City of Newark

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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his long awaited speech to an nearly empty room at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, as thousands tuned in online to Baraka's first ever virtual State of The City address.

The Mayor highlighted everything from Newark's nationally touted COVID-19 response, to the recently announced $100 million fund for Black and LatinX businesses, to declaring white supremacist organizations illegal in New Jersey's largest city.

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The Krueger-Scott Mansion in Newark, built in 1888, is getting a makeover -- and a new mission in life.

The mansion will be restored and constructed to hold working areas, private offices and community gathering spaces. The work of local artists will be showcased and there will be exhibits about the mansion’s history.

Dupré Do It All Kelly of the legendary hip-hop group The Lords Of The Undergroud has released new music nearly two years in the making, and in the midsts of a global pandemic. The Newark native, activist, and former candidate for city council, recently sat down with WBGO's Alexandra Hill to talk about his latest solo project, the message behind the new single Keep The Faith featuring Mayor Ras Baraka, Hip-Hop and Politics, conversations with 2Pac and much more. 

"Mask Up, Newark!"

Jul 17, 2020
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They’re calling it Mask Up, Newark.

If you don’t wear a mask in an outdoor public space in Newark, police will give you a summons. 

It’s part of the "Mask up, Newark!" promotion from the mayor and public safety director, and it comes after an executive order from Governor Murphy. The governor's executive order on masks excludes children younger than 2-years-old, those partaking in some sports activities, people who are eating and drinking, as well as those with underlying health conditions. 

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced a further series of sweeping measures to address the threat of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the City of Newark, which include a mandatory 8 p.m. curfew, the closing of non-essential businesses by 8 p.m. tonight until further notice, and City Hall services offered to residents there by appointment only. A list of the new measures follows, in which compliance will be enforced.


Ang Santos / WBGO

These advocates say they dedicate a lot of their time towards improving water quality in Newark.  Between full time jobs, parenting, the struggle is…

“O wow, the struggle is real,” says Newark activist, parent and social worker Shakima Thomas.  “Keeping people involved is a difficult task because people are concerned with what is going on now in their lives.  What they can see or actively change in the moment.” 

Thomas explains that the difficulty with treating lead in drinking water and its negative effects on health takes time and so…

Ang Santos:  Your study looks at data from the years 2014 to 2018 and shows students who enrolled at schools run by Newark’s two largest charter operators saw improved and lasting gains in test scores, what was the process for coming to that conclusion?

Ang Santos / WBGO

It’s a weeknight in Newark’s West Ward.  Roughly two dozen residents sit patiently waiting for city Department of Water and Sewer Utilities officials to start a presentation.

“About the water updates and the lead service line replacement discussion,” announces a city official, asking residents to take their seats.

“My home has been tested,” said Daniel Gibson, a retired West Ward resident.  “I do have a lead service line and I’m awaiting the city coming in to take it out.”

Ang Santos / WBGO

Construction is underway on a new affordable housing development in Newark's south ward.  It's part of Mayor Ras Baraka's push for residents to invest in the city.

Newark born Siree Morris with the development company Ascension Capital Partners, is the local face behind "The Lofts at Avon", two affordable three-family homes being built on former city-owned vacant lots.

Hiring Has Started for Census 2020 Temp Jobs

Oct 23, 2019
Ang Santos / WBGO

The US Census Bureau is hosting community job hiring events as part of its National Recruiting Week, where census officials engage with people interested in positions and the application process.  

An Santos / WBGO

Cars are parked with their emergency lights on in front of the Vince Lombardi Center in Newark’s north ward.  Brawny men use hand trucks to cart cases of water from the building to the cars, loading them in for residents.

“We’re giving out water as precaution, I think the distribution centers are moving excellently,” said Mayor Ras Baraka taking questions from reporters.  

Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey officials say its unclear why samples of drinking water in Newark exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency's standards for allowable levels of lead, even as those homes used EPA certified water filters.  

Of the three recent samples of water taken from Newark homes, only one came back with levels of lead reduced to the EPA's standard.  New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe says she's meeting with federal officials to discuss what steps should be taken beyond handing out bottles of water to residents.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Mayor Ras Baraka has launched a pilot program he hopes will get more Newarkers to read books.  

The first phase of the free pilot program allows students to sign up online or at the local library and choose between two books.  Baraka is calling it the Mayor’s Book Club, an opportunity to promote literacy outside of the classroom.

Ang Santos / WBGO

The City of Newark is set to replace up to 1,500 lead service lines over the next year. 

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine McCabe says the state will work with Newark to replace roughly 15,000 lead service lines.  The Lead Service Line Replacement Program is expected to cost about $75 million over eight years.

“At his point our infrastructure is decaying, and these pipes need to be replaced with newer, safer, and more reliable materials, but that’s expensive,” she said.

Ang Santos / WBGO

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his first State of the City address since being reelected last May, with a message highlighting investment in the city and its children, while defending an increase in development.

Amazon passed on Newark as a location for its new headquarters, but Baraka says the consideration was a major victory and believes opponents were wrongheaded for being skeptical. 

Newark Offering Free 2019 Tax Prep Services

Jan 29, 2019

The free tax preparation services are being offered to people in the greater Newark area that earn less than $56,000 a year.  The program found roughly $13 million in total refunds for residents in 2018, says Catherine Wilson with United Way of Essex and West Hudson