Newark Notables – June 26, 2009

  • Cory Booker in the House
  • The launch looks like it was a smashing success — congratulations! It’s exciting to see the level of dialog rising in this city.

    Not too long ago, a commercial blog about Newark would have been a non-starter. What a difference a few years makes.

  • Mayor Cory Booker says women’s drug rehabilitation center in Newark will benefit communities
  • Behind the big events are the small ones. Stories like this show the city is transforming, one changed life at a time.

    Booker, who has long supported projects by Integrity, a nonprofit corporation focused on addiction rehabilitation, said the new Integrity Women’s Outpatient Services would help women, and as a result benefit whole communities.

    “If you support women, you can transform a village,” he said during a brief speech held in the foyer of the building. “When a woman rises up, she lifts all of us up.”

    Impressed by Newark’s energetic mayor, media icon Oprah Winfrey donated $500,000 to Integrity to build the center. Money from other private donations and funding from the city of Newark also helped transform the modest three-floor house on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard into what its founders hope is a haven for women recovering from drug addiction.

  • N.J. fans react to Michael Jackson’s death
  • The Ledger shares reactions of MJ’s death from Newark’s streets. This morning as I stepped out of my apartment at 7:30am, a red van pulled by, windows rolled down and the music up.

    It only took a few seconds for me to recognize “Billie Jean” playing as the driver and I shared a solemn nod and he drove past.

  • CoryBooker: 2 fellow coffee lovers: Not going 2my bed 2nite,if u must know,I’m hooking up with a sweet,hot blend from Argentina,we’ll b up all nite long
  • If you spend enough time watching and talking to the Mayor, you get the sense that he’s a sincere, compassionate, and motivated individual…with a really quirky sense of humor.

    Twitter has been a wonderful window into the life of the Mayor, whose tweets range from inspirational quotes to meeting notices to calls to action for citizens local and beyond.

    And every once in a while, you get a window into the Cory Booker that isn’t being quoted in the Ledger on the Colbert Report.

    Booker’s staff does an excellent job reigning him in (the Mayor has said as much himself), but last night’s comment was just too classic to not share.

    If I could offer a caution to the Mayor: be careful with that dark, caffeinated mistress. She may be sweet in small doses, but too much time with her and the paranoia really begins to set in.

  • NewarkNow: Great article on a few Fathers Now graduates
  • Amazing story about the work being done at the Newark Comprehensive Center for Fathers, a service provided to struggling Newark dads by local non-profit, Newark Now.  It’s organizations like this that are transforming the city, one life at a time: Dads Rediscover Rites of Passage

    The program is an extension of the National Comprehensive Center for Fathers in Philadelphia.  The program targets fathers, but the underlying goal is to make them whole men. During the eight weeks the men are in a class setting where they learn how to handle everything from family dynamics, relationship conflicts and parenting skills to the math and reading basics.

    When Robinson came to the center, based at Essex County College in Newark, not only was he going through the challenges of divorce, but he also had trouble reading. He is now working on getting his General Equivalency Diploma and he reads everyday.

    “I had never been around black and Latino men who really knew about how to achieve the things they wanted to achieve. They made me feel special and they were really here to help me,” Robinson says.

WBGO, Mayor’s Office Win Best Call-In Show

WBGO’s Newark Today, a monthly call-in show co-hosted by Mayor Booker has been awarded the Public Radio News Directors award two years running. They appreciated the actionable nature of the show content, driving City Hall or the caller to resolve issues.
It’s really stunning to see how the Mayor’s office has made a discipline around transparency in every medium they can leverage for their message. Booker doesn’t just walk the walk, but includes and involves others to join whether through his in-person office hours, call-in radio show, and, yes, even Twitter.

More from the Mayor’s communications office:

I am happy to report that the Mayor’s monthly radio show we created in 2006 has garnered national recognition for the 2nd year in a row.

PRNDI Awards – Division B (Public Radio News Directors Inc. handed out its national awards on June 13th in Portland Oregon.)

Call-In Program: First Place: WBGO “Newark Today”

Newark Mayor Cory Booker never fails to light up the phones and this edition of “Newark Today” is no exception. The judges liked hearing Booker interact with his fellow mayor from Jersey City – the conversation was more about action than opinion. One judge praise the ample amount of listener takeaway from this entry. The program quickly goes beyond “oh wow” excitement to “what do we do now.”

