Camden Mayor Dana Redd takes oath

Camden Mayor Dana Redd takes oath, touts record on schools, safety and redevelopment

Aside from being held at Antioch Baptist Church, located in Redd’s home neighborhood of Centerville, the program also included a rousing address from Pastor Chad Theodore Hinson Sr., as well as a pair Christian musical performances by Perry Jenkins and the Lord's Mercenaries.

Other speakers included Democratic party fundraiser and power broker George Norcross III, state Sen. Donald Norcross, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews, City Council President Frank Moran, former Camden County Freeholder Riletta Cream and former Assemblywoman Nilsa Cruz-Perez, all before Redd finally approached the podium.

“I made a commitment to find real, sustainable solutions that would heal — not just cover — our city’s most pressing and long-standing economic and social wounds,” said Redd in her remarks to supporters packed inside the Ferry Avenue church. “I can honestly and humbly proclaim that, with the prayers, thoughts and collaboration of our residents and all those who truly care for Camden, my administration has come a long way during the past four years to deliver on our promises to stand Camden up — to move Camden forward.”

Redd was also joined by her Democratic electoral slate — council members Curtis Jenkins, Marilyn Torres and newcomer Arthur Barclay — in the ceremony, which was paid for through campaign donations, according to a spokesman for the mayor's office.

The mayor touted her administration’s record on education, public safety and redevelopment, pointing to the strides made by the new Camden County Police Department and a “safe corridors” program aimed at keeping children safe on their way to and from school.

She also stated that Camden Superintendent Paymon Rouhanifard, appointed by Gov. Chris Christie last summer after the state seized control of the failing school district, will be announcing a “strategic plan” later this month.

Redd on Tuesday also announced, as part of that plan, that the city and district will be opening new “parent and community education centers” throughout Camden over the next four years.

According to the mayor, the centers will be a “one-stop shopping” locations for parents of all Camden students providing access to “resources and support they need to help their child succeed.”

“Does this mean we solved all of our challenges in just four years? No,” said Redd. “Contrary to what the naysayers may think, I cannot turn water into wine or walk on water. And, no, I do not possess a magic wand, or fairy dust to be able to grant wishes.”

She later added: “The true revitalization of Camden cannot be fully achieved unless our residents can get the jobs that are in our own backyard.

“Like the new ShopRite that will be constructed on Admiral Wilson Boulevard, or Camden Iron and Metal expanding their presence in Camden, or several other businesses, which cannot named at this time, that have expresses their desire to come to Camden,” she said. “Giving hope, creating opportunities, restoring pride and providing real sustainable jobs for Camden residents is what will move Camden forward even further.”

CAMDEN — Mayor Dana Redd was sworn in to her second term in office Tuesday, during a 2-hour ceremony that at times resembled a religious celebration.

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