A North Jersey Mayor, a Central Jersey Assemblyman and the new Commissioner of Labor are winners of AFTNJ awards and recognition at the Legislative Conference awards luncheon April 14 in Atlantic City.

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Baraka (left) accepts endorsement from DelGrosso (to his right) in 2014.

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka is the Joe DelGrosso Friend of Education for bringing together the education community to successfully advocate for local control. The Mayor is a long-time educator, starting as a teacher, vice-principal and principal in Newark. As a teacher, Baraka served as a Newark Teachers Union building representative for his school.

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Baraka (second from right) accepts endorsement from NTU (John Abeigon, far left), AFTNJ (Donna Chiera) and HPAE (Bernie Gerard, far right).

Baraka is running for re-election is May 8 and will be unable to attend the conference. He accepted the award March 28 in Newark.

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Asm. Benson (right) testifies with AFTNJ Higher Education Executive Vice President Sue Tardi, PhD at Assembly Higher Education in 2016. 

Assemblyman Dan Benson has maintained an open dialog with AFT representatives on legislative concerns. He represents the 14th Legislative District and has been working with AFT leaders on higher education legislation. Asm. Benson will be recognized with the AFTNJ Friend of Higher Education award.


Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo welcomes veterans’ services staff to Trenton for a conference. (NJ DOLWD).

The labor community is excited by the appointment of Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo to lead New Jersey’s Department of Labor, according to AFTNJ President Donna Chiera. Governor Murphy likewise lauded Angelo, “Rob will ensure fair labor practices, fight wage theft and preserve the basic tenets of organized labor in our state. Now more than ever, our working class needs a champion, and I am confident that Robert will be that champion.”

The awards luncheon is free for AFTNJ members, but registration is required.

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