Three years into the Administration of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the ACLU-NJ assessed whether the Mayor had realized his promises of respect for individual rights in Newark. The organization commended the mayor’s expressed support for many civil liberties issues even when facing public opposition, but saw a disconnect between his public messages and implementation of policy. 

Immigration: B

The Mayor has shown that he recognizes the rights of immigrants and wants to defuse tension between different communities in Newark.

Open Government: B

We frequently send Open Public Records Act requests to the City and we have generally experienced good communication with the City Clerk’s office concerning public records.

Free Speech: C-

For nearly seven years on and off, the ACLU-NJ has been forced to sue and negotiate with the city for its practices in granting permits for free speech activities.

Police Practices: D

The ACLU-NJ has been involved with an unprecedented number of lawsuits over police practices with the city. Both Mayor Booker and Police Director Garry McCarthy promised reform of the city’s police practices, but we have not seen significant improvement.