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.