Mayor Ras J. Baraka speaks at NRBP

Mayor Ras J. Baraka Speaks at NRBP’s Eye Opener June 2023

Sponsored By: RWJBarnabas Health, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Public Service Electric & Gas Company, Provident National Corporation, United, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot LLC, Popular Bank, NJ Advance Media,, Star Ledger

 This blog was written by Impact Intern Rodolfo Polanco

To start off the meeting, Angelo Scialfa introduced NJIT’s new men’s basketball head coach Grant Hill. Hill, hired to grow the basketball program, stressed the importance of a home court advantage when describing his future plans for NJIT’s Wellness Athletic Center. Next, Linda Kamateh, Assistant Vice President of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, spoke about their $150 million expansion. The medical center’s growth includes the opening of a new ICU, emergency department, and geriatrics department. Thirty percent of the money invested into the expansion was used to contract with local, minority- and women-owned businesses. Lastly, the Mayor of Newark, NJ @Ras J. Baraka talked about successes, issues, and plans to strengthen the city of Newark.

One of the many success stories that the city has experienced recently is NewarkGo, and how Newark is one of the top 5 cities in the country to utilizes Veo micro mobility scooters. This is significant because more than fifty percent of Newarkers don’t have a car. The Mayor also shared the good news that Newark’s violent crimes committed by Black and brown boys in the last decade have decreased by fifty-five percent.

Some of the other issues he discussed included the challenges faced by retailers in Newark due to the lack of city foot traffic and residential density. He also emphasized the importance of helping the city’s homeless because they are four times more likely to be a victim of crime than they are to commit a crime. Ninety percent of Essex County’s homeless population can be found in Newark, despite the fact that most are not original Newarkers.

The city and the Mayor however, remain committed to building Hope Villages to help Newark’s unhoused. His final remarks included a reflection on the recent COVID-19 pandemic. He reminded participants that the pandemic reset society and created a greater sense of urgency in us all to focus on what we want out of life because you don’t know how things will be tomorrow.

Thank you Mayor and Rodolfo.

Cheryl McCants ~ Impact Founder and CEO

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