Newark Mayor Meets with CNJG Membership
Newark’s 40th Mayor Ras J. Baraka (pictured, second from right) invited the Newark Funders Group to hear his vision for the city at special August meeting. Just 30 days into his term, the Mayor called on the Newark Philanthropic Liaison Jeremy Johnson (far left) to organize a convening with the Newark group, co-chaired by Etta Denk of Bank America (second from left) and Barbara Reisman of the Schumann Fund for New Jersey (third from left). Irene Cooper-Basch (far right), Chair of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and Executive Officer at the Victoria Foundation, introduced the Mayor to more than 50 grantmakers who attended the session at the PSEG headquarters in downtown Newark. Rick Thigpen (not pictured), Vice President, State Government Affairs at PSEG, welcomed the Mayor and Grantmakers to the company’s conference center.
Mayor Baraka talked about new interventions for youth at risk and targeting crime in hot spots in the city. He said increased “literacy” would help get to the core of many of Newark’s problems. During the questions and answer period, the Mayor elaborated on his proposed response to the budget, the arts, downtown development, prisoner reentry, early childhood education and the city’s relation to Newark Public Schools. He thanked grantmakers for their contributions to “The Blueprint for a New Newark,” a document of transition recommendations.
The Newark Funders Group is an affinity group of CNJG and meets quarterly. The group’s activities include an active Education Subcommittee, Early Learners Funders Group, and College Access and Success committee.