Tonight, Mayor Ras Baraka will present The State of the City Address at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. The address will focus on three areas: jobs, development and public safety. The address is also expected to touch on five key points, outlined below.
1. Mayor Baraka will speak to the $2 billion in development underway and discuss his determination to ensure that all Newark residents and neighborhoods benefit from the city’s increasing prosperity.
2. Mayor Baraka is expected to announce Hire. Buy. Live. Newark, a precedent-shattering comprehensive plan to reduce poverty and unemployment.
Hire Newark will connect 2020 of the city’s unemployed to full-time living wage jobs by the year 2020 cutting in half the employment gap between Newark and New Jersey as a whole.
Buy Newark will commit anchors and other large businesses to buy more here- to procure locally like Whole Foods purchasing from Aerofarms and selling TM Ward coffee in their store.
Live Newark will attract more employees to live in the city to spur population growth, increase demand for local businesses and create more vibrant neighborhoods and will also provide existing residents with additional rental and homeownership choices and incentives.
3. One cause of Newark’s reduction in crime to the lowest level in fifty years is the efforts that the city has made to become a national leader in building police/community trust and cooperation.
Mayor Baraka is expected to speak on the work to repair the relationship between the police and the community. More trust and increased community involvement is proven to help prevent crimes and helps the police do a better job of apprehending those who commit crimes.
4. Mayor Baraka will demonstrate a cutting-edge camera surveillance system that will enable residents to collaborate with police in monitoring crime “hot spots”.
“Public Safety is also working with Panasonic on a robust system to assist us in monitoring crime in our neighborhoods,” says the mayor. “We have identified at least 125 “hot spots” throughout our city. We obviously do not have the personnel to man every block 24 hours a day, so we have invested in a camera system that will allow residents to become more involved in making their neighborhoods safer. Residents will be able to use their personnel electronic devices- a computer, or even a phone- to monitor the cameras on their block. With a special code they will be able to view a hot spot through the camera and make anonymous complaints directly to the department. We will also be monitoring these cameras ourselves at 311 Washington St. Right now we have installed one camera in every ward to begin to test this technology and tonight we can see how it actually works.”
5. Mayor Baraka will take a stand on Newark as a sanctuary city, proud of its diversity, and leading the resistance to misguided Trump policies
“We are a city of many different languages, all kinds of food, incredible music and dance. Our diversity is our strength. Our commitment to democracy will make us safer and more prosperous, not fear and division. We are a sanctuary city because it is who we are, our essence, a maker city, full of immigrants and ex slaves escaping terror in the south. We are a sanctuary city because we are not brown shirts, nor fugitive slave catchers. We are opposed to Bull Connor and Steve Bannon. We believe that the world together is safer than the world separated,” said Mayor Baraka.
Newark is a city that is growing with immigrants taking a chance on a country that has not taken a chance on them.
The speech will be aired LIVE on the Newark Government Access Channel 78 (Fios 28), and will also be streamed live on the City of Newark’s website.