Newark poised for liftoff: Cory Booker

By Kofi Ayim


The City of Newark is experiencing one of the most exciting periods of hope and is poised for a big takeoff within the next few years. This assessment was given by Mayor Cory A. Booker at the second annual African-American Media Breakfast held last month at The Newark Club, Newark, New Jersey. “Newark,” Mayor Booker added “would be the place to be in the near future.” He remarked that job creation and ownership is the business goal of the City of Newark.

The Mayor said businesses are coming into, rather than leaving the City of Newark because of the city’s initiatives and innovative ways of urban transformation. He cited the Panasonic Towers, Warehousing and Distribution, and Winery as some projects being undertaken in Newark. “Newark is fast becoming the wine capital of the nation” he pointed out. He estimated that about 3000 construction and permanent jobs would be created in the process.

Mayor Cory Booker observed that safety challenges in Newark are a perceptive issue, but quickly conceded that the city has its problems in certain areas. Shooting off crime statistics by comparing and contrasting, the Mayor emphasized that crime is on the lower side of the aisle. He praised the police for new initiatives that have made it possible to drive down crimes.

On education, the Mayor said that about 90 percent of the city’s college students have to take remedial classes, a drawback that cuts into financial aid programs. He opined that the city would give power back to teaching professionals so they can effectively articulate and marry programs to students needs and wants. “We’re done managing failures in schools; we’re geared towards success by creating better and competitive schools – super and alternate schools” he said.

Mayor Booker enumerated some social intervention programs and accomplishments achieved by his administration. These include, but not limited to The Grandparents Support Center, the Financial Empowerment Center, Prescription Drug Programs, Tax Free Preparation Centers, Renovation and Rehabilitation of Parks and Recreation Centers, the Brick City Scholarship, and Helpline. He urged residents to patronize and explore these facilities, and theorized that “slavery of the present is slavery of ignorance, not (slavery) in bounds and chains of the past.” Responding to a question of the huge gap that exists between recent African immigrants and the African American community posed by this writer, the Mayor agreed in principle to a summit between the two entities.

The exclusive roundtable event was attended by both print and broadcast media from the Tristate that included ABC-TV, PIX II, and FoxTV.



Posted by on Apr 19 2012. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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