New Ad: Jeffries won’t defend Newark schools

With just a few weeks to go until the Newark mayoral election, Working Families launched its latest television ad highlighting how Shavar Jeffries’ mayoral race is being bankrolled by the same forces that support Chris Christie’s attacks on Newark’s public education system. It’s the third in a series of sustained TV spots that will run through Election Day.

You can view the commercial – entitled “Listen” – here:

“Shavar Jeffries does not care about community input any more than Chris Christie, because he’s supported by and beholden to the same Wall Street money that’s tearing down Newark schools brick by brick,” said Rob Duffey, New Jersey Working Families Alliance, the New Jersey affiliate of Working Families. “Newark’s schools and communities are under attack by Christie and his hedge fund friends, and Newark’s working families need a mayor who will stand up and fight for them. Shavar Jeffries won’t.”

This week reports showed that a Jeffries-aligned SuperPAC received $850,000 from Education Reform Now, a New York City based organization run by pro-charter, pro-privatization hedge fund managers. Its donors include hedge fund managers and private equity executives from Connecticut to Texas.

Resistance to corporate education reform in Newark is strong. Recently 77 ministers wrote Christie’s hand picked superintendent, Cami Anderson, demanding she halt her widely derided “One Newark” program that would close public schools and replace them with charters.

Working Families has released polling data by the Benenson Strategy Group showing Jeffries continuing to badly trail South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka. Voters list public education as one of the most critical issues of the campaign.

Both Baraka and Jeffries have criticized the plan, which includes relocating schools and converting others into smaller academies. Jeffries is the former Newark School Advisory Board president. Baraka is on leave as principal of Central High School.

Working Families Organization released a different television advertisement attacking Jeffries last month.

The Baraka campaign also launched its own television advertisement on Tuesday, touting his record as principal of Central High School. In the 30-second spot, Baraka is shown greeting children as they get off a bus and describing his accomplishments at his school.

“I knew that parents expected me to keep their kids safe and to help them graduate,” he said in the advertisement. “That’s why I stopped the gang wars, put teachers back in charge and demanded excellence.”

An advertisement sponsored by Newark First, an independent coalition of Jeffries supporters, started airing last week. Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. was featured in the television spot touting Jeffries’ Newark roots.