NEWARK - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivered his first State of the City address Tuesday evening and some are saying it was a fiery speech.
During the address, Mayor Baraka declared a new era for Newark. He highlighted cost-cutting and austerity that helped the city deal with budget woes. He also focused on the millions of dollars in investments pouring into the city.
The mayor also called out the many parties he felt were at odds with the Brick City. He called out the seaport and airport for their lack of contributions to the city. He said a tax on goods sold at the airport would help funnel funds into the city, and the Port Authority needs to compensate the city fairly.
Mayor Baraka also addressed the state’s takeover of the city’s school district and how he wants the city to govern itself.
“We want to take care of ourselves, to govern ourselves, we want to stand on our own two feet,” he said. “We want to feed our own families. We want to pay for our own police force and we want to pay for our own fire department. Just give us the right to do things.”
The mayor says Newark plans on hiring 150 police officers this year, but also stressed that overall crime in the city is down.