Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten on Newark Mayoral Election

For Release: 

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Kate Childs Graham
202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

WASHINGTON— American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the election of Ras Baraka as Newark's mayor:

"Throughout his campaign Ras Baraka said, 'When I become mayor, we all become mayor.' In a city where the voices of community members are too often ignored, Mayor-elect Baraka has proven his commitment to giving voice to those who live the reality of Newark day in and day out. The community of Newark has spoken: They want all children to get a high-quality education regardless of their ZIP code, and they want both high-quality neighborhood schools and high-quality healthcare.

"This week's victory was a clear win for public education and community healthcare in Newark. We look forward to working with Mayor-elect Baraka to return Newark schools to local control. We look forward to working with him to help every struggling school succeed, as he did for Central High School; to strengthen every neighborhood school; and to protect Newark's essential community hospitals. Neither high-quality healthcare nor safe, welcoming neighborhood schools with wraparound services are out of reach for the Newark community. The AFT—along with the Newark Teachers Union, AFT-New Jersey, the Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT, and, of course, Mayor-elect Baraka—will keep on reaching. Reclaiming the promise of public education and healthcare in Newark is within our grasp."

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.