Call former teacher ‘Education Mayor’ with innovative ideas to help residents
NEWARK, New Jersey – “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 his plan to move Newark Public Schools and the city forward in a thoughtful and coordinated manner.”
Del Grosso pointed to Baraka’s innovative 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.”
Baraka has been a central figure in organizing community support for the public school system, calling for a return to local control of the state-run district and opposing a plan to close schools. “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,” he said.
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. Many unions are supporting the candidate and current Councilman because they recognize that Baraka has a comprehensive bottom-up strategy towards economic growth and focus on creating living wage jobs. “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.
The Newark Teachers Union is an American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO local of more than 4,500 teachers, aides and clerks.