Mayor Baraka Announces New Deputy Mayor for Economic Development

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced his pick for deputy of economic growth and the creation of two new positions. This move will help shape Newark’s multi-billion-dollar revitalization. ‍

John Palmieri, former executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) in Atlantic City, will be named deputy mayor for economic growth, transportation and infrastructure. He will oversee the city’s involvement in non-real estate growth issues for example technology infrastructure such as Newark Fiber, transportation including the PATH extension and revitalizing Penn Station and physical infrastructure. Palmieri will also serve as the primary contact person for economic issues when working with or responding to inquiries from internal and external contacts.‍

“Newark’s success in attracting investment, construction and affordable housing opportunities requires attention to development issues beyond real estate and to assuring that all development is inclusive,” said Mayor Baraka. “Newark is moving forward at an unprecedented pace and our success in attracting investment, development, and affordable housing opportunities requires new positions to fully address the City’s growth. These new positions give us greater flexibility to work on infrastructure, affordability and other growth issues with developers and the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, community groups, major business partners and anchor partners. Today’s announcement is another step forward to ensure that all residents in every neighborhood will benefit from Newark’s prosperity.”‍

In his role as deputy mayor for economic growth, transportation and infrastructure, Palmieri will advise Mayor Baraka on emerging and existing development issues and present to local civic and business groups on proposed economic development agreements. He will ensure that businesses are treated fairly by overseeing City of Newark policy governing tax and other incentives.‍

Also just announced, Acting Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Carmelo Garcia will be named as acting director of economic development, pending confirmation by the Municipal Council to a permanent role.‍

The second new position is the Manager of Opportunities and Affordability. This position will oversee implementation of the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, collaborate with minority co-developers on projects, and serve as the Chair of Inclusionary Development. The Manager will be responsible for cataloging affordable housing, making this catalog available digitally for residents and working with Newark residents seeking affordable housing. Implementing the City’s new tax abatement law which requires developer collaboration with minority and women contractors, the manager will maintain relationships with minority developers to facilitate co-development in overlooked neighborhoods.

The Manager of Opportunities and Affordability will serve as the Chair of Inclusionary Development for the City, chairing a soon-to-be-created city-wide council on development. This council will include representatives of businesses, developers, community organizations, colleges, universities and others. It will promote discussion and collaboration around innovative paths towards affordability in housing and other areas.

Neither the Deputy Mayor for Economic Growth, Transportation and Infrastructure, nor the Manager of Opportunities and Affordability positions require approval by the Newark Municipal Council.

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