NEWARK, N.J. (PIX11) — Newark's Ras Baraka made it clear on Tuesday that he was not simply another politician taking a Mayoral oath in Newark. He was a native son making a pledge to its 277,000 residents to fulfill the campaign promises that got him elected.
Mayor Baraka ignited his crowd of supporters minutes into his address. "I say to all of us assembled here today's that years from now when we look back on this day, let us say that this was the day that we all decided to fight back."
Although Baraka follows interim Mayor Luis Quintana, he is really entering the office on the heels of former Mayor and current U.S. Senator Cory Booker.
Mayor Baraka made it quite clear that he is far different than the previous mayor. "We need a mayor that is radical."
While Baraka may be quite different, Newark's problems remain the same. "We all collectively hate the 111 murders that this city saw last year, but we all have to hate poverty the same way," said Baraka under a sweltering sun.
"We argue in the halls of the legislature about the $20,000 or less that we spend on each child's education in this city. But we barely have the courage to muster a word about the $40,000 or more that we spend on the same incarceration."
Newark resident James Davis offered up the following perspective on the city's new mayor: "He's not afraid to speak for the people of Newark, so I think, I know this is the right decision for Newark right now."