My staff and I joined Mayor Ras J. Baraka and more than 500 other local residents in the powerful protest he led at Port Newark.  We were there to confront a difficult reality: that the door of opportunity to a middle-class job at the Port of New York and New Jersey, America’s third busiest port, is largely closed to Newark residents.

In 2015, this Port handled more than $200 billion worth of goods, and its operations provide nearly 200,000 direct jobs and over $21 billion in personal income. 

But, incredibly, just 6 percent of the more than 3,200 longshore workers at the Port live in Newark. And, less than 12 percent of the Port’s 2,300 total warehouse and maintenance workers have Newark addresses.

(Aristide Economopoulos | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com)