Destination Newark

It’s always tough fighting discouragement about a city that, despite all the good news, perpetually seems to have an awful story brewing just under the surface. I want to believe in a rejuvenated Newark where I and others can raise families in confidence of the future.
With summer here, the crime rate has begun its cyclical climb. Sirens blare at night across the dark city and rumors circulate about brazen crimes committed in the light of day.

My wife and I attended the Bidder Sweets fund raiser at Trinity Reformed last week and listened to the stories shared by Danny Iverson and his fellow staff members. They told of the challenges in their work of reaching at-risk youth in what Jonah Gensler from the ICC called the “forgotten” Ironbound. But the rewards of seeing a life turned from darkness are just so worthwhile that they continue on.

It struck me that we’re all really on the same journey to this Destination Newark: a place we all dare to hope in even when our friends and families insist that we’re crazy. We long for healing communities and a redeemed city, but we’re not there yet. There’s still much work to do.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

5 thoughts on “Destination Newark”

  1. Good article.
    And with that I must add this: I have noticed, whether it’s intentional or not, that many more negative stories regarding Newark are listed.
    I am, by no means advocating ‘hiding’ anything, however, it does seem to me that there’s an extra effort made by media outlets (particularly nj.com) to report every single bad thing coming out of Newark.
    Why does that matter? one may ask. Well, in neighboring Jersey City the ‘bad’ news is often not found on nj.com. Of course I’m not implying that the site never reports on other cities, it just seems that there’s more interest when it comes to Newark. Especially when they throw in the: “…happened only 6 blocks from the Prudential Center…”
    But yes, Ken, there is indeed much work to do.

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  2. I recently moved to Newark with my family. We bought a one family home in the West Ward and loves the neighborhood. Newark will certainly be the destination for families like mine who want to raise our children in homes and impart unto them a sense of community. Yes there is crime in Newark, but there is crime through out this country. As Newarkers, it’s our responsible to make sure we be the guardian of our community. Get to know your neighbors, not just their names but interact with them, encourage tree planning and community gardens, pick up your trash and encourage others to do the same. The city administration can do only so much for us, we need to take the bold steps and make Newark a city we can all be proud of. This will take time of course but every small step in the right direction will serve as an impetus for the other. If we continue to print every sad story that comes out of Newark we run the risk of discouraging others who would want to return to Newark and help in its revival. As more people return to Newark and Newarkers continue to show pride in our communities, Newark will be the envy of others who would have missed out on the opportunity of their lives, that is to be know as Newarkers.

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  3. The issue is perspective — keeping it. When you are close to something, it looms larger than it really is. Put a single sheet of paper up close to your eyes and it blots out the world. But it’s still just a single piece of paper.

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  4. “I recently moved to Newark with my family. We bought a one family home in the West Ward and loves the neighborhood.”
    Lemme guess… western Vailsburg?

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  5. GREAT BECAUSE IT REALLY SEEMS THAT NEWARK NJ IS TREATED LIKE IT IS THE WORST CITY IN AMERICA CHECK YOUR CRIME REPORTS AND YOU WILL FIND THAT NEWARK ISN’T AS DANGEROUS AS MOST OF THE CITIES YOU WOULDN’T MINE GOING TO

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