September 24, 2004 > Newark Honors Jerry Raber
Newark Honors Jerry Raber
Some people survey their surroundings and lament that if there was just enough money and others would take action, things would be different. Fortunately, there are people who view the same scene with a different vision, combining tenacity and leadership to create change. The City of Newark assembled dignitaries and citizens at a dedication ceremony on September 16 for the newly-named Jerry Raber Ash Street Park to honor a citizen who has refused to accept the status quo and brushed objections and obstacles aside.
Mayor Dave Smith recounted Ms. Raber's years of community service and described many of the results epitomized by the clean, well landscaped and functional Ash Street Park setting for the ceremony. The basketball court was in use, although curious young players stopped briefly to listen and then resume their game. Park visitors also stopped to listen and reflect on how this community gem was polished and manicured by the persistence of Jerry Raber. The mayor thanked Jerry and noted that:
For over 30 years, you have diligently pursued such programs, services, and facilities for the citizens of Old Town. You have been their advocate tirelessly fighting to ensure our children have amenities that will help them in their needs. You have aided to create an environment of community ownership.
As part of his speech, Mayor Smith revealed that he really shares his title, at least in the Old Town section of Newark with Jerry Raber, acknowledging her claim to the honorific of "Mayor of Old Town." Ms. Raber has been the recipient of the Newark Rotary "Service Above Self" and the J.C. Penney Golden Rule awards as well as being inducted into the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame. Jo Cazenave of Congressman Pete Stark's office announced that Ms. Raber's name and accomplishments have been entered into the Congressional Record in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments.
Congratulations to Jerry Raber, who is, as the mayor says, "an incredible woman and an inspiration to all."