Urban Girl Mag | The Mayor of Newark Releases Unique Podcast Sure to Catch the Attention of Listeners Beyond the City
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The Mayor of Newark Releases Unique Podcast Sure to Catch the Attention of Listeners Beyond the City

The mayor of Newark most known for his history making father, Amiri Baraka and for his no non-sense approach to politics and encouragement of upward mobility of constituents within his city has launched his very own podcast entitled, Ras in 60. As a leader of New Jersey’s largest city which is only about a 15 minute drive out of Manhattan, investors have had their eyes on Newark for years. Although Mayor Ras J. Baraka welcomes development he is well known for stating he is against gentrification pushing out the true Newarkers. In a patch.com article he was quoted saying ” Newark must not become another Brooklyn,” Mayor Baraka said. “We are committed to achieving equitable growth so that the benefits of new development and investment are shared by ALL Newarkers and residents of limited economic means are not displaced by gentrification.”  He fights daily to make this a reality.

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The story of gentrification traditionally goes: Urban city welcomes development, big corporations and developers come in, rent and property tax prices soar to a level unattainable for the median income of the city to handle and the lower income residents who were living there for generations are pushed out into the outskirts. They are forced out of the places  they’ve considered home for years.

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Let’s take a quick look back as to why urban cities are primarily occupied by people of color. There was an influx of African Americans occupying residencies in urban cities between the years of 1916-1970 during the great migration. Following the emancipation proclamation thousands of African Americans made their trek to cities like Newark, Washington DC. Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and many others. They were in search of work, better opportunities, and a better way of life.

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This also speaks to the high immigrant population in these areas as well. The major cities are the places where many immigrants settle because of the opportunities offered and the access to transportation.

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Baraka is fighting for Newarkers to stay residents and to preserve that purpose of their ancestors moving to this urban city in the first place. One way he’s doing that is by implementing his inclusionary zoning ordinance. This ordinance states that residential developers must allocate about 20% of their units  to low income families. Ordinances such as this are what caught the attention of Forbes magazine. Forbes recently held their Opportunity Zones Summit at the Newark Museum. Newark has also received a $5.5 million donation from the Rockefeller Foundation. Mayor Baraka discusses this on the first episode and what this means for the city of Newark.

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Baraka also spoke on his health and fitness routine, his favorite music artist, and much more. Although Mayor Baraka represents the city of Newark this podcasts’s conversation is sure to span across state and city lines. The national lens is currently on Newark and the city is growing from this attention. His views on gentrification are sure to intrigue other urban cities by his stance and will possible encourage them to adopt some of these concepts and initiatives.

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.You can listen to the intro episode entitled Meet the Mayor on Spotify, Souncloud, and Google Play 

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Episode 2 will feature West Side High School Principal, Akbar Cook. This episode will air on July 2nd.

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desiree_hadley@yahoo.com

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