NEWARK, N.J. — The election of Ras Baraka as Newark’s next mayor heralds an invigorated city with broader opportunities for working families and immigrants, 32BJ SEIU leaders said tonight.
“Ras Baraka has demonstrated his commitment to empowering workers through his support of legislation like earned sick leave and prevailing wage laws,” 32BJ New Jersey Director Kevin Brown said. “He’s shown foresight in championing pro-immigrant initiatives like New Jersey’s DREAM Act. We’re delighted with his victory and optimistic about Newark’s future under his leadership.”
As Newark struggles to overcome rising poverty and overwhelming income inequality, Brown said, Baraka’s intense focus on job creation and equal opportunity can help guide the city into economic stability – which, Baraka has noted repeatedly, is a key component of reducing crime in Newark and making our streets safer.
32BJ endorsed Baraka in December. Since then, hundreds of members have campaigned energetically on his behalf, knocking on doors and phone-banking to get out the vote.
“I’m grateful that we had the opportunity to help elect such a strong defender of workers’ rights,” Brown said. “Our members are committed to social justice in Newark and we feel lucky to have found a candidate whose passion matches our own.”
With 145,000 members in 11 states–including nearly 10,000 in New Jersey–32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.