With almost $2 billion in construction underway and deficits totaling nearly $100 million now a thing of the past, Newark is on a roll. And that’s not considering its place on the short list to become home to Amazon’s second headquarters.
Much of this success can be attributed to Baraka’s deft ball-handling after taking a pass from his successor, now-U.S. Sen. Cory Booker. Still, the state’s largest city continues to wrestle with unemployment, crime and the blight familiar to most urban centers.
Baraka’s cultivation of relationships with business has reinforced its ties with those that have long called the city home, like Prudential and Panasonic, and made new ones with companies that decided Newark was the best place to set up shot for the long haul, such as Mars Wrigley Confectionary and Broadridge Financial Solutions.
Among the things on Baraka’s to-do list is winning re-election in November and continuing work on Newark 2020, an ambitious program to connect 2,020 unemployed Newark residents to good-paying jobs by 2020.