Newark

Ras Baraka Wins Newark Mayoral Race

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2014-, 1986-2006
rasjbaraka.com

South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka, son of the beat-era poet Amiri Baraka, won today's mayoral election in Newark, N.J. today. Baraka ran against Shavar Jeffries, a former school board president who campaigned as an education reform advocate. Education played a major role in the election, which was seen as a referendum on reform.

Baraka served as principal of Central High School while holding his city council position, bringing his income into six figures, something his opponents have criticized him for. The Newark City Council as a whole has been criticized for the high pay and spending involved.

Baraka's supporters accused Jeffries, who helped found the TEAM Academy charter school in Newark, of being supported by the same kind of outside money that's helped make the charter school experiment a success in Newark. Outside groups spent money on both candidates, a departure from previous election cycles in the city. Baraka is a fierce critic of state-led efforts to reform the city's school system, and has been criticized for not having an alternative to charter schools or education reform for Newark's failing public schools. He was endorsed by the Newark Teachers Union.

Baraka has organized regular anti-violence protests in Newark for years. Here's a video from 2011 shot by my girlfriend at the time where Baraka spoke about the shooting death of a Virginia teacher who had gone back home to Newark in the summer. In it he advocates a kind of vigilantism toward the young men who commit the bulk of murders in Newark. Watch below:

 

Baraka succeeds Luis Quintana, who has been acting mayor of Newark since the election to the U.S. Senate of Cory Booker. Booker, a Democrat, bucked the party line by supporting school vouchers when running for mayor in 2006, nurturing charter schools while in office, and using his celebrity star power to promote and bring money into Newark's schools. Booker succeeded Sharpe James, who was mayor of Newark for 20 years before serving two years in jail after being convicted on corruption-related charges by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. Baraka ran against James in 1994 when he was 24 years old. James was first re-elected in 1990 with no opponents

NEXT: Tonight on The Independents: Two-Part Interview with Glenn Greenwald, Plus Obamacare Choice-Stifling, the Politics of Nigeria, Casey Kasem, Global Drunkenness, Spring Fashion w/ Gavin McInnes, and After-Show!

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  1. “shot by my girlfriend”

    humble brag

  2. Baraka is a fierce critic of state-led efforts to reform the city’s school system, and has been criticized for not having an alternative to charter schools or education reform for Newark’s failing public schools. He was endorsed by the Newark Teacher’s Union.

    Shocker.

    1. Not hard to read between those lines.

    2. You should’ve heard them complain about “Wall Street money” coming into Newark. It was…something else.

      I wish drowning under an inbound tide of Wall Street money was my biggest fear.

  3. “Newark – you ain’t seen nothing yet!”

  4. “regular anti-violence protests”

    The hoodlums are peeing themselves – I hope it’s from fear.

  5. So, Happy Days Are Here Again?!?

    The entire paragraph beginning….

    “Baraka’s supporters accused Jeffries, who helped found the TEAM Academy charter school in Newark, of being supported by the same kind of outside money that’s helped make the charter school experiment a success in Newark…”

    …seems to be saying, “This man won the mayoral race on the back of a platform criticizing attempts to improve Newark’s school system

    If that’s the case = well, bully for them then. Race to the Bottom! May he preside over a regime nearly as corrupt and inept as his predecessors.

    1. But he’s anti-violence! And he holds protests against violence!

  6. EducationIdentity politics played a major role in the election, which was seen as a referendum on reform entitlements.

  7. There’s no post-Independents thread!

    THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE [postmeridian thread]!

  8. Ya now, when 2 non-consecutive letters in a 4 letter word like “gone” become typos, it reeaalllly slows down comprehension. At 1st I thought it might’ve been a mis-scan for “borne”, but we know Krayewski’s not using a typewriter or hand printing.

  9. Anyway, this shows people who are considering running for elected, or for that matter appointed, office, that spending a few yrs. as a visible figure in the community, even if a self-appointed leader for non-controversial things like anti-violence protests, puts you in contention. Yes, he picked up an important endorsement, but how do you think he got into position to be considered for that endorsement (which probably plenty of people would’ve been glad to take)? And don’t carp that it’s an endorsement from the bad guys, because the same principle goes for getting endorsements from the good guys: you need to be seen as already prominent to be someone worth their endorsing.

  10. From what equity strategy does one short property values in Newark? There obviously is money to be made here.

  11. Amiri Baraka, it should be recalled, was a Marxist antisemite and advocate of violence against gays, women, and whites.

  12. The minorities and the immigrant groups who would benefit the most from school reforms didn’t vote for Jeffries? Even though he’s a democrat?

    That’s bad news for the Republicans. But if they evolve on immigration, they’re sure to receive millions of votes.

    Oh, why bother.

  13. Recognizable last name FTW!

  14. You’d think that someone so anti-violence wouldn’t go around shooting children in the foot.

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