Political History

A Post-Racial Change Is Gonna Come: Newark, Cory Booker, and by Jonathan L. Wharton (auth.)

By Jonathan L. Wharton (auth.)

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Extra info for A Post-Racial Change Is Gonna Come: Newark, Cory Booker, and the Transformation of Urban America

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183 Beyond housing, James reinstated mounted police units and streamlined Newark’s permit process and urban renewal incentives, such as government incentives for large businesses to return to the downtown. 184 Despite this early growth, the city still had a tarnished image, and much of the revitalization occurred in specific parts of the city, leaving many sections untouched. 188 James was convinced that the best policy incentives were ones associated with people coming to Newark to work, travel, stay, and be entertained.

163 In addition to little agreement among civic leaders, a bureaucratic city government structure allowed for few reforms. Any changes Gibson tried to institute meant that he had to face roadblocks by the city council and racial organizations like Baraka’s or Imperiale’s groups; Gibson also had to deal with civil service workers who were more loyal to their respective agencies than any cause. 164 City Hall’s and local agencies’ internal politics were a major time drain for Gibson and racial politics remained a longstanding concern.

Urban blight and post-riot destruction was blatant, while much of the Central Ward, where the riots began, faced staggering social problems. ”113 Also, many customers who moved to the suburbs wanted free parking and air-conditioned stores, things they could not find in a cramped and aging Newark. 114 During the post-riot years, many Newark residents were strongly divided on race relations and politics. Race was already a polarizing factor before the riots, but race became a central flashpoint in the city’s politics after the riots.

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