Newark Airport workers protest low wages; Baraka shows support

By Mark Bonamo | December 5th, 2013

 

NEWARK - Holding up bright signs in a dense fog, cabin cleaners at Newark International Airport protested against low wages on Thursday in a show of solidarity with fast-food workers striking nationwide.

Standing before workers chanting "I can't survive on $7.25," union officials pointed to what they believe are serious inequities in the airport workplace. 

"This airport has the largest concentration of minimum wage workers in the state of New Jersey," said Kevin Brown, New Jersey State Director of 32BJ SEIU, the largest property service workers union in the country. "When they contracted out all these workers, they contracted out to the lowest wage contractor. If you took the CEO of United Airlines, and you compared him to one of the cleaners here, it would take them 500 years for them to earn what he earns in just one year."

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Essex County Executive DiVincenzo to formally kickoff bid for re-election next week

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on December 05, 2013

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, pictured on Oct. 3, will formally kick off his bid for an unprecedented fourth term on Monday.

 

ESSEX COUNTY — Joseph DiVincenzo is slated to announce his bid for a fourth term as Essex County executive on Monday.

Democratic party leaders and politicians from all levels of government are expected to join DiVincenzo at the event, according to DiVincenzo's chief of staff, Philip Alagia, who is running the campaign. The official kick-off will be held at the Essex County College gymnasium at 9:45 a.m. Monday.

DiVincenzo joined other Democrats in crossing party lines during last month's gubernatorial race to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie during his successful re-election campaign.

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Quintana says he's not running in 2014 Newark mayoral election, but leaves door open

By Mark Bonamo | December 4th, 2013

 

NEWARK - Despite considerable speculation among Brick City's political observers that Newark Mayor Luis Quintana would enter the 2014 mayoral race, Quintana said on Wednesday that he wouldn't seek a full four-year term.  

Yet, when asked if he would potentially change his mind, Quintana was non-committal.  

"I am not considering a run for mayor of Newark, and I've said that before," Quintana said to PolitickerNJ.com. "Those are rumors that are being circulated around. My only mission is to be the gatekeeper, and to give the citizens of Newark a model for future mayors to come. 

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Former Mayor Gibson endorses Baraka for mayor of Newark

By Mark Bonamo | December 4th, 2013

 

NEWARK - Former Mayor Ken Gibson tonight formally backed South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka for mayor of Newark at a campaign event at the Robert Treat Hotel.

"I'm endorsing Ras Baraka for mayor," Gibson told PolitickerNJ.com in the Crystal Ballroom. "He and I go back to the time that his father and I worked together. He's a real Newarker. He didn't just come to the City of Newark. I think he has more experience with the people of the city and that makes a difference. Ras Baraka is the most committed candidate in the race.

"Being a high school principal is not an easy job anywhere, but in Newark, in Central High School, where I went to school, he's getting the best experience that anybody could get."

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Ramos picks up third major union endorsement in Newark mayoral campaign

By Mark Bonamo | December 3rd, 2013

NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos Jr. picked up his third major union endorsement of the campaign on Tuesday as he gained the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1158. 

The IBEW Local 1158 represents 3,700 white-collar and blue-collar employees working in manufacturing, communications, utilities and other industries as well as at various municipal and county governmental facilities. The union represents close to 1,700 workers based in Essex County, of which 300 work for the Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority in Newark.

The IBEW Local 1158 is the third major union to support Ramos, the North Ward councilman, in the run-up to the May 2014 Newark mayoral election. Ramos was endorsed by two of the largest building trades unions in the state – the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 825 - in June. 

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Mayoral candidate Ramos responds to state audit finding of questionable Newark expenses

By Mark Bonamo | December 3rd, 2013

 

NEWARK - Newark mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos Jr. reacted to an audit issued by state Comptroller Matthew Boxer on Tuesday that found questionable expenditures, including that Newark’s city council budget is considerably larger than that of comparable cities.

Ramos, the North Ward councilman, stated that he has worked to reduce city spending, not add to it. 

Boxer today identified more than $10 million in appropriations for city offices, stating that was more than six times similar budgeting in similar-sized cities, as reported earlier today by PolitickerNJ.com. 

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Ras Baraka on CWA Newark mayoral endorsement: "I'm the labor candidate"

By Mark Bonamo | December 2nd, 2013

 

NEWARK - With the Communications Workers of America, New Jersey's largest public workers union, set to endorse South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka in the Newark mayoral race on Tuesday, Baraka expressed his "excitement" about the union's support. 

"The CWA brings a level of union support that we need," said Baraka as he confirmed the endorsement. "They have helped candidates in municipalities like Orange and Jersey City get elected. We absolutely can use anything they have, whether it's money or ground troops." 

The CWA, which represents more than 40,000 state workers and 15,000 county and municipal workers, has 1,900 members who live in Newark. The union announced the start of an organizing drive for taxi drivers in Newark last week. 

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Sharif Campaign attempts to tackle Newark's homicide horror

By PolitickerNJ Staff | December 2nd, 2013

To date, Newark Central Ward Councilman Darrin Sharif's mayoral campaign has borne some resemblance to the 1984 Democratic Presidential Primary effort of astronaut John Glenn.

In other words, it has given the very strong impression of trouble on the launch pad.

But Sharif wants to change that evidently, and this coming weekend he has scheduled an anti-violence summit.

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Christie Is Said to Waffle on In-State Tuition for People Living in U.S. Illegally

The New York Times

Gov. Chris Christie is under fire from the same Latino constituency he courted so heavily during his re-election campaign.

 

During his re-election campaign this year, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey made the Latino vote a priority, hiring a full-time director for Hispanic outreach, opening bilingual campaign offices and securing key Latino endorsements.

He even spoke out in favor of legislation allowing in-state tuition for unauthorized immigrants, thrilling many Latino and immigrant voters. For his efforts, about half the Hispanic voters cast ballots for him, helping him win a landslide victory.

Now, however, Mr. Christie is under fire from the very same constituency he courted so heavily.

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New Newark mayor axes many of Cory Booker's top staffers

By David Giambusso/The Star-Ledger 

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Newark Mayor Luis Quintana has ordered the layoffs of several top officials from former Mayor Cory Booker's administration. (Kaitlin McGuinness/Newark Press Information Office)

NEWARK — Newark Mayor Luis Quintana delivered a surprise Thanksgiving greeting to at least eight high-level City Hall staffers today: You’re fired.

Four people with knowledge of the departures told The Star-Ledger that Quintana sent out pink slips to at least four department directors from former Mayor Cory Booker’s administration, as well as four high-ranking Booker staffers.

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