Councilman Anibal Ramos Jr. announced his re-election bid for a fourth term on the Newark City Council Thursday to a packed crowd at the Waterfront, a gleaming new recreation facility that he helped bring to fruition.
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, state Sen. M. Teresa Ruiz, Assemblywomen Eliana Pintor Marin and Shanique Davis Speight as well as members of the City Council and Essex County Freeholder President Brendan Gill and other members of the Essex County Board of Freeholders were among those who came to show their support for the North Ward councilman.
"Today I humbly ask for your support as I run for re-election," Councilman Ramos said to cheers. "Together we have accomplished so much, but there is still more to do."
Ramos ticked off a list of his accomplishments for the North Ward during his tenure, including:
- Transforming salvage yards and former industrial sites into market rate and affordable housing, such as Cherry Park and Riverside Arms.
- The construction of three new public schools: First Avenue, Park Elementary and Elliot Street.
- Leading the charge to create Newark's open space program that has provided for the renovation of Kasberger Field, Elwood Park twice and Mt. Prospect Park.
- Identifying funding to rebuild Newark Schools Stadium, the Vince Lombardi Community Center and the Waterfront recreation center.
- Working with business owners to create two business improvement districts on Mount Prospect Avenue and Bloomfield Avenue.
"I have taken an active role in making sure that things happen to benefit our residents and have used whaever legsialtive tools I have at my disposal to ensure that our residents get their fair share," said Councilman Ramos, who was first elected in 2006.
County Executive DiVincenzo praised Ramos for his service to the county as well as the city. The councilman has worked for the last 15 years in Essex County as the director of the Department of Senior Services as part of the DiVincenzo administration.
"The Department of Senior Services has never run the way it runs today," the county executive said. "He has relationships with not only with people in the city, the county, the state and federal government, he is recognized all over. But he has never forgotten his roots —the North Ward. He is here every day to serve the people of the North Ward. There's no question he deserves to be re-elected because he's doing an outstanding job."
Sen. Ruiz, who introduced the councilman to the crowd, called him a friend, a partner and a public servant. "And unfortunately, he's a Mets fan," she said to laughter.
"This young man—whether he's taking turkeys off a truck, helping someone on a recreation field, collaborating with an organization—does not waste one opportunity to do what's right," Ruiz said.
Mayor Baraka gave his wholehearted endorsement to the councilman, saying there is no need to fix what's not broken.
"Anibal Ramos is a standup individual, a very brilliant man who has become a partner of mine in making sure Newark is the best city in the state of New Jersey," Baraka said. "If you don't elect Anibal Ramos, then you are doing yourself a disservice and you are doing Newark a disservice. Newark needs Anibal Ramos on the City Council. We need him involved in making sure the city moves forward."
Samuel Gonzalez, the chairman of the North Ward Democratic Committee, said the councilman will have the full support of the committee.
"We will throw our full support behind the Councilman Ramos," Gonzalez said. "He has earned the support of our organization and he has earned the support of voters in the ward."
The election will be held on May 8.