Monday, May 12, 2014

Interview with Alturrick Kenney Newark At Large Council Candidate

As an advisory board member you are on record that you oppose the Newark One Plan, outline what your plan would be and also give your plan a name.

Dr. Lauren Wells of NYU and Central High School Principal Ras Baraka created a phenomenal plan called The Global Village School Zone. In sum, the school used a number of school based initiatives to revitalize neighborhood schools. The GVSZ worked with the NYU to provide professional development for teachers. The school extended the day to increase time on task and provide supports in a number of areas which includes arts and STEM. The school worked with all feeder middle and elementary schools to make sure the principals shared best practices and aligned curriculum. Every school must work with professional partners to bring in wrap around programs. Finally, the school became a center for community based activities. The school building must stay open 3 pm to provide tutoring and enrichment for children and community activities for families like Salsa night or discussions to improve acadmic performance. , by I do not have any new plan outside of what we witnessed in the Central Ward called the Global Village School Zone. In sum, comprehensive high schools remained a feeder school for all neighborhood schools

2. What are the 3 most important issues facing Newark in your opinion?
The city of newark is abundantly rich in resources, strategically located and growing at a fast  pace yet we’re facing an annual deficit. The city of Newark is the home to one of the largest airport and seaports in the country, over 40,000 students attend college in our city, we home to Panasonic, Prudential, and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, yet out unemployment rate is 14.7%, twice the national average. Our city must do an number of things. First, in order to meet our annual obligations we must renegotiate with NY/NY port authority and demand more money by invoking the favorite nation’s clause in the lease. Secondly, we have to review all WIB contracts to ensure we are paying vendors who have a strong track record preparing our residents for careers and placing them to work. Finally, we have to ask the state to remove Cami Anderson immediately. He leadership style demands a partner who’s willing to work with the locally elected officials and partners.

3. You have been Deputy Mayor in Newark, Advisory board member and district leader, but what do 

you feel makes you the best candidate? I am unique. I started working in government in the 20’s and was appointed Deputy Mayor by 29. I left city government and worked as a project manager, recruiter and finally the political director for a union. I gained valuable experience while serving on 
the school board which has a $1.1B budget and service 44K children. My experience and youthful enthusiasm qualifies me for leadership. I know city government.

4. What would you do to make city government more transparent for the average citizen?

The website must be managed with full support staff. When projects enter the city, we must ensure they follow the current ordinance and properly notify residents. Our pre-conference and committee meetings open to the public.

5. Many residents feel that they have been left of the cities economic development. That focus on downtown and big businesses is the main objective. How would you grow the economic engine of the neighborhoods bringing business yet also helping the mom and pop shops etc?
If BCDC is not dissolved by the incoming Mayor, we have greater oversight how money is loaned and force all lendees to repay seed capital. All outstand loans must be reviewed and collected. The municipal council must have a conversation with the college community and ask them to loan their expertise to help us rebuild Newark’s retail market and business corridor. Rutgers, Downtown Regional Business Partnerships, Small Business Association and all partners must provide technical support, book keeping and other services to help spur growth. It’s critically important, we must create safe neighborhood corridors where people can eat and shop. We must increase the number of Special Improvement Districts so neighbor retail storeowners can clean their street, beautify the community and use an revenue for fa├žade consistency.

6. Crime and the murder rate over the past year have risen to all time highs, what is your solution to stem the violence and murder rate?

We must demand the new police director put more officers on the street, attend COMPSTAT meetings, repurpose staff to pick up calls on the x6400 system, repurpose the recreation centers to attract & keep children occupied, ask NPS’s to extend hours and create family programs, access the 
re-entry programs to ensure they are working and keeping recidivism low, fund prevention programs with measurable results and create new jobs.

7. Who is your role model?
Patrice Luumumba and Cliff Carter

8. The city faces a 93 million dollar deficit, what would you do to fix this problem?

Most immediate, review all non-essential contracts and unaffiliated staff to reduce the overall budget. Request the Mayor to order a hiring freeze. Finally, contact the Mayor, BA and Corporation counsel to review the lease agreement with
 NY/NJ Port Authority. After the review, we must demand more money. Once all those areas are 
exhausted, we must ask the colleges to expand and grow. We have to attract businesses to the city inorder to create jobs, payroll tax and property tax.

9. Alturrick Kenny is....committed to make Newark the greatest city in the world.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Former New Jersey Public Advocate & current Newark At Large Councilman Candidate Wilfredo Caraballo interview : to Cami Anderson Apologize or Resign

1. At one point in your career you were gearing yourself to become a priest, what changed your mind?
  I have always felt a calling.  When I was in my late teens I thought the call was to serve through the ministry of the church.  I entered the seminary and spent 2 years trying to find out what God had  in store for me.  I learned that my calling was to a different ministry.  Those were 2 of the greatest years of my life. I learned a lot about myself and can honestly say those years served to anchor the rest of my life

2.In the last year, you were able to meet many Newarkers and learn of their problems, what do you feel are the major problems or issues in Newark?

All of us living in Newark know that crime, the failure of our schools and the lack of opportunities for our young men and women are at the heart of our ills.  My team and I have been going door to door, forum to forum, ward to ward. I didn't need to campaign in order to learn about the problems we face in Newark, but I was a bit surprised by the lack of trust and the outright hostility that too many of our citizens have towards our city government. I can't say that I blame our citizens.  We don't get the services to which we are entitled, we can't get straight answers and we are constantly given the run around.  This journey through our city has strengthened me in my resolve to bring change to our city.

3: Many people in the city feel that Newark Public Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson is no longer an advocate for Public Schools and her Newark One plan is wrong for the city. This list of people now includes ministers who object to her and her plan. What is your opinion of Cami Anderson and separately on her Newark One plan?

