The New Jersey Citizen Action’s PAC announced its endorsement of Ras Baraka for Mayor of Newark today, praising the candidate’s dedication to supporting community hospitals at risk from for-profit takeovers, strong support for the Paid Sick Days ordinance that passed in January, and commitment to Newark’s public schools.
“Ras Baraka is the progressive candidate with a broader vision for the future of Newark,” said Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director of New Jersey Citizen Action. “Newark needs a Mayor who will stand up to corporate interests as they move in on community hospitals like Saint Michael’s Medical Center and Newark’s public schools. Newark needs a mayor who won’t stop at passing Paid Sick Days for Newark’s workers, but advocate for statewide measures that will benefit the people who live in Newark. Ras Baraka will be that Mayor, and that’s why I’m so pleased to announce New Jersey Citizen Action PAC’s endorsement of Ras Baraka for Mayor of Newark.”
New Jersey Citizen Action, which has two offices in Newark, has over 3000 individual members living in Newark. NJCA was very involved in the effort to pass Newark’s Paid Sick Days ordinance and is currently involved in a grassroots campaign to keep Newark’s community health care accessible, affordable and responsive to the community by requiring conditions that protect the community in the sale of Saint Michael’s Medical Center to California-based, for-profit Prime Healthcare Services.
The teacher’s union also threw in their endorsement for the principal on leave from Central High School.
“Ras Baraka is an accomplished educator with a strong sense of community who will make a great mayor for Newark,”said Newark Teachers Union (NTU) President Joseph Del Grosso, announcing the local’s endorsement of the former teacher and his education plan. “Baraka has been a visionary leader and we support hisplan to move Newark Public Schools and the city forward in a thoughtful and coordinated manner.”
Del Grosso pointed to Baraka’s record of championing vital services such as extended day childcare and dentistry as Principal of Central High School to address critical student needs in addition to improving academics. “Baraka’s collaboration with community to support education is what we need and his plan is based on years of experience working with students and families.”
“I will fully represent the interests of Newark’s children, families and educators and advocate for community input into decisions that impact our schools and neighborhoods,” said Baraka. “To enable all of our children to succeed, my plan calls for organizing our city’s institutions, resources, policies, and leaders to develop all of our neighborhoods, support our families, nurture the development of our children and create a climate outside of our schools that helps to transform learning within them.”
With NTU’s endorsement, the union’s Broad Street offices will serve as AFL-CIO headquarters for the campaign, according to Essex-West Hudson Center Labor Council President Thomas P. Giblin.
“Baraka strongly supported Newark’s new earned sick day ordinance, voting to approve one of the best bills in the nation and a model that we are working to replicate statewide,” said Giblin. The AFL-CIO operation means union workers on the ground to support Baraka’s bid and community outreach through NJ Workers Voices.”
Baraka is running in the May 13th election against former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries.