Thursday, March 9, 2017

Newark VD (Vacancy Decontrol) / Rent Control Loophole On Mayor's Desk

The following note from Eric Martindale arrived in my in box from the Peoples Organization for Progress.  I pasted the letter into the group Decarcerate the Garden State on March 4.  Now it seems the measure being protested by the referenced petition has been passed by the Newark Council and is headed for possible adoption.
Sent: Saturday, March 4, 2017 11:16 AM
Subject: Please email to POP contacts --- urgent action on NEWARK RENT CONTROL
Please forward this to all of your residents and email contacts
1. Sign the petition regarding the proposed bad changes to the Newark Rent Control Ordinance
2. Please call the city council members. Emails are good, calls are better
Demand that they stop these harmful changes to Rent Control.
Mayor Ras J. Baraka
Salimu Taylor, Mayor's Assistant
Council President Mildred Crump
Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield-Jenkins
Councilman Anibal Ramos
Councilman Augusto Amador
Councilman John Sharpe James
Councilman Luis Quintana
Councilman Joseph McCallum
Councilman Eddie Osborne
Councilman Carlos Gonzalez
3. PLEASE ATTEND the special Newark City Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 10:00. There will be a public hearing on the proposed Rent Control Ordinance. This has been designed as a morning meeting so that landlords, their lawyers, and their agents will be there in large numbers, while tenants are working. Everyone who can come, its important.
4. YouTube Presentation, March 1, 2017, on rent control
For more information, please see

This sequence of events led to a discussion at tonight's POP meeting.

It was lamented that council members that are members, supporters and have received support from POP in the past were favorable toward this measure.

POP intends to write to Ras Baraka to state opposition. Lawrence Hamm lamented that POP had not played a more direct role speaking out against this at council meetings.

That - he said - is the kind of work POP needs to be doing.

I pointed out that POP had sent the letter out that I posted earlier.

To Jim Brash;s credit he DID take it to Ras Baraka over twitter and the mayor actually engaged Jim - but his tact was to point out that Jim is not a Newark resident.

Jimmy Brash - proponent of the Black Caucus of the Green Party simply suggested to Ras Baraka to listen to his constituency on the matter.

POP voted to send a letter to Ras Baraka opposing this measure.

Baba Zayid spoke up that Newark had voted to keep the money out of Newark - but that this shows that the money is coming in nonetheless - and decisions are being made in favor of the landlords and developers - over the tenants.

To its credit - POP had at least sent the letter out - which led to my posting it and Jim challenging Baraka over it on Twitter.

POP has a pretty consistent full court press organization on many issues but as a volunteer organization it is not staffed up to be able to fully handle the load of defending the people from the multi faceted attacks ever incoming.

Larry Addams pointed out that coordination of retirees and those out of work (or not working during the day) could get people to the 10 am during the week meetings - like the one where this landlord measure was passed.

Lawrence Hamm was not optimistic - he believes that Ras Baraka will end up signing it.

I personally would like to urge folks to contact Ras Baraka and urge him to veto this measure.  He can say he needs more time to study the matter.  While the Mayor can point out that I personally do not abide in Newark as he did with Jimmy Brash, I did attend a POP meeting which represents at least a significant constituency in Newark and am confident from their reaction to the council vote at tonight's meeting that a Baraka veto of this measure is in the best interests of the people of Newark.

The information to contact him is above.  You can also tweet him at:


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