The Executive Council of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the faculty union, has unanimously voted to endorse Ras Baraka as the next mayor of the City of Newark. The municipal endorsement was a first for the union, underscoring the importance of this election for both preK-12 and higher education members of the American Federation of Teachers. Public reinvestment in our community schools and our universities is critically important for economic growth and for student opportunity. Student debt diverts dollars from the local economy. In making this endorsement, the union expects that Ras Baraka will be the strongest student advocate in Newark, at the statehouse and in the nation’s capital.

“Public education is under attack across the City of Newark, the State of New Jersey and the nation. These attacks are pushed by private interests and complicit elected officials,” said Lisa Klein, AAUP-AFT President and Distinguished Professor of Engineering. “Austerity and ‘accountability’ are being misused to transfer public dollars into private accounts.” She went on to say, “Ras Baraka has stood up against the One Newark plan, but even more importantly he is standing together with our students, parents and teachers to reinvest in our public schools and public universities – Essex County College, NJIT and Rutgers-Newark.”

“I am delighted that our union has decided to support the candidacy of Ras Baraka for mayor of Newark,” said Charles Auffant, Clinical Professor of Law at the Rutgers School of Law – Newark. “Ras’ lifelong commitment to public education and public workers demands our support. The union’s action demonstrates that we stand together with Ras in demanding that the voices of Newark’s residents be heard in the City’s renaissance. I am sure that our union, together with other sectors of the university community, will work with Ras to promote Newark as a desirable place to work and live. To paraphrase Ras, When he becomes mayor… we become mayor.”


Affiliated nationally with both the American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of Teachers, Rutgers AAUP-AFT represents nearly 7,000 professors, librarians, research faculty, adjunct teaching faculty, graduate teaching and research assistants, post-doctoral associates, and educational opportunity fund counselors.

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