Don’t Let the Machine Stop the Truth

We’re in a runoff. Election Day is only days away!The machine has grown desperate and is attacking us with a series of lies and half-truths. Following a playbook that Republicans and conservative Democrats have run against progressives across the country, the machine has used a combination of race-baiting and red-baiting to attack our campaign.It won’t work!We saw it play out with Summer Lee, who won a primary last week, and is in line to be the first Black woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania. And now, they’re trying it in Newark, NJ. This may come as a surprise, given the late Amiri Baraka’s radical politics and his role in the Civil Rights and Black Arts Movements. Not to mention, Mayor Ras Baraka’s once “radical” politics. But alas, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Note: The machine put the wrong Election Day on the flier, presumably to depress voter turnout. Election Day is Tuesday, June 14th.

The truth is that I’m a progressive, and I’m proud of it. I believe in high quality, truly affordable housing. I believe that public safety comes from having the resources to address the social problems that lead to crime, like joblessness, uninspiring schools, housing insecurity, and despair. I believe that the river of democracy runs deeper than an election cycle, and residents deserve to participate in every decision that affects their lives, including decisions around our local economy.  The other truth is that our campaign is funded by people like you! And while machine-backed rapper Dupre “Doitall” Kelly hasn’t followed New Jersey election laws, we have. Therefore, you can see for yourself who supports our campaign.

It’s also true that I was endorsed by the North New Jersey Chapter of DSA, and I’m proud of it. DSA has backed progressive champions across the country, like Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congressman Jamaal Bowman, and a number of local elected officials. In Newark, DSA has fought against slumlords, advocated for environmental justice, and provided mutual aid to families during the COVID-19 pandemic. DSA is not a boogeyman, they’re not from Minnesota, and they’re not coming to take over Newark!The sad truth is that the machine is desperate. Four years ago, they backed Councilman Joe McCallum in the West Ward, and he was convicted of bribery and corruption charges. Today, they’re backing rapper Dupre “Doitall” Kelly, and already, he can’t account for over $13,000 in campaign donations. To make matters worse, the embattled McCallum is now backing Kelly to replace him. You can’t make this stuff up!

Watch our video here.

Election Day is Tuesday, June 14th. Honesty, integrity, and accountability is on the ballot. We just can’t afford more of the same. Vote 1-A on Tuesday, June 14th!

Chigozie Onyema is a West Ward candidate for Newark City Council in the June 14th runoff election. This column first appeared as an email to his supporters.

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