Mar 18, 2015 View All News



Will Newark continue to be a lure for developers? Should Newark continue to build and expand as the region’s arts and entertainment hub? What infrastructure needs must be addressed to boost economic opportunities for our residents?

Discuss these and other important issues with Mayor Ras J. Baraka when he outlines economic development initiatives with audience Q&A at the second of four planned Town Hall talks, to be recorded for future broadcast.

Newark, NJ – (February 3, 2015) – Strategic economic development and job creation are the focus of the next Believe in Newark: Mayor Baraka’s Town Hall, Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) Victoria Theater. The Town Hall is the second of four scheduled community conversations with Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka.

Especially intended for those who live and work in Newark, the Town Hall will introduce a campaign that positions New Jersey’s largest city as a destination for dynamic and creative entrepreneurs.  Challenges to

be examined include improving Newark’s infrastructure to support aspiring business owners and maximizing opportunities to keep dollars in the local economy.

 The discussion will also focus on the employment of experts to implement plans of action in such areas as port-related services, technology, health care, arts and entertainment, research, and higher education.

 Marcia Wilson Brown, Associate Dean for Program Development in the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University-Newark will moderate a panel of community experts that includes:

Baye Adofo-Wilson, Director of Housing and Economic Development, Newark
Rahman Muhammed, Deputy Mayor of Employment, Newark
Maria Yglesias, M&M Development Principal
Ommeed Sathe, Vice President and Head, Social Investment Program, Community Resource      Department, Prudential

A question and answer session follows the panel discussion.

“Holding these Town Halls at NJPAC is the proper venue for our residents to gather to discuss the critical issues of the day,” Mayor Baraka said. “Our previous Town Hall on public safety at NJPAC gave our citizens the opportunity to put forward their ideas and share their issues and concerns with us. This ongoing dialogue enables us to better work together to transform Newark into a city that we can all believe in.”

 “We are pleased to partner with the Mayor and host these forums,” said NJPAC President and CEO John Schreiber.  “We are a proud member of the Newark community and will continue to be engaged in any discussion to build a stronger more vibrant city, region and state,” said Schreiber.

The goals of Mayor Baraka’s administration regarding small business development include:

Improve the infrastructure in place to support economic development
Serve as a catalyst for neighborhood business development
Streamline the business licensing and permitting process and improve customers’ experience
Promote and cultivate a culture of sustainability within the small business community
Highlight and promote the city’s rich cultural and ethnic diversity by encouraging and supporting the creation of business enterprises serving these various communities

These free-admission evenings are also taped for future broadcast by NWK-TV Government Access Channel.  For registration information visit the Town Hall via NJPAC’s online link:  NJPAC is located at One Center Street in downtown Newark.

Two additional Town Halls with Mayor Ras J. Baraka will take place on April 29, 2015 centering on education; and on June 8, 2015 focusing on health.  The inaugural Town Hall, addressed public safety, and was held at NJPAC on December 3, 2014.



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The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, is among the largest performing arts centers in the United States and is the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day.  NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the State’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city.  Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts.  NJPAC has attracted nearly 9 million visitors (including 1 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.  Visit or call 1-888-GO-NJPAC for more information.