Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Coordinator of Office of Tenant Legal Services Khabirah Myers, Esq. announced today that the City’s Office of Tenant Legal Services (OTLS) will officially begin providing pro bono legal representation to low income tenants facing eviction on Wednesday, June 6. Ms. Myers has met with and provided assistance to a number of residents since her hire in April.
Single tenants or families of rental units are eligible. The Office is based in Room 111, City Hall, located at 920 Kenneth A. Gibson Boulevard (Broad Street) and the hours of operation are: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The office’s purpose is to protect the legal rights of low income Newark tenants facing unwarranted, potentially illegal, evictions by their landlords. We are proud to announce that we have hired Khabirah Myers to serve as the Coordinator of the office. Ms. Myers is a Newark native and former city Assistant Corporation Counsel who co-wrote the city's Access to Free Legal Representation Ordinance. Residents will receive services from a number of volunteer pro bono and Newark-based lawyers that have committed their resources to this initiative.
“In creating this office, we are working to strengthen our commitment to providing all Newark residents with quality affordable housing. We will not let abusive landlords have free reign to hound and harass tenants. The law mandates that corporations that own property have legal representation. This is an opportunity to even the playing field and stop them from taking advantage of Newark residents with limited resources.” Mayor Baraka said.
Newark is only the third municipality in the nation to create this program. According to officials from the Essex County Trial Court Administrators Office (TCA), there are approximately 38,000 eviction actions filed annually in Essex County, and Newark’s share is the highest at 20,000.
All residents interested should visit the office in person for a consultation.
For more information, please contact the Office of Tenant Legal Services at: 973-733-3675 or via email: email@example.com.
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Ras J. Baraka is the 40th Mayor of the City of Newark.
A native of Newark, whose family has lived in the City for more than 70 years, Mayor Baraka’s progressive approach to governing has won him accolades from grassroots organizations to the White House. With a forward-thinking agenda that reduced crime to its lowest levels in five decades, addressed affordability while maintaining steady growth, lowered unemployment, and returned local control of schools after more than two decades, Baraka defied expectations during his first term in office.
As a part of his commitment to strengthen Newark’s position in the expanding technology space, Mayor Baraka has partnered with corporate stakeholders and institutions, such as NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) on efforts that will capitalize on the 26 miles of dark fiber which lie beneath the City’s main corridors. Consequently, Newark is the host city for VOICE, a three-day summit hosted by Amazon Alexa, which is at the forefront of natural language processing. Additionally, in 4Q of 2018, the City will also launch LinkNWK (pronounced Link Newark), a new communications network of sidewalk kiosks that will provide residents of and visitors to Newark with free, gigabit Wi-Fi, mobile device charging, phone calls to anywhere in the U.S., access to municipal services, maps and directions, and real-time local information on city streets at no cost to taxpayers or users.
Mayor Baraka’s futurist agenda includes the implementation of a groundbreaking partnership called Hire. Buy. Live. Newark, a program that marks the first time that any US city has sought to transform its economy by combining employment, procurement, and residential strategies. These types of initiatives caught the attention of Amazon, which named Newark as a finalist city in its search to establish its second global headquarters.
He is considered nationally as a thought leader in the space of urban revitalization and his defiance of a hostile Presidential directive targeting the immigrant community with an executive order designating Newark as a sanctuary city solidified his status as one of the country’s most progressive elected officials.
Mayor Baraka was educated in the Newark Public Schools. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Master’s Degree in Education Supervision from St. Peter’s University in Jersey City. His father, the late Amiri Baraka, was a legendary poet and playwright. His mother, Amina Baraka, is herself a renowned poet. The father of three daughters, Mayor Baraka is a published author and well-regarded in the entertainment industry for his appearance on the Grammy-award winning album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in his authentic role as an educator.