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