Newark is one of only about a dozen districts in the state that still holds school elections in April rather than November to save money and boost what tends to be low turnout. Last year just 3% of registered voters in the city cast ballots in school elections. On Wednesday night, Newark-based nonprofit Project Ready and The Newark Trust for Education co-hosted a forum for the community to hear what candidates had to say about their vision for the city’s education system.
Project Ready is also the creator of an interactive pop-up museum in downtown Newark called “Voting Power Experience,” which highlights significant periods and events in the Civil Rights Movement. Shennell McCloud, CEO of Project Ready, said each element in the museum is designed to remind people why voting is so important.
“Everything is about an exploration of the past, and the present. So being able to go from Rosa Parks, who claimed her seat on the bus; Amiri Baraka who did so much in the city of Newark in order to push the Civil Rights Movement forward; John Lewis, who is actually one of the founding ‘freedom riders,’ and Stacey Abrams, who we know is running around and has been killing it, in terms of active voters and making voters aware, and also ensuring that she fights with voter access,” said McCloud.
The museum, at 79 University Avenue, will remain open through the end of June.