EssexCountyPolitics' Editorial Board Endorses Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins for Mayor of the City of Newark

Newark is always at the cutting edge of booming crossroads because of its strategic location relative to New York City, Regional Sea and Air Ports, Railways, Bi-Ways and Highways, coupled with being the County Seat of Essex, New Jersey’s largest and most populated city, has always been the state’s Crown Jewel and whomever is Mayor of it wields considerable Politic Clout. Such prowess gives you the opportunity to really make changes and deliver major resources and relief to your constituency base. This is why elections in Newark are always contentious, nasty and hard fought. However, with less than a week to go, to say this election cycle has left a lot to be desired in terms of civic engagement and accountability may be an understatement, but the candidates definitely put on displays, not just for Newark, Essex County, or New Jersey, but, for the entire world to see, their knowledge of government, city statistics, and most of all, the people they both seek to represent.

Clearly Mayor Baraka has a deep understanding of the people he was elected to represent four years ago, and has made a few strides in three years, however, allegations of work place harassment, intimidation and retaliation, malfeasance, misfeasance, misappropriated campaign funds, and sweet heart money deals for family and friends, two of whom plead guilty to income tax evasion and wire fraud, begs the question if given four more years, especially as he seems to go unchecked and operates without impunity, will only unmask more allegations or even worse. His continued misrepresentation of the truth on a number of issues ranging from Newark’s Water Crisis, how he plugged a $93million structural deficit in less than three years, Newark’s true Crime Statistics and his unwillingness to investigate allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment made against his friends and family who work for his administration send the signal to some that four more years will just be more of the same. His inability to keep the streets clean because of untimely garbage collection, misuse of city resources for personal benefit and his constant association with known felons hints that Newark has an image problem and the people of Newark are tired of it.

In light of the aforementioned issues the Editorial Board of EssexCountyPolitics.Com endorse Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins to become the first woman, elected Mayor, in the city’s history. As with all human beings, especially leaders, Chaneyfield Jenkins is not without her faults and flaws, but what tip the scales in her favor, over the incumbent Baraka, is her transparency in regards to whatever those faults or flaws may be. She has experienced some major set-backs and shortfalls in her life and continues to prove herself resilient and most of all knowledgeable about how to “secure” the resources needed by her constituency as opposed to manipulating that knowledge to serve herself and a select few. Councilwoman Chaneyfield-Jenkins clearly has the legislative and political acumen to become Chief Executive of New Jersey’s largest city as well as a mother’s compassion to help nurse a city back to health that has experienced in upwards of over 125 homicides in any given year, the past four years.

As Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle worked to save over fifteen hundred jobs at St. Michael’s Medical Center, advocated to make all schools, Traditional Public and Charter Public, equitable school choice facilities for all of Newark’s children. Moreover, she has just produced and passed historic ground breaking sexual harassment legislation that proves to be one of the most progressive Municipal Ordinances, on Sexual Harassment, in the State. She has organized around issues for a host of constituency bases from LGBTQ, Senior Citizens, Victims of Cancer, Child Care Development, Job Readiness and most of all Woman’s Rights.

Furthermore after watching the three Candidate Forums both Mr. Baraka and Mrs. Chaneyfield Jenkins participated in, and although Mr. Baraka seemed to move the crowd, which were always filled with supporters from either camp and not ever a strong contingency of non-politically affiliated residents, Mrs. Chaneyfield Jenkins always spoke with the greatest depth of knowledge about Municipal Law, Development, Municipal Finances and the abatement of constituent concerns, so much that it would leave Mr. Baraka fumbling over his words or quoting unsubstantiated claims and statistics that it became alarming. It is our belief she possess the temperament and the maturity to properly represent Newark as its Mayor and Ambassador to the world. She has yet to prove to be vindictive or retaliatory in her dealings with the people she was elected to represent and seems to be well groomed and versed in Newark’s history and the richness of its residents. No she doesn’t speak with the spirted hype of Preacher, or with the rhythm of the trending Hip-Hop Artist, but when she does speak, to the trained ear you hear Ms. Chaneyfield Jenkins speak with wisdom, intelligence, competency and most of all, honesty and respect. We know this isn’t all that is needed to run a major Northeastern City, like Newark, but it definitely is the catalyst for knowing how to govern, which no matter what he touts as success Baraka has not been able to do, with intelligence, competency and most of all honesty and respect, since taking office.

We at EssexCountyPolitics.Com, before making this endorsement spoke to and with, over two hundred Newark residents and the overwhelming majority expressed that they had higher hopes as to where they would be now as opposed to four years ago and the current leadership leaves a great deal to be desired. Also coupled with the rumors of intimidation tactics used by Baraka’s political apparatus many residents have even expressed that they weren’t going to vote at all because this election was just too messy. To those residents we say, no matter how you feel never pass up the opportunity to be heard, your vote is your voice and it matters and should be heard. However, it is our feeling at EssexCountyPolitic.Com that voting for Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins isn’t just about making history it is about telling the status quo the residents of Newark will no longer be taken for granted with your vote being your testimony.    



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