school's staff members travelled to the White House this week for a celebration of their work and that of other top educators from across the nation. The recognition was part of National Teacher Appreciation Week.

The honor is a reflection of the hard work that the teachers, parents and students of his school and other Newark public schools have been to transform education in Newark. It is time for the entire city of Newark to finally be recognized for all that we are doing for our students.