Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
Making Civics Real Workshop 2: Electoral Politics  
Home    |    Workshops 1-8    |    Tools for Teaching    |    Support Materials    |    Site Map

Workshop 2

Workshop Session
Lesson Plan
Teacher Perspectives
Student Perspectives
Essential Readings
Other Lessons
Teacher Perspectives: Newark mayoral campaign

Jose Velazquez: We have a highly contested mayoral election in the City of Newark. There are two major candidates: Mayor James, who is the incumbent, [and] Cory Booker, the major opposition candidate who has garnered a lot of support. He is presently the Central Ward Councilman. He has been Councilman for the last four years. We have another candidate, an independent democratic candidate, Duane Smith.

Interestingly, the elections in Newark are nonpartisan but all three candidates are Democrats. The real race is between Mayor James and Cory Booker. That’s what the press, the media, and the people in the community are really focused on. Mayor James has been in office for 16 years.

Mayor James grew up through the political process of the City of Newark. He was a former councilman and then became mayoral candidate and the second African-American mayor in the city of Newark. Cory Booker, who is a recent arrival in the city of Newark and politics, became the central ward councilman in the last election and is seen for the first time as being able to mount a formidable campaign against Mayor James.

We are talking about what may be the most expensive mayoral campaign in the history of the city. We have millions of dollars from in the city as well as interests outside the city. There is concern in this campaign as to whether we have a new generation of leadership coming up in the city.

The campaign is not only based on real issues but has become personal in many ways with a lot of media focus on the city of Newark and its renaissance. This is not the city of 1967 Newark riots anymore. There is now an interest in the city. There are issues as to whether the focus of the development of the city has been on downtown as opposed to the neighborhoods, and people disagree on those issues. For the first time, we have a very passionate race.

Editor's Note: Mayor James was re-elected.


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy