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Mayor Ras J. Baraka

State City September 2016

of the

Semi-Annual Report


Table of Contents

We Are Newark



Pioneering Ways to Keep Arrests Up and Crime Down


Placing the ­Community First in Policing, ­Education, and City Services

4 6 Mayor Ras J. Baraka


Creating More Jobs While ­Balancing the City’s Budget



Revitalizing Neighborhoods and Downtown with Business Development


Reinventing Parks, Recreation Programs, and Open Spaces


Over the past two years, the pace of positive change in Newark has reached historic proportions. During my campaign for Mayor, I pledged that when I became Mayor, you would also become Mayor. For two years, we have been working collectively, empowering each other, taking responsibility for our businesses and our neighborhoods to chart our new direction. You will see the word “partnership” many times in this report. That’s because the accelerating change in Newark is driven by partnerships involving many: parents, teachers, students, community organizations and leaders, clergy, City departments, colleges and universities, businesses large and small, immigrants, philanthropies, and citizen activists. I hope that this report will inspire you to become even more involved in the transformation of Newark. Your energy, courage, personal power, idealism, common sense, knowledge and faith are already making a big difference. Together, we will continue to accomplish more than any one Mayor could possibly achieve. Thank you for your belief in our city and your continued dedication and involvement.


With much gratitude, CITY OF NEWARK Ras J. Baraka, Mayor


Mildred C. Crump, Council President/Council Member-at-Large Augusto Amador, Council Member, East Ward Carlos M. Gonzalez, Council Member-at-Large John Sharpe James, Council Member, South Ward Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, Council Member, Central Ward Joseph A. McCallum, Jr., Council Member, West Ward Eddie Osborne, Council Member-at-Large Luis A. Quintana, Council Member-at-Large Anibal Ramos, Jr., Council Member, North Ward

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We Are Newark • September 2016

September 2016 • State of the City Report

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MORE PUBLIC SAFETY UPDATES Faster Response Times The Department of Public Safety conducted an audit of police and fire communications that led to major changes. Delays had been caused by an average of 326 calls per week diverted to Jersey City’s call center. Through reorganization, the number is now less than 20.

­­ Pioneering Ways to Keep Arrests Up and Crime Down

More High Crime Areas Targeted Quality of life operations have closed stores on Clinton Avenue and in the area of Broadway and Grafton, targeting prostitution, drag racing and panhandling; established road safety checkpoints, and created Police/Clergy patrols.

On March 10, 2016 there were 36 police officers and 34 fire recruits who graduated from training in a joint ceremony.


ewark is becoming safer as the result of innovative approaches to prevent violence as well as to make law enforcement more effective. Many of the new strategies are based on recommendations made by residents themselves at community Town Halls, Occupy the Block events, and meetings sponsored by the reorganized Department of Public Safety. These include: REDUCING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND HELPING VICTIMS Considering the entire increase in homicides this year has been caused by incidents of domestic violence, the police division is making a concentrated effort to address these offenses. The domestic abuse initiative is a partnership of City agencies, community-based advocacy organizations, community leaders, service providers, and citizen volunteers.

Newark’s Crime is Down and Arrests are Up

MORE OFFICERS REFLECTING THEIR COMMUNITY ON THE STREETS Since March, Mayor Baraka swore in 138 recruits and seven officers to the Newark Police Division The new recruits will now receive more than 20 weeks of training to become officers. The recruits include 30 black men, 24 black women, 23 white men, two white women, 41 Latino men and 15 Latina women.

MORE RECRUITMENT UPDATES: •• 50 officers doing administrative work have now been assigned to patrol streets •• Community Deployment Teams consisting of more than 80 patrol officers are now on foot patrol •• Deployment of officers is determined by detailed computer analysis of crime locations and called-in complaints

Jan 1, 2016 – Sept 25, 2016


Jan 1, 2015 – Sept 25, 2015







  Areas of Major Progress










Auto Theft




Non-fatal Shootings 2015





Non-fatal Shooting Victims

Intervention •• 24 Hour Hotline (973) 877-9448 •• Emergency relocation •• Protective services •• Medical and social service referrals •• Parenting support •• Court & medical ­accompaniment •• Job training and placement

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We Are Newark • September 2016


Prevention •• 26-week training for abusive behavior •• Risk assessment and ­prevention training to medical providers. •• Training police officers and school counselors to ­recognize domestic abuse •• Community workshops

Major Crimes Unit Expands The Public Safety Director has increased the number of detectives in the Major Crimes Unit from 8 to 51. There has been an increase in arrests this year with more major crimes solved and more criminals prosecuted. The expanded unit aims to reduce retaliatory shootings, get shooters off the street so they won’t become victims themselves, and improve clearance rates. In addition, officers are now required to debrief all those arrested for major crimes. This has improved intelligence gathering about gangs and drugs and led to identifying suspects and making arrests.



