I do not think it fair to say, as Kamilah Clark does in Kathryn Hu's article "Living in Newark, Fighting for Change," that Sharpe James has done nothing for the City of Newark.
I think that the author wrote this in anger and frustration, all easy-to-come-by emotions when you live in an up-and-coming city that hasn't come up yet.
I often heard the late Newark poet Halim Suliman say that "James ain't all that Sharpe" but, whether this is true or not or even relevant, James did go straight
to the heart of the problem in, especially, the Central Ward. He built on Mayor Kenneth A. Gibson's efforts, he put into Newark those things that he grew
up with, the amenities that made Newark a comfortable place, more comfortable than it was in 1967-1968.
No mayor stands alone, especially African American mayors and this is why it was so beautiful to see Gibson at Booker's inauguration ... passing the torch (even though James did not come.)
Each mayor builds upon what the other started, or left. Gibson brought $$ into the City, HUD dollars, and James built the houses and the recreational facilities. Gibson brought in African American municipal workers, something that was in short supply
during the Addonizio administration.
Maybe this young Newark Metro writer should re-think the position to proclaim "Each mayor has his own area of expertise. What strengths will Booker bring?"
And then, God forbid, our young writer just might find the time to volunteer some hours with the Booker administration ... to be part of new growth. You will
be welcomed with open arms, I am sure.
Ask not what Newark can do for you, but what you can do for Newark.
Sandra L. West is a Cory Booker fan.