By Jonathan L. Wharton (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Post-Racial Change Is Gonna Come: Newark, Cory Booker, and the Transformation of Urban America
147 Despite these expectations, Gibson faced an uphill battle trying to get all Newarkers to agree on policy and social issues. One of the most pressing dilemmas was setting the city’s education initiatives and teachers’ contracts. 148 In 1970 and 1971, hundreds of Newark teachers staged protests and demonstrations against the Addonizio and Gibson administrations over contracts, teacher safety, and curriculum demands. 149 The 1970 strikes, occurring prior to Gibson’s election, added political pressure to Addonizio and helped Gibson not only win the election but also gain additional support from the strikers.
73 As Malafonte later admitted, The mistake we made is that in the effort to win the medical school, we focused so much on winning—just winning—we lost sight of the impact that would have been on the community. We were never going to give the medical school that much land. We just wanted to unmask the falseness of the demand for 150 acres. 74 The secretive and callous manner in which the UMDNJ plan was one thing, but the NHA’s approach to urban renewal had a more signiﬁcant impact for the riots since some 20,000 inner-city residents would have to leave their homes.
167 Yet Baraka’s and Gibson’s relationship soured further during this election. 169 Even though there were pressing urban issues facing the city government, Gibson still had to deal with ﬁnancial difﬁculties and separatists’ politics, such as the city’s $60 million deﬁcit due to the relocation of businesses and the middle class to the suburbs. For example, Newark’s property tax base decreased 21 percent over 11 years or $319 million dollars. 170 Not surprisingly then, Gibson proposed a payroll tax to Republican Governor William Cahill and the state legislature.
A Post-Racial Change Is Gonna Come: Newark, Cory Booker, and the Transformation of Urban America by Jonathan L. Wharton (auth.)