Domestic violence intervention and prevention components

Street Teams Gain Momentum Street Team members have been trained to diffuse conflicts and offer alternatives, such as social services that steer young people toward employment, education, life skills and peaceful conflict resolution. The Street Team has among its ranks former gang members, the formerly incarcerated and neighborhood leaders. The Team is modeled on a program that has dramatically reduced violence in a section of Watts. The Victoria Foundation, Prudential and the Profeta Urban Investment Foundation are key partners in this initiative.









Source: Newark Police Division Comstat Unit

September 2016 • State of the City Report

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Placing the ­Community First in Policing, ­Education, and City Services


ayor Baraka was one of only four mayors c­ hosen by President Barack Obama to participate in the recent White House conversation on how to increase trust between police and urban communities. At a time when the media is focusing on incidents of police/civilian violence, Newark is recognized as a national leader for its police/community partnerships. Progress is as follows: •• Community COMSTAT Meetings - The Newark Police Division held their first community COMSTAT meeting at Central High School on March 22nd. More than 100 residents attended and learned how crimes are tracked and how officers are deployed based on real time data. Attendees were able to see detailed information about the neighborhoods in which they live. A second community COMSTAT meeting was held on June 15, 2016 at the Archdiocese’s Community Room. Additional dates and locations are being identified for future COMSTAT meetings.

REGAINING CONTROL OF NEWARK’S SCHOOLS CONTINUES In August, two major events brought the residents of Newark much closer to regaining control of Newark schools. •On • August 3rd, the State Department of Education announced that the Newark Public Schools have met all of the legal requirements for control to be transferred back to the local Board of Education.

On April 13, 2016, Mayor Baraka announced the overhaul of the City’s 4311 Non-emergency Call Center.

A USER-FRIENDLY CITY Call Center Relaunch This year, the City of Newark overhauled the 4311 Non-Emergency Call Center, fixing serious long-standing problems. Highlights include: •• Hours of operation were increased to 7am-8pm •• City employees in the field were equipped with new technology to receive and interact directly with the dispatch center •• More staff was added to improve speed and quality of responses •• A live service agent answers now when one dials 973-733-4311 during the hours of operation •• A service request identification number is now given for subsequent callers to track the status of their request if they call back.

•• Public Safety Academy - As part of the strategy to improve the relationship between residents and the police, the City of Newark is holding a series of ­public safety academies for local leaders and ­residents. The first nine-week training began on March 29th. Residents learned the basics about police, fire and emergency management operations. The course included demonstrations, tours and firearms training. •• The Newark Street Academy - The Newark Street Academy is an innovative program designed to change the lives of disengaged young people who are out of school and without jobs. The Academy is designed to ensure that out-of-school youth will remain off the streets, complete their high school education and get good jobs.

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We Are Newark • September 2016

The Newark Education Success Board, formed by Mayor Baraka and Governor Chris Christie, released the Pathway to Local Control report in August.

Online Business Licensing An online Business License Application portal is now available with the goal of reducing the licensing process from as long as 10-12 months down to 30 days. The portal was launched in beta mode in fall 2015 and fully implemented this year.

Mayor Baraka hosts a monthly Youth Leadership Development Academy for high school and college students.

•• On August 22nd, the Newark Education Success Board (NESB) released “Pathways to Local Control,” its recommendations and timeline to guide the transition to local control. At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, a QSAC review will determine the status of the areas of governance and Instruction/Program. If that review determines that the district has maintained its progress in those two areas, and if the State evaluates that adequate programs, policies and personnel are in place, it is expected that governance will be returned for the 2017-2018 school year. MORE EDUCATION UPDATES: Mayor Baraka’s Youth Leadership Development Academy Every third Saturday, Mayor Baraka conducts a leadership training for Newark’s young people. Students learn how to be leaders in their community and how to make an impact on society and the world. They learn directly from the Mayor and other leaders how to be agents of change. 5 South Ward Community Schools Launch this Fall •• Each school will partner with a lead agency that commits a dedicated full-time coordinator on site •• The City in partnership with Newark Public Schools is organizing a community schools stakeholder retreat on October 27th to establish Newark’s community school model and set goals for the initiative •• The City has convened a Children’s Cabinet, a cross-sector stakeholder group, that is mobilizing resources and strategies for the South Ward Community Schools Initiative

The Newark Street Academy, which engages young residents ages 16 to 24, launched this summer with a press conference.

