Unbelievable – Mayor Baraka does it Again! First We Got the December Surprise, Now It’s the Friday Information Dump

A few weeks ago The Newark Report reported on Mayor Baraka’s “December Surprise.” Our issue of contention with the Mayor was not necessarily his anti-parent demand to Education Commissioner Hespe that the state halt expansion for public school options in Newark. Though we disagree with his views – we found that the actual timing the letter was sent was rather suspect.

As The Newark Report pointed out, the letter the Mayor sent was unprecedented. And rather than being transparent and honest about his anti-parent sentiment, Mayor Baraka buried this formal letter to Commissioner Hespe during the busy Holiday Season, when many of us had other priorities.

This sneaky approach is typical of politicians when they do controversial things – and the tactic actually worked for the Mayor, at least for a little bit.

Until The Newark Report actually broke the news, the Mayor shielded himself from potential criticism. However, after our post was published, news stories were eventually written and parents voiced their concerns in force.

Well, its seems the Mayor is continuing his sneaky ways…

Let me share with you a little secret I learned from my Dad, when a politician wants to have it both ways or when they want to sneak things by the public – they do it on a Holiday or a Friday.

Well, low and behold, on the heels of the Mayor’s “December Surprise” – last Friday, as many of us were getting ready for the weekend, in a small chamber meeting with only members of his own staff and Newark’s elected members of City Hall present, Mayor Ras Baraka continued his march against the thousands, and thousands and thousands of Newark parents who simply want public school options for their kids.

Before I go on – in fairness, please take a look yourself.


Like his Hespe letter, Mayor Baraka could have chosen to lay out this “Friday Information Dump,” transparently.

He could have invited a journalist to interview him.

The information he provided only to City Hall could have been analyzed before hand, actual questions by Newarkers could have been asked.

The Mayor could have written an editorial for everyone to see.

He could have even mentioned this issue at one of his many “Town Halls” he has been publicizing.

…But he didn’t – and that says so much.

The Newark Report will dissect the Mayor’s actual comments and the information he dumped on City Council members in a future post, but for now – we simply ask the Mayor to come clean and do what is right.

We have all heard the saying — actions speak louder than words.

Well, in the Mayor’s case – neither his actions, nor his words have been loud enough – that is because his communication on the issue of education has been self serving.

The Mayor should not quietly hide his overzealous views on public education, to the thousands, and thousands and thousands of Newark parents.

Yes, if a Newark parent was in Montclair on a particular Saturday, or if a Newark parent happened to serve as Commissioner Hespe’s mailman…or in this case, a Newark parent happened to be hanging around City Hall on a Friday night, they would be fully updated – but I do not know many Newark parents who fall in any of those categories. Do you?

As Newarkers, we all know we are in a very critical point in the City.

These tactics by the Mayor are preventing us from working together.

These tactics prevent us from making real change in Newark.

In fact, the Mayor is dividing our City into two categories – those who are provided the privledge of knowing where the Mayor stands on education – and the majority of us who do not.

We simply cannot address our school district fairly or honestly in a political vacuum of surprise holiday letters and Friday information dumps.

These issues, and the elected Mayor’s agenda, must be transparent.

The irony in all of this – is that it does not have to be this way.

Mayor Baraka, it does not have to be this way. Please be straight with us.

Everyone stay warm and please be careful this weekend.