Don’t be afraid- Baraka
The Mayor of the City of Newark, Hon Ras J. Baraka has challenged the immigrant African community to get involved in the processes of New Jersey’s largest city. He said it is not enough for African immigrants to spend their money in the city without getting their share of the socio-economic, educational, and political opportunities that the city can offer. “Don’t be afraid to come to City Hall and get involve”, he advised. Mayor Baraka alluded to these statements during a Town Hall Meeting with the African Community August 23, organized by the Mayor’s Office of International Relations & Diaspora Affairs in collaboration with the United African Forum. “We need you feel that you are part of the city, there is no Newark and then the African community. No! There is only one Newark,” he philosophized. The Mayor who is popular among the African community urged Africans to come out of their their inner shells to join in the current renaissance that is positively shaping the City of Newark. He emphasized the time has come for the African community to own blocks of properties that could be developed into storefronts, afterschool programs, eateries and restaurants, among others. He said the City ID Card project currently underway, registers about one hundred Newarkers a day, and explained the benefits of the Card especially to immigrants who might otherwise possess no other form of identification.
In a brief introductory address, Deputy Mayor, Hon. Ugo Nwaokoro, decried the lack of participation of Africans in City Affairs. He said Africans are yet to take advantage of the immense opportunities that could be derived from his Office. Hon. Nwaokoro, originally from Nigeria is the first African to be appointed a Deputy Mayor in the history of the City of Newark.
The event was co-sponsored by the Newark African Commission and the African Christian Clergy Alliance. The meeting was held at the Blessed Sacrament/St Charles Boremeo Church, Newark. Present were the President of Newark’s City Council, Hon. Mildred Crump and the representative of Hon. John Sharpe James, South Ward Councilman.