Baraka voted president of New Jersey Urban Mayors Association

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NEWARK / ORANGE, NJ — Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association recently announced that Baraka has been installed as president and chairperson of the association. Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren has been named a vice president.

The city of Newark’s 40th chief executive, Baraka is a Newark native with a progressive approach to governing that has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House under President Barack Obama’s administration. With a forward-thinking agenda that has reduced crime to its lowest levels in five decades, addressed affordability while maintaining steady growth, lowered unemployment, and returned local control of schools after more than two decades, Baraka has defied expectations since taking office in 2014, according to the announcement. Currently in his second term, Baraka is working to continue the city’s progress, while leading the community through the fight against COVID-19.

“We must ensure that our collective transition from COVID-19 leads to a positive transformation that is laser-focused on unraveling systemic injustice for the residents of our urban centers. I am truly honored to work with my colleagues across the state to advance our cities in such a time as this,” said Baraka, the fifth mayor to serve as president of the NJUMA since its inception. “The New Jersey Urban Mayors Association is developing a solid plan and strong agenda that includes addressing key issues that will move our cities forward. We look forward to working closely with Gov. Murphy and his administration in achieving our collective critical goals and creating a more equitable, prosperous and empowered state for all.”

“Mayor Ras Baraka is a proven leader for the city of Newark and an impassioned advocate for racial and social justice across New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “The New Jersey Urban Mayors Association is a critical force in driving transformational social and racial justice policies within our state and I am confident that Mayor Baraka will continue to uplift the voices of our urban communities in his new role as president. I look forward to continuing our work with the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association with Mayor Baraka at the helm.”

Mayor Albert Kelly of Bridgeton, former NJUMA president and chairperson, said he is confident in Baraka’s leadership as new president of NJUMA and looks forward to working closely with him to advance the needs of urban communities. 

“As president emeritus of the NJUMA, I am excited to continue to work with our urban mayors to address issues facing our municipalities. It has been a pleasure to pass the leadership reigns to Mayor Baraka as the new president of the NJUMA and I’m sure his leadership, along with the entire executive team, will continue the legacy of the New Jersey Urban Mayors Association making lasting impacts for the betterment of the State of New Jersey,” he said.

In addition to Baraka, new officers include: Vice President and Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, Northern NJ Vice President and Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren, Central NJ Vice President and Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora, and Southern NJ Vice President and Camden Mayor Francisco Moran.

“NJUMA is the premier research and policy organization on urban issues. I am honored to work with its staff and leadership team as the Northern New Jersey vice president. I congratulate my friend and colleague, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka on being elected president of NJUMA,” Warren said. “Our collaboration will yield great results as we focus not only on effectively dealing with COVID-19, but the economic, social and political issues that are unique to cities in this state. Our goal is to build a structure that will institutionalize the fair and equitable distribution of resources to urban areas. NJUMA is the most effective vehicle for that kind of policy creation.” 

The New Jersey Urban Mayors Association is dedicated to working with state and federal lawmakers and officials to develop appropriate and effective public policy measures that benefit the state’s urban centers and to help lawmakers understand how public policy affects New Jersey’s cities and municipalities.