Ras Baraka

Governor Christie is advancing Newark’s bid to win Amazon’s competition to determine where the internet retailer will build its second headquarters.

Christie says Newark represents the heart-and-soul of what Amazon is seeking.

“Newark is a growing technology hub. They are a growing education for the state of New Jersey. Unparalleled transportation options and unique cultural options in this city as well.”

U-S Senator Cory Booker, a former mayor of Newark, says Amazon would be smart to come to Newark.

Ang Santos / WBGO

There’s a lot of common ground between Newark and New Orleans.  Both the largest metropolitan areas in their respective state’s.  Both majority minority communities with a history of poverty and crime.

“America since the 1950’s and 60’s underinvested in its cities primarily because of the issue of race.”

Marc Morial is the president of The National Urban League and two term mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002.

Ken Downey Jr. / WBGO

It’s been over two decades since plundering graduation rates, and overall poor performance forced the state to seize control of Newark Public Schools.  In recent years, a combination of state and city led initiatives changed education in Brick City.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie calls the return of local control a watershed moment.

“In the last six years, the accomplishments of this system are very impressive.  The job is certainly not complete, but we’ve made real progress at times in the face of real emotional opposition.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Attorney General Chris Porrino says almost 4,775 deadly firearms were taken off the streets in a recent two-day gun buyback.  The state’s biggest haul yet.

“1,973 handguns, roughly 1,000 shotguns, roughly a thousand rifles, and 129 assault weapons,” Porrino said

Nearly 900 of those guns were collected from the location in Newark.

Bud Lee Archives / Sergio Waksman Design

Media coverage of the 1967 Newark Rebellion depicted chaos in New Jersey’s largest city, but many people who were there say some major inaccuracies were reported as fact.

“Sniper Fire from open windows kills two policemen a fire captain shot in the back while answering a false alarm and several bystanders. Officials say the snipers, some not believed to be Newark residents use guns stolen from a local rifle factory.  Even machine guns were used,” said one movie house newsreel following the Newark riots.

Mayor Baraka, announces 2017 Summer Youth Program

Jul 10, 2017

On Monday, July 3, City Mayor, Ras Baraka, announced his ‘2017 Summer Youth Employment Program’. For the third straight year, Mayor Baraka, has reached out and provided jobs for the young adults in the City of Newark.

Alexandra Hill

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his third annual State Of The City address earlier this week. Baraka focused his speech on changing perceptions about New Jersey’s largest city, as a city plagued by violence and poverty, to a place of growth and innovation.

Ang Santos / WBGO

It’s been over twenty years since the state took control of Newark Public School’s because of low graduation rates and overall poor student performance.  It’s been a rocky road for the city’s education system since, and many residents believe not much has changed over the course of time.

At First Avenue School in Newark’s North Ward, about 100 city residents gathered to hear Mayor Ras Baraka’s latest updates on regaining local control of schools.  They had their own concerns.

Newark Public Library

Programming Note: Cory Booker will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors". He will be joined by fellow former mayors Ken Gibson, Sharpe James and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

NJ Advance Media / Courtesy of Newark Public Library

Programming Note: Ken Gibson will join us this Friday, February 3rd at 8pm as Newark Today Presents "The Four Living Mayors".  He will be joined by fellow former mayors Sharpe James, US Senator Cory Booker and current mayor Ras Baraka for what will be a historic night.

Ken Gibson was elected as Newark’s first African American mayor in 1970.  A transitional period for Newark; the city was in recovery from the 67’ rebellion.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The Hahne & Co. building on Broad St. in Newark has reopened its doors.  It’s transformed into much more than a department store.

Many Newarkers remember it as the ‘Hahne’s’ building.  The 21st century version will house the city’s first Whole Foods, a restaurant from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, and housing units both luxury and affordable.  Mayor Ras Baraka says 65 of those will be affordable housing units.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Mayor Ras Baraka says planning and investment is ready to complete Newark’s long awaited park project to revitalize the space in front of Prudential Center.

It’s been talked about for eleven years but now it finally looks like the 'Triangle Park Project' is ready to bring new retail and public open space to the Prudential Center.  Newark Deputy Mayor Baye Adofo-Wilson says there’s been a change in design.

“At one time the project was a triangle, but because of a street and some realignment it became more of a rectangle.  So we ended up changing the name,” said Wilson.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark’s Department of Public Safety is introducing its first class of school crossing guards to their ranks.  Twenty-eight vetted and trained residents are being assigned to the most traffic burdened areas of the city.   

“We had a group of people, we went through 500 people to get these 28.  They are the first point of security that these kids will see going to school and out of school,” says Anthony Ambrose, Director, Newark Department of Public Safety.

Mayor Ras Baraka says hiring more crossing guards has been a request from city parents since he took office.

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez is meeting with Dr. Ben Carson, the secretary-designee of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, ahead of his confirmation hearing on Thursday.

Senator Bob Menendez questions whether Dr. Ben Carson understands the responsibilities of his pending appointment.

“I want to get a view of Dr. Carson’s understanding of what HUD’s mission is, and the priorities he will have as the secretary designee,” Menendez said by conference call with several New Jersey mayors.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Democratic Ambassador Phil Murphy received some pretty good news regarding his campaign for governor.  

New Jersey US Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker are the latest to endorse the democrat for governor. 

"Two extraordinary United States Senators, Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.  As good as it gets in this country.  As good as any partners you can hope to have.  I’m humbled by your endorsement today gentleman.  I’m looking forward to getting out in the hustings and rolling up our sleeves together,” Murphy said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark’s overall crime rate has decreased over the last year.

Crime statistics from the Newark PD Comstat Unit show drops in almost every category.

“We have 1,300 less victims this year.  We have 400 less violent crime victims.  It’s good, but it’s still high.  But we can say that Newark is a safer city from 2015 to 2016,” said Anthony Ambrose, Director, Newark Department of Public Safety.