She needs to do one of 2 things:  (a) ask the people of Newark to forgive her, and start all over, committing herself to being inclusive, or, (b) resign.  Her leadership style is simply not acceptable. And truthfully, it's that style that really makes me somewhat sad about what she is trying to do.  I read her Newark One plan. Who can be against ensuring that all of children have equal access to our schools?  Who can be against making sure that our resources are being appropriately used? Her goals are awesome, but why can't parents be brought into the discussion as the plans are being thought about and drafted?  Instead, our parents are treated with a mindset that says "we know what's best for you".

4. Recently you came out in support of a Public Advocate for the city who would be able to address 

the council and mayor. This has drawn a lot of reaction from residents. How would this be implemented and paid for?
My plan for a Public Advocate was developed in response to my discussions with the people I have talked to over the course of my campaign.  Much of what I have heard is very similar to the kinds of things I heard when I was the Public Advocate for the state.  People want someone to hold elected officials accountable.  People want someone with the power to go after those who abuse the public trust.  The citizens want someone who will be their eyes and ears.  Too many elected officials believe they have all the answers.  They don't want  to be held accountable.  The Public Advocate would be the voice of the people in the corridors of City Hall making sure that everyone is doing their job. 
I have no desire to increase the cost of government so my plan is to file a bill, should I be elected, that would cut the pay of all City Council members by 25%.  In addition I would seek to cut the number of aides.  Each Council member has 5, I would cut it to four.  I would eliminate cars, gas cards, cell phones and other perks that they now have.  These savings alone would pay for the Public Advocate

5. What sets you apart from all the other at-large candidates?
   I would hope that the breadth of my experience would make me someone that voters believe will do a good job.  

My personal story is very simple: My brother and I were raised by our mother in the South Bronx. We didn't have much, but were to taught to respect others and ourselves.  Getting an education was important to our mother, she didn't get past the 8th grade herself and wanted her boys to go to college. My brother and I both did.

I studied for the priesthood early on and then went to law school.  I became a law professor at Seton

Hall School of Law where I helped create a program that has helped give an opportunity to study law to over 600 men and women who might not otherwise have been given the opportunity.

I was appointed to be the Public Advocate and the Public Defender by Governor Florio.  In that capacity I fought to make government accountable to the people of this state.

I was an Assemblyman for 12 years.  Much of the legislation that I sponsored was geared towards leveling the playing field for all citizens. I was the primary sponsor of the bill that eliminated the death penalty and mandates life encarceration for those who would have otherwise been sentenced to death.  Too many times we have witnessed situations where men and women were sentenced to death only to find out later that they were innocent.  Too often the men and women wrongly condemned are Black or latino.  I was the primary sponsor of the bill that opened up cable television to competition

so that rates could go down.

6. How would you address crime in Newark?

The Team Jeffries plan to combat crime is based on empirical studies and Shavar's own experience in being at the forefront of crime fighting strategies.  It all starts with making sure that the streets are safe.  We would immediately restore 50 of the police officers that were laid off and then move to find ways to increase our police force.  Our crime problem will not be solved simply by having more police, but it does start there.

We would make sure that police go after the real criminals while we develop alternatives for lesser crimes. Drug courts are important in any effort to fight crime.  We nee to create more job opportunities for our young men and women.  Our kids need alternatives!  If they don't have any alternatives, the temptation of the gangs and crime are too often too strong to resist.   PLEASE GO ONTO OUR WEBSITE FOR THE FULL DETAILS OF OUR PLAN.

7. Who is your role model?

My role model has always been my mother.  From the time I was a kid, I used to marvel at her spirit.  She came north with a husband and two sons. Her husband left but she didn't miss a beat. She was a self taught seamstress who worked tirelessly to encourage her sons to move forward. She gave us unconditional love and supported everything that we ever tried to accomplish.  I learned to be a man and a father by watching a woman being both a mother and a father.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Celebrate Newark's Cherry Blossomfest!!!

Celebrate Newark's Cherry Blossomfest!!!

This weekend marks the beginning  of the Cherry Blossomfest in Newark & Belleville's Branch Brook Park. So we take a look back at some of last year's sights below. We also have a link with all this year's festivities. It is a must see event for the whole family so take a look at this year's happenings and take a look back at last year's magnificent trees!

Spring is here and appropriately enough Newark's Branch Brook Park & Belleville are bursting into spring with their beautiful displays of some America's most cherished and largest arrangements of Cherry Blossoms.

With over 3,000 Cherry Blossoms it is one of the most beautiful sights to see with whites to light pink and bright spectacular eye popping pink it is a sight to behold.

Branch Brook Park has the largest variety
of Cherry Blossom trees while Washington D.C. may have a bigger festival.

Please take note as we captured the First opening buds on this Holy Easter Sunday to present day.
Their spectacular display will begin opening more each day and culminating near the last week of April depending on the weather.

A must see event!

Below is a link to the last week or 2 of events.

1 comment:

  1. love the blossoms love branch brook park

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

An Evening with Newark Mayoral Candidate Shavar Jeffries moderated byTamsen Fadal Pix 11 anchor Q & A

Thursday March 27 at 6:45 there will be an Evening with Newark Mayoral Candidate Shavar Jeffries moderated by Pix 11 anchor Tamsen Fadal with your questions and answers from Jeffries.
The event will take place at Shiloh Baptist Church 99 Davenport Ave., Newark, N.J.
Light Refreshments afterwards.
For more information e-mail:

Exclusive interview with Newark Mayoral Candidate Shavar Jeffries: