By Matt Rooney
$812 million. That’s how much state aid the City of Newark is receiving for its K-12 schools during fiscal year 2020, Save Jerseynas. That number doesn’t include non-K-12 funding, emergency aid or any other sort of assistance received from county, state and local government for housing or whatever else. The Brick City is a beggar kingdom, Save Jerseyans! One which we all subsidize.
It’s also a proud sanctuary city.
“Obnoxious” is probably the better word. Last week, shortly after the Trump Administration announced it was suing New Jersey over sanctuary statehood (but before the President deployed elite border tactical units to the city), Newark’s official Twitter account declared it wouldn’t be moved by pressure from the White House:
In spite of the tactics coming out of the White House, Newark remains a sanctuary city. https://t.co/kYJxRqwPpI
— City of Newark (@CityofNewarkNJ) February 12, 2020
You’d think Newark Mayor Ras Baraka would appreciate the extra help.
New York’s neighbor to the west is still a playground for criminals who prey on natural born residents and immigrants alike. MS-13, for example, is a proven clear and present danger to the people of New Jersey and Newark specifically (it’s one of the 48 towns the notoriously violent gang was found to be operating as of 2018). Remember the 2004 bar shootout? The 2007 Newark schoolyard shooting is still seared in locals’ memories. Baraka was a Newark principal at the time (over at Central High School). He saw the grieving families. The carnage. The destruction.
Why isn’t he moved by his residents’ safety?
Or, if he really is a cold, ideological fish, at least by the possibility of losing tens of millions of dollars in annual federal aid?
Either way, it’s an objectively reckless position to take for the leader of a city without any intention to stand on its own two feet financially.
My advice for the mayor: Mexico hasn’t funded the Wall, but perhaps Baraka can prove himself more persuasive than the Donald. He should call President Obrador and ask HIM to cough up $1 billion for Newark’s schools. I can’t wait to here how that discussion goes. I’d happily pitch in for the expensive international call; it’d be the last dime I’d ever willingly donate to Newark until its leaders get their act together. I’m not paying to harbor criminals who kill Newarkers or any other Americans.
MATT ROONEY is a nationally-noted and respected New Jersey political commentator. He’s the founder and blogger-in-chief of SaveJersey.com. When he’s not on-line, radio or television advocating for conservative reform and challenging N.J. power-brokers, Matt is a practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights (Camden County).