Come-backing former South Ward Councilman Oscar S. James II is running for a council seat in Newark next year, this time in the West Ward.
Scion of a local political family, James originally ran with the Booker Team, but his roots run deep in Newark.
He lost his reelection bid in 2010 to future Mayor Ras Baraka.
Now he’s back, running as an independent and challenging for the seat currently occupied by disgraced Councilman Joseph McCallum.
President of Chadwick Capital, LLC., James specializes in Property Management, Tenant Acquisition and Retainment, Government and Public Relations. He is also a political consultant.
James made his formal announcement at the beginning of the month.
Two years ago, at the height of the crisis, he assumed a forward position in the fight for clean water.
“The inability of our city’s leadership to address this issue will have lasting effects,” he wrote in an NJ.com op-ed. “Lead can have tragic short and long-term physical and behavioral outcomes in our young children and infants. It has been linked to damaging their central and peripheral nervous systems, learning disabilities, and impairing the formation of blood cell function. For pregnant women, lead exposure can cause seizures, coma, reduced growth of the fetus, premature birth, even death. And in adults, long-term exposure can create cardiovascular issues, increased blood pressure, kidney issues, and reproductive problems.”
The youngest councilman in the history of Newark, James served from 2006 to 2010, when Baraka dethroned him in the most-watched contest of the season.
He was the first entrant into what is becoming a crowded field, which includes Chigozie U. Onyema and Dupre “Doitall” Kelly.
James brings name ID and experience.
He also has the advantage of opposing a team that had fronted McCallum, who as a member of the Newark city council, representing the West Ward, and of the NCEDC (now known as Invest Newark!), from 2017 through February 2020, schemed to receive concealed bribes and kickbacks from Malik Frederick, funded by developers, contracting companies, and other businesses seeking contracts and approvals principally related to development, construction, and real estate projects and deals in Newark. These developers and others were solicited by Frederick to hire his consulting company for “access,” and were introduced to McCallum as the councilman behind the particular project or deal of interest to them. McCallum then received and planned to receive concealed bribes and kickbacks derived from the fees that Frederick obtained from those who retained his company.