September 2016 • State of the City Report

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MORE JOBS UPDATE Port Authority Status •• This year, Mayor Baraka and many community organizations and residents collaborated in a march and a subsequent motorcade to rally for well-paying jobs at Port Newark and Port Elizabeth. •• The demonstrators demanded that the Waterfront Commission and Port Authority remedy severe racial, gender and ethnic inequality in employment at the Port and eliminate bias against the hiring of Newark residents. •• International Longshoremen’s Locals 1 and 1804-1 both have fewer than 6% Black members and under 13% Hispanic members.

Creating More Jobs while ­Balancing the City’s Budget Mayor Baraka led two marches on the Port of Newark with hundreds of Newark residents to end hiring discrimination. A 2015 report stated that of the 3,299 registered longshore workers at the Port, only 6.3% were Newark residents.


aking advantage of the historically low interest rates, the City is refinancing certain outstanding debt obligations. In July, the City saved $11.8 Million on outstanding bonds, originally issued in 2009, to fund the new Public Safety Headquarters. As of June, 2016, the Finance Department was ­successful in collecting: •• $11,570,034 in Tax Abatement-Fox Lance payments; which represent 62% of the proposed Budget for 2016. •• $26,625,961 in Payroll Taxes; which represent 58% of the proposed budget for 2016 •• $15,905,794 in Parking Lot Revenues; which represent 71% of the proposed budget for 2016, and •• $188,592,926 in Property Taxes; which is approximately $4 million more than last year, at this same time. Purchasing Locally •• The City’s Purchasing Department is making a concerted effort to identify, locate and contact Newark vendors. •• The Newark website has also been revised to include a specific solicitation to Newark businesses. •• The City’s Purchasing Director, this fall, will conduct vendor conferences in conjunction with the Office of Affirmative Action.

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We Are Newark • September 2016

HIRE.BUY.LIVE This fall, the City is rolling out an initiative called Hire. Buy. Live. The effort aims to have local major employers HIRE, BUY and LIVE in Newark. Hire - The City’s major corporations, ­h ospitals, c­ olleges and univer sities will par tner to enable ­approximately 4,000 unemployed residents to attain a full-time job with a living wage. The anchor institutions will ­commit to providing a specific number of jobs and the City will identify and train potential employees and ­provide tax incentives for hiring Newark residents.

Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’s Summer Jobs Connect initiative, and the White House has recognized Newark’s unique initiative by naming us as one of only 16 Summer Impact Hubs this summer. This year, nearly 3,000 youth participated. The program is funded by the City of Newark and community-minded partners.

Summer Employment Funders 2016 Funder

Buy - The initiative includes a commitment by anchor institutions to purchase a targeted dollar amount of goods and services from Newark businesses. Live - The initiative calls for anchor institutions to encourage their employees to live in Newark. AWARD-WINNING SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (SYEP) The Summer Youth Employment and Development Program is unique in combining education, workforce development, and public safety. The program is no longer just about a paycheck. It is an experience for youth that broadens their horizons and measures their progress. Our young people are offered pathways of success through academic acceleration, high quality job placements matching personal interest , and college and career readiness through a partnership with the Newark City of Learning Collaborative. Participants receive direct training and support in workplace skills and financial literacy. Newark was selected as one of only 8 cities in the


