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

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The result was chaos between city residents, 1,390 Newark police officers, 627 state troopers, and 5,900 National Guardsmen. 93 Armed with guns, riding in tanks, inexperienced with riot control measures, uncertain of targets, and weary of inner-city communities, the young, overwhelmingly White, state police and National Guard intensified the unrest in Newark’s communities. Newark was a foreign place to most rural South Jersey guardsmen, and many of them were scared of Blacks. Hosting this alien police force was an awkward situation for many Newarkers.

James even won a State Senate seat as it was legal to hold two elected offices in New Jersey. Many Newarkers recognized and more often revered the experience and political power James wielded in City Hall. Private sector interests and urban policy professionals also recognized the James machine and his policy approaches. “For many years, Newark symbolized for an entire nation the malaise which has plagued urban America,” states Silvio Laccetti. 192 Richard Cammarieri of the New Community Corporation stated that, too often, tax abatements and riverfront development benefited corporate and NEWARK’S SORDID PAST AND EARLY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLITICS 35 outside interests more than residents.

These tax proposals, however, also had to be approved by the city council. Considering the hurdles the mayor faced with the council, this proposal brought the city council and mayor into conflict once again. Council members argued that they were never consulted on these proposals, and they at first rejected the plan. Then, at the first public hearing, the council adjourned for a week because of disputes between members. Governor Cahill reminded city council members, however, that he would not allow the proposals to be altered.

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