Ras Baraka

Ferguson 2014, Newark 1967: Could New Jersey's largest city see mass unrest again?

Ferguson 2014, Newark 1967: Could New Jersey's largest city see mass unrest again?

NEWARK - The images of exploding Molotov cocktails lighting up the brutal, after-dark duel between protesters and police in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri earlier this month served to spur memories of the days that ripped apart Newark's soul in 1967.

In Ferguson, after an unarmed 18-year-old African-American male was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer on August 9, the streets of the Saint Louis suburb erupted. After almost two weeks of furious demonstrations and the introduction of the National Guard, Ferguson has simmered down as federal investigations ensue.

In Newark, the July 1967 arrest of a Newark taxi driver by two white police officers opened up the gates of Hell. Six days of shooting, looting, death and destruction left 26 people dead, a situation many observers and historians say was made worse by the presence of the National Guard. Federal and state investigations tried to the get to the core of the problems that led to what some called a riot, others a rebellion. Meanwhile, Newark went into an economic and population tail spin from which it took decades to significantly recover.

One dark thread of discord unites Newark in 1967 and Ferguson in 2014 - the under-representation of minorities in the city government and police department. Seven members out of the nine-member Newark City Council were white when the 1967 civil disturbances began, and few of the faces on the police force were black, at the moment when the majority of the city's population had shifted in favor of African-Americans. 

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As troubled One Newark school enrollment plan process continues, Baraka amplifies need for local control

As troubled One Newark school enrollment plan process continues, Baraka amplifies need for local control

NEWARK - The school year is set to start next week in the state's largest city, but many Newark residents feel schooled by what they see as a confusing school enrollment plan put in place by the controversial One Newark school reorganization plan.

"I can't find the right school for my kids," said Yahira Mallol of Newark's North Ward on Tuesday afternoon, standing outside of Newark Vocational High School on West Kinney Street moments after she enrolled her daughters, Yarlissa, 15, and Noelia, 11. At this point, Yarlissa has been placed in a North Ward high school, while Noelia could be placed in a South Ward grammar school. "In Georgia, where we used to live, if you come from out of state, you don't have to wait. You just sign up, and you go to school." 

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Camden Mayor Redd "willing to share" with North Jersey mayors' anti-crime alliance

Camden Mayor Redd "willing to share" with North Jersey mayors' anti-crime alliance

CAMDEN - Two weeks after the mayors of New Jersey's three largest cities announced they are going to partner together to fight crime, the mayor of South Jersey's largest city said that she was willing to work with the northern alliance to fight the same scourge.

"I'm willing to share my experiences with some of the things we've done, not just to work with the state, but along with federal partners," said Camden Mayor Dana Redd, who presides over New Jersey's 12th largest city, on Monday following the announcement of a $1.1 million federal grant for a Camden youth education and training center. 

Redd's response to the North Jersey anti-crime initiative comes after a July 28 announcement by Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres that the urban mayoral triumvirate would team up to stem a wave of violent crime. A combined police push will include information-sharing between departments and a more closely unified, cross-jurisdictional crime-fighting effort. 

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PolitickerNJ's Bonamo to appear on weekend TV

PolitickerNJ reporter Mark Bonamo will appear on a weekend public interest television program. 

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PolitickerNJ's Bonamo to appear on radio tonight, weekend TV

PolitickerNJ reporter Mark Bonamo will appear on the WBGO Journal radio program tonight and on a weekend public interest television program. 

 

 

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Jackson a likely fourth in crime-curbing urban mayor alliance

Jackson a likely fourth in crime-curbing urban mayor alliance

TRENTON - Violent criminals beware: New Jersey’s urban mayoral alliance against crime just got a little bigger.

According to Mayor Eric Jackson, Trenton may soon be joining the ranks of three other cities whose leaders pledged today to work towards lowering the violent crime rates in their respective jurisdictions. As of several hours ago, that team consisted of Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

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The mayors on Christie's RGA schedule: are they concerned?

The mayors on Christie's RGA schedule: are they concerned?

JERSEY – On the day the three mayors from New Jersey’s three biggest cities huddled up with a public vow to partner to fight crime, PolitickerNJ asked them if they weren’t a little alarmed about Gov. Chris Christie’s vigorous Republican Governors’ Association (RGA) schedule.

The governor is frequently in and out of the state on a robust mission to elect GOP governors around the country.

Do they sense a fall-off in statewide front-office vigilance?

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Baraka doesn't quibble with Christie's 'decider' comment; but still wants a different decision

Baraka doesn't quibble with Christie's 'decider' comment; but still wants a different decision

JERSEY CITY - Standing on MLK Boulevard, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka responded today to Gov. Chris Christie's comments at a Republican Governors' Association (RGA) meeting last week.

Channelling former President George W. Bush, Christie boasted to other Republicans that he is "the decider" on whether or not Cami Anderson remains as Newark's superintendent.

Baraka wants her gone.

Christie wants her to stay on the job.

"I don't want to get into whether or not he said it," Baraka told PolitickerNJ. "But he's right. The state gets to decide. I just wish they'd begin to decide differently."

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Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership

Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership

JERSEY CITY – And then there were three.

That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka at a podium on MLK Boulevard and pledged partnership to an urban mayoral alliance to fight crime.

Murders in the state’s three biggest cities have Newark, Jersey City and Paterson – three-quarters of a million people - on high alert.

On one level, Baraka-Fulop-Torres showed the fiber of local urban governments.

But the threesome also appeared heavily tinged with politics. It’s hard not to note that both Fulop and the mayor’s rival in a budding gubernatorial drama, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), made a purse strings play for Torres love after their mutual first choice for mayor went belly up on May 13th.

Who was going to corral Torres as he settled into City Hall?

Today, it was Fulop – and his strongest ally, Baraka.

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Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop

Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop

The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind Fulop and help build the Hudson County mayor. 

These two men have a history, which didn’t begin well – and they have divergent styles, one characterized by a reliance on old school loyalty and punishing attention to detail, the other transactional - which may or may not lead them to a sustained statewide partnership in the name of their home county if Fulop runs for governor.

“As the trend of urbanization continues, our economic prosperity will come to depend even more heavily on our ability to move large numbers of people in and out of urban centers quickly,” Fulop told the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development, chaired by Menendez. “This means direct federal investment in transportation infrastructure, and empowering the local communities to make those investments.”

Menendez listened dutifully, approvingly from his throne of federal power.

A lot of back brawling on the streets of Jersey City led up to that blandly governmental presentation by the D.C. touring mayor.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

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