News from New Jersey
The Dignity in Schools Campaign-New York, with the support of 16 City Council members and two state Assembly members, called on the Department of Education and the de Blasio administration to limit punitive discipline practices and promote positive school climates.
When Hakim Green, educator, activist and half of the hip-hop duo Channel Live, was working with a youth organization in Newark, he and then City Councilman Ras Baraka wanted to come up with a way to fuse Baraka’s anti-violence initiative with hip-hop, 24 Hours of Peace was born.
Brooklyn’s Imani House, Inc. helps low-income youth, families and immigrants create viable neighborhoods where residents take responsibility and make life-changing decisions for improvement, not just in their community, but globally as well
As the Senate’s only Black Democrat, Cory Booker emerged as one of the two most-sought-after Senate Democrats on the campaign trail.
The most remarkable and costly failure in Atlantic City’s 36-year history of casino gambling began to play out this week when city said goodbye to three casinos.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tries to take a bite out of the Big Apple while addressing immigration policy.
Last week marked the 25th anniversary of Yusef Hawkins’ death. The racially polarizing incident set the city ablaze with racial tensions and tarnished a Bensonhurst community.
The corner of E. 111th St. and Lexington Ave. was changed Saturday to Young Lords Way, honoring the Puerto Rican group that fought for social justice in the sixties.
More than 600 parents turned out at the registration center, with many waiting hours and others never even making it through the front door, leaving many children with no school to attend.
Community activists joined supporters seeking justice for the Michael Brown and Abdul Kamal killings as they all gathered at the Lincoln Monument on Springfield Avenue in Newark yesterday for a peaceful rally.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County have been busy all summer long. Earlier this month, more than 400 people celebrated Unity Day with members and staff of the Summer Fun Club and Teen Leadership Camp programs of the Plainfield, Elizabeth and Union Clubs. Together they shared a great day of food, games and activities at Weber Park in Union.
On Monday, Jabbar Collins, 42, convicted of the 1994 killing of an Orthodox rabbi, won a $10 million settlement with New York City. During the trial, Collins’ lawyer, Joel Rudin, exposed questionable policies under Hynes and his top assistants.
In May, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced construction of affordable housing units over the next decade in Ocean Hill, with commercial space and community facility use. Last week, joined by elected officials, developers and community leaders from across the borough, Adams outlined the details of his $3.3million in allocations to develop projects across Brooklyn.
Englewood, N.J., became the first town in the state to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21. The ordinance covers cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, a bill is making its way through the state Legislature that would ban the sale of tobacco products and electronic smoking devices to anyone under 21.
Although African-American households are in less debt today than they were in 2008, credit card debt and bad credit continue to affect the Black community disproportionately.
Researchers have discovered some disturbing statistics about substance abuse and mental health in our criminal justice system. Approximately two-thirds of the people involved in the U.S. criminal justice system suffer from substance abuse disorders.
While heavy armored vehicles roll down the streets of Missouri, the outrage simmering dangerously over the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown has gone viral.
The suit filed by the mother of 21-year-old murder victim Romona Moore was thrown out of court on Monday. The college honors student was abducted, tortured and killed in Brooklyn in 2003. At the time Moore went missing, cops at Brooklyn’s 67th Precinct downplayed her mother’s cry for help, saying she was probably with a boyfriend.
A clear sunny summer day in the Gun Hill section of the Bronx proved to be the prefect backdrop for the first ever 800 Fathers’ Family Day. The Evander Childs High School football field was the venue for a barbecue, also providing space for family activities like tag football and volleyball and an inflatable playhouse for a group of emphatic children.
U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., are pushing a new bipartisan bill to reform criminal background checks and the juvenile justice system. They say the war on drugs can be excessive and counterproductive and disproportionately affect the poor and minority communities.
Last week, the mayors of Paterson, Newark and Jersey City announced a tri-city approach to confront the violence that has plagued their cities in recent years. According to statistics, homicides across New Jersey spiked to a seven-year high in 2013. At least 409 people died violently last year.
A new report by the New York City Independent Budget Office shows a shift in priorities at the city’s Office of Child Support Enforcement. OCSE began in 1975, when Congress provided a blueprint for local child support enforcement programs. OCSE provides custodial parents with assistance in obtaining financial support and medical insurance coverage for their children by locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing support orders and collecting and distributing child support payments.
Last week, a number of local and international events occurred to mark that it has been more than 100 days since the abduction of the Chibok pupils.
The U.S. attorney general is investigating allegations that Newark’s school re-organization plan discriminates against Black students. The “One Newark” school reorganization plan, announced by Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson in December, is scheduled to be operational this fall. It includes converting elementary schools into early childhood centers, relocating other schools to underused facilities and turning other schools into smaller academies. The plan also suggests the expansion of charter schools that, to date, serve about 20 percent of Newark students.
The Justice Department ordered independent monitoring of the Newark Police Department after a federal investigation found “a pattern of unconstitutional policing.” In addition, findings show that city police officers had no constitutional basis for 75 percent of the pedestrian stops they conducted in recent years. It also determined that officers often used excessive force during arrests but underreported the level of force used.