Newark Notables – June 25, 2009

  • Newark parking fines help reduce $110M projected budget deficit
  • June 24, 2009 Details on the new city parking laws recently put into effect to cover the city budget gap for next year.

    Some of the hikes actually don’t sound unreasonable. Parking during certain prohibited times and parking during street cleaning will jump from $10 to $45. (Seriously? Only ten lousy bucks? Newark needs parking tickets with gravitas, people.)

    Having been an Ironbound resident for a few years, though, I love this woman’s complaint.

    Ironbound resident Carol Costa, who has difficulty walking because of arthritis, has a handicapped-parking space reserved by permit for her Buick outside her home on Green Street. But others often illegally park there, she said, including people from the city’s municipal court, spectators from the Prudential Center, commuters headed for Newark Penn Station and patrons of the Ironbound’s restaurants.

    “It’s getting ridiculous down here,” she said.

    People triple-park here for breakfast.

Newark Notables – June 24, 2009

  • (If You Drive)Watch Out!
  • June 23, 2009 Clever and beautiful comic commentary from Ninapilar at about the new parking ordinance. 

    Let’s hope the officers are incentivized to discourage shenanigans, too. Cars on our street are regularly papered over for being there more than four hours—whether they have been or not.  

Newark Notables – June 23, 2009

  • Some House Music Under the Stars
  • June 23, 2009 The Times writes about the weekly, free outdoor concert series at NJPAC. The event draws thousands every week with performances that span a variety of musical genres. Worth checking out!

    Two of this summer’s 10 Thursday-night installments will include house music. Opening night, June 25, will deliver the D.J. Duce Martinez of Montclair, host of the Internet show “Axiom Sessions.” Later in the evening, when the corporate crowd trickles out and a less buttoned-up one trickles in, Kenny Bobien, also of Montclair, will take the outdoor stage to sing his underground dance hits. “I’m not saying corporate people can’t dance, but usually the dancing types come out later,” Ms. Wray-Spirito said.

    The series’ second-to-last installment, on Aug. 20, will be heavy on house, featuring the D.J.s and singers of Brooklyn’s Melting Pot Global collective, whose music is also flecked with funk and jazz.

    Shows start at 5 p.m. and run until 10 p.m.

Booker’s Reaffirms Commitment to Running for Mayor

Max Pizzarro for Politicker NJ reports that Booker is reaffirming his commitment to Newark and not running for lieutenant governor in 2009. Booker insists Obama administration aware of ‘the urgency of Newark’

The appearance of a Star-Ledger story this morning describing Obama allies worried about the gubernatorial election prompted an afternoon gutcheck with Newark Mayor Cory Booker outside an afterschool facility in an old, converted firehouse serving children impacted by AIDS.

Already publicly commited to pursuing a reelection bid for mayor next year and adamantly disinterested in running with Gov. Jon Corzine as a candidate for lieutenant governor, Booker denied that anyone part of the political arm of the Obama administration wants to see him running for statewide office in 2009.

“They know I am more valuable to what they’re trying to do – here, rather than running for lieutenant governor. They are keenly aware of the urgency of Newark,” said Booker, moments after emerging from the Academy Street Firehouse, where Dr. Terry Zealand and his wife, Faye, and son Kevin, run an after-school program for children either infected or affected by AIDS, a facility that fits into a larger housing effort to care for children and families fighting the disease. Official Launch Party

We’re glad to see our neighbors at take off with such success. They’ve scheduled a launch party next week to kick off the official launch of their blog after having grown to a 7,000 unique readership-per-month blog: 07102 Launch Party – Be invited!
It’s exciting to see the level of discourse rise in the city, and I’m excited to see what they’re up to next.

On June 25, 2009 will formally launch with our first event in downtown Newark!
This event will be like NO other – check out the details…

Check out the full press release after the jump.

Continue reading “ Official Launch Party”

North Ward Walking Tour Tomorrow

Hi, in case anyone is interested, I’m leading a walking tour tomorrow on Broadway and Mt. Prospect Aves in the North Ward.
We will be meeting at 230 Broadway at 2:30 PM. We’ll be seeing lots of things you never noticed before and learning lots about where many famous Newark episodes took place. Please come for an informative afternoon.

Cost: $10 for first time tour attendees.