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Newark Mayor-Elect Ras Baraka Ready To Get To Work

Ras Baraka

Ras Baraka. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Ideally, Newark Mayor-elect Ras Baraka would like some time off after his win Tuesday. “But your mind is racing,” Baraka told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney on Wednesday.

There’s a lot to deal with, such as crime.

“We need a real holistic kind of approach to how we reduce crime and violence in the city, and part of that is job creation,” Baraka said.

The city councilman hopes to push tax abatements to help small businesses open along main arteries, not just downtown.

The former Central High School principal also said that improving education has to be more about investing in early-childhood learning through after-school, weekend and summer programs.

The mayor-elect’s father, poet Amiri Baraka, died in January. Ras Baraka said it’s fitting that his dad helped the first region’s black mayor, Kenneth Gibson, get elected in Newark in 1970.

That “his son is going to be a part of that makes it poetic,” Baraka said.

Baraka defeated state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries in Tuesday’s election, 52.6 percent to 45.1 percent.

He will be sworn into office July 1.

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