Foundation for Newark’s Future


Victoria Foundation


Prudential Foundation


Cities for Financial Empowerment






Wells Fargo


Urban League


Bank of America




TD Bank


Transitional Work Program Hires 50 In April 2016, 50 formerly incarcerated residents were hired through Newark Works Re-Entry Program to work for the City’s Sanitation Department for 6 months. They are paid $15 per hour, work Monday to Thursday and attend Leadership Class on Friday at Essex County Community College. At the end of the 6 months, they will be enrolled in vocational training, educational training, or other sustainable employment. The program is expanding to 200 Newark residents. Newark Education Training Fund (NETF) 31 participants from Newark Works have been served by this program to date, receiving Basic Skills Education, GED/High School Equivalency and Vocational Training at Essex County College. The participants are out-of-school youth, unemployed adults and those formerly incarcerated. All participants receive stipends of $250 a week, and funding is provided through a partnership of the Newark Workforce Development Board (NWDB) and L&M Development Partners. $200,000 For Construction Jobs Newark Works received a $200,000 grant in May 2016 for training in the construction trades. Participants will receive stipends during the 6-week pre-apprenticeship training. Graduates are placed in construction jobs with the Carpenters Union. Newark Works has partnered with Sisters in the Brotherhood (a program under the Northeast Council of Carpenters that focus on women in non-traditional roles), Laborers Local 55, the Urban League of Essex County and Essex County College.

Through First Source agreements, the City ensures that Newark residents are given first opportunity for jobs at developments in the city.

September 2016 • State of the City Report

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRESS Residential Development Updates •• 505 Clinton Avenue: Innovative project that will consist of 27-unit artist live-work spaces, communal workshops, a performance space, and poet’s cafe. Project is 30% complete as of September 2016. Expected completion is May 2017. Cost is $7M. •• 522-524 Clinton Avenue: 20-bed transitional housing for women veterans and a karate school for children. •• 521 Springfield Ave: Delphi Affordable Housing Project is 120 affordable units and community space.

Revitalizing Neighborhoods and Downtown with Business Development

•• 449-473 Springfield Ave: New construction of 40-50 apartments. Estimated cost is $9 million. •• 828 Broad Street: Sale of the City of Newark Finance Building to allow for an additional ­transformative development downtown. The Community Storefront Program (CSP) allows entrepreneurs in each ward to sell their goods in their neighborhoods.


ewark is on track to open five retail incubators, one in each ward, by the end of 2016. The Community Storefront Program (CSP) provides shared storefront retail space for up to 10 entrepreneurs in each store who graduate from an intensive entrepreneurial training program. By minimizing the barriers to operating a retail business, entrepreneurs are provided subsidized space, coaching, mentoring and business support services. The CSP was launched in 2015 as part of the Mayor’s mission to see economic development touch every ward. The initiative enables Newark entrepreneurs, who have a retail business idea, to experience the full ­business cycle, from concept to market. This program gives ­participants the practical training and experience necessary to market their self-produced products. Some of the new businesses that have opened with help from the entrepreneurial training program are a juice bar, a clothing and furniture store, a video production program, a martial arts school, several restaurants, an athletic wear store, and a home cleaning business.

Community Storefronts South Ward

790 Clinton Avenue

West Ward

989 South Orange Avenue

North Ward

216-218 Bloomfield Avenue

Central Ward 744 Broad Street East Ward

124 Polk Street (December opening)

Industrial Development Updates •• Bethel Industries: Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) provided site selection and technical assistance for major garment manufacturer that created 400 jobs in the East Ward. •• Hello Fresh: This food delivery service is occupying a 352,000 square foot space at 60 Lister Avenue. The company is expected to add 321 employees in the facility. The site is a former brownfield that was remediated via a mixture of public and private sources. •• Morris Blanchard (Fabuwood): Following the conversion of a 17-acre former brownfield site, Fabuwood, a premier cabinet assembly company, will bring 400 new jobs to a new 1-million squarefoot facility. •• Brownfield Remediation: The City has ­contracted to perform brownfield assessment and r­emediation

January - July 2016 NCEDC Key Performance Indicators

754 New Business Clients Business Technical Assistance 1,908 Interactions New Business Starts 57 (NCEDC Assist) Jobs due to NCEDC 1,200 New efforts (Acutal Hires) UEZ Businesses 10

at sites across the City ­including 2-24 Mount Pleasant Avenue, 411 Wilson Avenue, 441 Avenue P, 2104-2118 McCarter Highway, 47-63 Green Street and 61-77 Empire Street. These sites are being converted to a range of uses including industrial uses, open space, and mixed-use development. The eventual r­edevelopment of these sites will create in excess of 200 jobs. Newark Business Conference Held In January, the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) collaborated with the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership to present a day-long conference with workshops to help entrepreneurs and business owners learn new techniques to reboot their businesses and grow in today’s ever-changing economy. Nearly 100 business owners and entrepreneurs attended. OPEN SPACE PROJECTS UPDATES •• Riverfront Park: NCEDC is managing current and future phases of Riverfront Park redevelopment. This 17.75-acre space will be developed into a signature destination park. The additional Riverfront Park space and walkways will bring the total size of the city’s only public access to the Passaic River waterfront to more than 31 acres. Groundbreaking is expected to occur in September 2016. •• Triangle Park: NCEDC is the project manager for development of this new three-acre park with footbridge. The redevelopment agreement finalized in July. The bridge to Newark Penn Station, will connect the Prudential Center with Peter Francisco Park in the Ironbound. The park will be developed on more than 22 acres of vacant land across from the Prudential Center including housing and commercial space that will boost Newark’s tax base.

ONE-MILE MURAL COMPLETED ON MCCARTER HIGHWAY Mayor Baraka has made a strong push to target neglected neighborhood corridors with an infusion of art as the anchor for economic growth and social transformation. And many of the artists are Newark residents. The murals honor our rich history, cultures, and narratives of day-to-day life. They serve as strong reminders of the creativity, commitment and authenticity of the 330,000 people that work and live in Newark and will stimulate the City’s economy for decades. Recently one of the country’s longest murals was completed on a 1.4-mile stretch of McCarter Highway. The Gateways to Newark mural project, “Portraits,” is more than one-mile long and enhances the visual aesthetics for travelers entering Newark from both Newark Liberty International Airport and Newark Penn Station.

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We Are Newark • September 2016

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­ einventing R Parks, ­Recreation Programs and, Open Spaces The City re-opened Marquis “Bo” Porter Sports Complex, formerly known as St. Peter’s Park, with a completely renovated park and outdoor swimming pool.

Boylan Street Recreation Center Completed With support from the PSEG Foundation, the Department of Public Works has recently completed ­renovating the Boylan Street Recreation Center Courts by retrofitting underutilized tennis courts into basketball courts and a multipurpose court. This renovation provides local residents with access to more safe and functional amenities at the recreation center during its hours of operation. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in April. Completion of Mount Prospect Park The newly renovated park features an enlarged traffic bullnose at the north end to slow traffic and prohibit left turns. The park also features a new seating plaza with benches, seat walls, and decorative safety railings. New landscape plantings and lawns add interest and beauty, while decorative post top lights increase night-time safety and visibility. Central to the seating plaza is a monument explaining the significance and history of the North Ward Center building across the street. The monument resembles a spool of thread to reflect the Center’s original purpose as home to the owner of the Clark Thread Company. St. Peter’s Recreation Renovated and Renamed Marquis Bo Porter Sports Complex The complex has a state of the art swimming pool, new baseball field and a renovated recreation center. It is named after Newark native and longtime major league baseball player, Marquis “Bo” Porter, a f­ormer Houston Astros manager and current Atlanta Braves third base coach.

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We Are Newark • September 2016

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS Inaugural Mayor’s Belt 2016 Summer Boxing Tournament The tournament was located at the Boylan Sports Complex and held on Saturday, July 16th, Saturday, July 30th, Sunday, August 7th and Sunday, August 14th.

Vince Lombardi Teen Center Renovated The Teen Center is located upstairs in the Vince Lombardi Center of Hope. The second floor was painted with the installation of new lock tile flooring. The Teen Center will provide state of the art computer work stations, ping pong tables and other fun/educational activities.

Inaugural Celebration Older America Month Activities were scheduled in May including Senior Circus Day, Senior Movie Day, Unsung Senior Heroes Program, Senior Fashion Show and Senior Sock Hop. First Ever Senior Olympics Held in August at Malcolm X Shabazz Athletic Complex, activities included 20-yard dash races, speed walk relay races, health department table (blood tests

for sugar and cholesterol, etc.), health providers, massage table, casino area, and cooling tent. Held in partnership with Newark Beth Israel Hospital. Newark Striders Track Program This new program involves youth throughout the City of Newark from the ages of 7 to 18 years old. Newark Striders aims to provide direction for runners at all levels with conditioning, structured training and track meets. DORCA Boxing Academy at Boylan Recreation Center The new DORCA Boxing Academy is registered with the NJ Association of USA Boxing and offers extreme conditioning and skill development to boys and girls of all ages. The City of Newark honored its “seasoned citizens” and pioneers with a series of events during May, recognizing them for their work in transforming the City. The City also launched a series of programming for its seniors including trips to the grocery store, movies, senior fashion shows, yoga and computer classes.

Neighborhood children play volleyball on the brand new AstroTurf at Marquis “Bo” Porter Sports Complex.

September 2016 • State of the City Report

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