Do Killers Read Billboards?

 In Blog

In Newark, NJ, the teacher’s union has put up billboards reading, “Stop the Killing!” after 2006 saw a record 106 murders. Businesses in Newark have complained that the adverts are driving away business. Frankly, if I were speaking in Newark, I doubt I’d want to be a guest of a hotel with such a sign on the property…would you? Second thing that struck me is this: Why is a teacher’s union spending $$$ on billboards which aren’t(I assume) real effective in persuading a gangbanger from pulling the trigger? Don’t teachers’ unions have more important things to purchase than advertising space? And when is a potential murderer going to be heading out to do a killin’ and say, “Ya know, that billboard is right! I don’t think I’ll blow Johnny away after all!”
This whole concept is just stupid. Am I the only one who thinks this is a prime example of morons who control the purse strings?

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  • Newarker

    Most people in the city who are familiar with both the union and Mr. Del Grosso know that it’s a shell game. The new mayor and council have started a whole series of public safety programs to combat crime since they assumed office last summer. And compared to the same time last year, crime is actually down. I live downtown, and it’s quite safe. In many ways, people who “know” about Newark have no idea what they are talking about. Crime needs to go down more, of course, but it is concentrated in just a few high-activity areas, not an all out war zone like so many think.

    This is the real reason for the signs: the Newark Teachers’ Union and their president Del Grosso want to shame the mayor and council because Mayor Booker supports charter schools and school choice, which the union opposes deeply. He also wants to return the schools to mayoral control (right now Newark public schools are run by the state). With an abysmal graduation rate of 39%, you would think that the union would appreciate the need for change, but it has taken an relentlessly confrontational stance against anything the mayor does. They are among the highest paid teachers in the state, with ZERO accountability. The gravy train has got to stop.

    If this is supposed to help stop the violence, why don’t the billboards list any resources or useful information? Arguably the union could have done more to combat violence by sponsoring after-school programs or buying school supplies with the tens of thousands of UNION DUES dollars it is spending on this alarmist campaign of intimidation. Furthermore, Joseph Del Grosso hasn’t even lived or taught in Newark for over 20 years, but makes $150K as head of the NTU! Can he really be trusted to speak in the best interest of Newarkers? All my neighbors are furious about this.

    I don’t think the mayor is perfect, but he is in the right on this one. He works extremely hard and I see him and other city officials everywhere trying to get a handle on what people are thinking, and encouraging Newarkers to take responsibility in taking back their neighborhoods. The new police director is doing a huge amount of work on decreasing crime, and this slime campaign is utterly useless and exploits the victims of violent crime for a political ploy.

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