A Conversation with Michele Adubato of Newark’s North Ward Center

NEWARK – The political fight that shaped the rest of Steve Adubato’s political career occurred in 1970, when in the years after theMichele Adubato Newark riots he bucked the Italian American community and backed Ken Gibson for mayor over Hugh Addonizio.

The endorsement of the man who would become the first black mayor of Newark nearly cost Adubato his life. A bunch of the ward guys in Tom’s Restaurant went bonkers on Election Night and drove over to Adubato’s house with guns. But he survived the shots that put holes in a front window, and the political benefit he gained when Gibson became mayor helped him create what would become one of the most important political machines in New Jersey, built on the delivery of essential services.

The elder Adubato is retired now as the leader of the North Ward Center, and in his place as chief executive officer of the nonprofit is his and Fran Adubato’s youngest daughter; Michele Adubato. If ward politics and political moves-making largely defines her father, Michele Adubato has made education her life’s passion. She worked for 25 years in the Newark Schools System and was principal of the New Jersey Regional Day School where she worked with children with autism.

By Max Pizarro | PolitickerNJ
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