A New Coalition Funded by the Prudential Foundation and Citibank Launches in Newark to Support Asset Building
It has been a long time coming, but it would seem as though New Jersey's largest city is finally rising toward its true potential. Newark is presently undergoing a wave of economic development as it begins to bolster its profile. Over the last decade, the city has undertaken a slow but steady transformation into a hub for the arts and higher education, as well as the increasing vibrancy of its bustling neighborhoods. But, despite these positive progressions, it is also a very difficult time for a majority of Newark's residents who are wrestling with the same challenges that has faced many those who have inhabited the once deteriorating city for decades. These challenges include every conceivable urban ill attributed to them: entrenched poverty, violence, joblessness, blighted neighborhoods, and failing schools. Despite Newark's positive progress and rapid increase of development, there remains a widening disparity between the places where glittering new towers are rising and the portions of the city where opportunity has yet to take place.
According to a recent report by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, current research has found that there is widening economic disparity between most of the city's residents and the large corporate workforce that commutes in and out of Newark every day. According to the report:
- About one-in-three Newark residents live below the federal poverty line, and 95 percent of these residents living in poverty did not have a full-time job during the past year.
- Newark residents hold only 18 percent of all jobs in the city.
- Newark's average unemployment rate for 2015 was 8.8 percent, which is approximately 70 percent higher than the 2015 average unemployment rate for the U.S.
- 62 percent of Newark households qualify as "ALICE," meaning that they are asset-limited, income-constrained, and employed.
These crucial issues have prompted The United Way of Essex & West Hudson, along with Mayor's Ras J. Baraka, Prudential Foundation, and a host of cross-sector partners to establish the Newark Asset Building Coalition (NABC). NABC will work to promote financial independence and stability for residents of the City of Newark, and provide them with financial education, access to wealth-building programs, and extended services around personal finance. The Steering Committee is made up of key Newark-based stakeholders including: United Way of Essex & West Hudson, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, Newark Alliance, La Casa De Don Pedro, Greater Newark LISC, Urban league of Essex County, and New Community Corporation. NABC is funded by The Prudential Foundation and Citibank...