Those who wished to celebrate the birthdays of two modern-day freedom fighters joined the new Black Panther party at the Refral Center in Newark, N.J. The birthday tribute honored Black Panther Party members Assata Shakur and the late M.A. “Smitty” Smith last week.
“For the next four years, more than 270,000 mayors will govern Newark,” said Baraka. “Working collectively, we will empower each other, take responsibility for our families, our neighborhoods and chart our new direction.”
This week, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop ordered the city to take down a shrine dedicated to Lawrence Campbell, the man who ambushed and killed a 23-year-old rookie police officer.
Backed by an online petition, a number of Essex County residents launched a campaign this week aimed at New Jersey legislators, calling for a bill that will reduce the number of adults and youth in New Jersey state prisons.
“This year, we went straight to the essence of hip-hop. I started in Harlem and in the ’70s with DJ Hollywood,” Devastating Tito, creator of the Team Fearless Hip-Hop Honors PT IV, told the AmNews. Tito, a member of the rap group Fearless Four from Harlem New York, made their mark in 1982 with the hit single “Rockin It.” “The program represented three decades of hip-hop, the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” he noted.
Actor, writer and director Justin Emeka returns for the second season of Shakespeare in the Park in Harlem. This year, the Classic Theatre of Harlem presents “Romeo and Juliet.”
Police have deployed a mobile command center at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Warren Street in Paterson, N.J., after 12-year-old Genesis Rincon was shot in the head this past Saturday evening.
After a four-year absence, Jose “Joey” Torres has returned as the mayor of New Jersey’s third-largest city.
New Jersey may become the first state in the nation to ban cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products in all public parks and beaches. Last week, the state’s Legislature approved a bill that would ban people from smoking in county and municipal parks but allow towns and counties to create a smoking section on their beaches. The bill now awaits Gov. Chris Christie’s approval.
Investigators from the Hudson County prosecutor’s office are probing a police shooting in Jersey City that left a man dead. Assistant Prosecutor Gene Rubino says Lavon King, 20, had five open cases in Superior Court for drugs and theft, as well as a pending violation of probation.
At his huge inauguration on Tuesday, July 1, Baraka reminded everyone that he would fully represent the people of Newark. During his campaign, the former councilman said his mission was to mobilize the people and businesses of Newark and take the city from a local view to a global view. His vision for Newark’s future would call for more self-reliance, ingenuity and independence, eventually leading to less dependence on state and federal subsidies.
During the course of his campaign, Mayor-elect Ras Baraka won the hearts of the citizens of New Jersey’s largest city with slogans like “Believe in Newark” and “When I become mayor, we all become mayor.” The 45-year-old councilman and former high school principal emerged from a hard-fought campaign as a major player in state and county politics.
Last week, members of the New York City Council marked the 148th anniversary of the first Juneteenth with a celebration at City Hall. The event was a festive occasion complete with drum processions, libations, poetry and dance.
Ignoring Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council’s recommendation for a rent freeze, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) on Monday voted to increase rents. Landlords can raise costs of the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments 1 percent for the next fiscal year.
Chris Christie still faces investigations by a New Jersey legislative committee and a probe by the local U.S. attorney’s office because of last year’s bridge scandal, but last week, when the New Jersey governor mingled with some of the Republican Party’s most influential fundraisers at Mitt Romney’s three-day political retreat in Utah, he told business leaders and GOP donors that he’s moving past the scandal.
“I can’t believe this,” said Iris Sydney after six members of her family were killed when a fast-moving fire ripped through a single-family home in Newark.
The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in New Jersey announced a campaign to help address heroin use across the state.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is fighting back agains a plethora of challenges stemming from increasing crises in education, income and economic inequality with progressive policies that place people above profits.
Last week, a group of students formed a picket line and staged an overnight sit-in protest against the “One Newark” school reorganization program backed by Newark Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson. Anderson has been mired in controversy since she introduced her new approach to improving the school system.
Gov. Chris Christie tussled with Democrats for months during his first term to get a landmark public employee pension overhaul passed in 2011. In January, the governor conceded in his State of the State address that it might not have been enough.
The People’s Organization for Progress recently organized a rally in Irvington in support of the family of Abdul Kamal, who was killed by police last November. They sent a message to the Essex County prosecutor’s office and the state attorney general demanding an investigation and indictment for the officers involved.
May is National Bike Month. Established in 1956, National Bike Month is a chance to showcase the many benefits of bicycling. It is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists and celebrated in communities from coast to coast. All over the country, bike enthusiasts filled their calendars with group bike rides, social events, classes, volunteer opportunities and panel discussions about biking.
Fast food workers seeking higher pay protested against McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s locations around the globe demanding a minimum wage increase.
When Cami Anderson took her job as Newark schools superintendent, she was convinced she could help turn around a state-run system in a poverty-ridden city where 41 percent of ninth-graders failed to graduate on time.