Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of March 28th


Ras Baraka

The Mayor of Newark presided over the opening of a $9 million dollar project under the auspices of Invest Newark, and developed by an African American contractor. Cited in the South Ward on a troubled corner of Clinton Avenue, the building is named for two late Newark artists: Jerry Gant and Rodney Gilbert, respectively a painter and visual artist and theater presence and poet. “This is an opportunity to detox the ghetto,” Baraka said. “This property’s fire. There’s going to be some stuff happening here, and it’s going to pour out on the street.”

Allison Ladd 

Newark’s Deputy Mayor/Director of Economic and Housing Development played a critical role in the development of the successfully opened 505 Clinton Avenue Project, along with Interim President and CEO of Invest Newark Roy Southerland.

Patricia Campos-Medina

Highlighting the movement for domestic worker rights, the respected veteran political activist launched her third season of Activista Rise Up, which includes a partnership with InsiderNJ.

Louise Rountree

Not too many public servants feel comfortable throwing heavy duty lightning bolts at the thrones of power on behalf of working people, but the Team Baraka at-large council candidate was prepared to this week as she went after airline CEOs at a 32BJ SEIU rally at Newark International Airport.

Mark Di Ionno

Please take the time to look at the excellent work from the border of Ukraine by the veteran Star-Ledger reporter and author: “Border Dispatches: Stories from the edge of war in Ukraine”, featured only at NJ Spotlight.


Ian Smith

The 3rd Congressional District Republican candidate cracked up as last Saturday night turned into Sunday morning, Smith was arrested and charged with DWI in Cinnaminson, Burlington County. He was also charged with four motor vehicle violations and of more relevance, refusing to take a breath test. His prospects in the June Primary look grim.

Altarik White

On a technicality, a judge threw out the Newark South Ward candidacy of the respected community leader and former Weequahic High School football star.

Alex Mendez

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Paterson politicos wanted to see a straight up mano-a-mano between sitting Mayor Andre Sayegh and the 3rd Ward Councilman, but Mendez is already hampered by a fraud case and now must resort to comparing the incumbent mayor to Vladimir Putin as he tries to stay on the ballot in the face of a challenge to his petitions.

Paul Kennedy

From NJ.com: “The mayor of Ocean Gate, who is charged with stealing town money, from checks worth thousands of dollars to the change in parking meters, had his annual salary cut to $1 during Wednesday night’s council meeting.”

Vernacio Diaz

The former Newark Housing Authority official this week admitted to embezzling $594,425, using agency funds to purchase 1,509 electronic devices and reselling them online, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.

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