Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivers 3rd State of the City address

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivers his third State of the City address.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka delivers his third State of the City address. (3/20/17)

NEWARK - Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said he wants to move the city forward into 2017 as he delivered his third State of the City at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Monday evening.

Baraka focused on three main topics during the address: job growth, public safety and development – business, retail and residential.

The mayor touted some recent successes for the city, including $2 billion in development projects.

“In Newark there are cranes in the air and new development, and redevelopment is not just downtown,” he said.

Baraka said that the city is growing into one that is prosperous and affordable. He also announced a new project called “Hire. Buy. Live.,” which hopes to bring jobs to the city and encourage employees to live in Newark. The mayor pointed out that less than 20 percent of jobs in Newark go to Newark residents.

"The public sector cannot and should not be tasked alone to democratize our economy and make the American Dream real,” Baraka said.

The mayor also discussed public safety in Newark. He said that the city is seeing a drop in crime, in part thanks to a handful of outreach and intervention programs, an increase in police presence and an improving relationship between police and the community.

“More trust and increased community involvement helps prevent crimes and helps the police do a better job of apprehending those who commit crimes,” the mayor said.

Some residents who spoke to News 12 New Jersey before the speech said that they have noticed improvements during Mayor Baraka’s tenure, but also feel that Newark has a long way to go to be better.

“A lot of times when we look for change, we look for change abruptly. We want change like yesterday,” said one resident. “We have to understand it takes some time, but we do have some major issues here.”

Baraka said that he is planning on running for another term so that he can continue to work to improve Newark.

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