The University of Delaware is a staple to our community. Providing jobs, increasing the number of tax paying residents and providing great education for our top talent are all reasons we can be grateful for UD being in the Newark community. As Mayor my focus is to work closely with the University of Delaware leadership to ensure they are not only well abreast of current community issues but have a true voice and responsibility at the table. The way the current Newark City Council meetings are structured, UD has time slots for both a student representative and a staff rep to share pertinent information from the UD perspective. However, when making decisions, plans or discussing gripes the City Council members may have, official and direct conversations with UD decision makers rarely ever happen. This allows too much room for negative assumptions and bad decision making.
I have 3 focus areas I would like to work on with the University of Delaware:
- ACCOUNTABILITY – UD is responsible for the largest population category within the City of Newark. With this comes responsibility for curbing crime, ensuring the quality of life and making sure infrastructure is sound and safe for everyday use. Because UD rarely is at the table for the Council discussions around these three issues, I will work directly with UD leadership to create solutions that work for all parties involved. UD should have some form of responsibility whether monetary, manpower or leveraging their position as a higher learning institution to work the City of Newark to resolve top issues.
- QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL RESIDENTS – UD has a history of misrepresentation of negative activity within the student community including suicides, rapes, robberies and other actions that may blemish their good standing as a learning institution. This does a disservice to the residents as well as students who are kept in the dark limiting their ability to be prepared and protected. In order for all residents of Newark to feel safe AND get the services they need, we have to know true data on what is happening for the sole purpose of creating solutions and programs to prevent these things from happening and restoring those who have suffered from experiencing these things. I am looking forward to working with UD and the City of Newark to develop and implement benchmark solutions that we are able to prove can reverse trends and cause positive impact increasing the quality of life for all residents.
- PIPELINE TO SUCCESS – Working hand-in-hand with UD to develop a strong and effective Pipeline to Success program will not only improve placement and completion outcomes for UD but also increase their role in improving the quality of life for Newark.