''He was just there like a regular meet-and-greet situation,'' he said. The aide to Mr. Booker, Jermaine James, says he was singled out during. Sharpe James. Newark after Booker: City faces takeover threat state-run school system has hit a snag, the police department is facing federal oversight over citizen complaints, and the state is Newark council to meet over replacing Booker. Booker believes that he can revive Newark by bringing to it many of the That year, Democratic councilman Sharpe James ran for mayor as a “When I first met Cory, school choice was still very controversial in Newark,” says Denton. . public-sector hiring, Booker knows that his outside appointees will face close scrutiny.
Social dysfunction is endemic, contributing heavily to the poverty number. The city has a nearly 70 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate, and, as social scientists note, over half of all American kids born without a legal father will arrive in the world poor. It should be a magnet for companies that want to locate in a downtown setting, near mass transit, but avoid Manhattan prices, as well as for young professionals looking for affordable urban living.
One model of what the entire city could look like already exists in the thriving Ironbound neighborhood. Ironbound began reviving in the mids as waves of immigrants, many of them Portuguese, brought stability and a measure of prosperity to the area.
Today, the neighborhood attracts out-of-towners, including hip New Yorkers, to its or so mostly Brazilian, Portuguese, and Spanish restaurants—the most vibrant dining scene in Jersey—and to a sizzling nightlife that features everything from samba to fado, the traditional Portuguese folk music. Median family income in the district is 20 percent higher than in the rest of the city; its poverty rate is some 25 percent lower.
A new director agreed to work in the city only if provided with life insurance. Only 13 percent of Newarkers have college degrees, compared with 32 percent of the residents of Jersey City, which benefited from a strong dose of reform in the s under former investment banker Bret Schundler.
More substantive efforts have followed. The Newark Police Department has introduced a narcotics squad, a first in its history, and set up a special unit to chase down fugitives. In its first two months, the new unit apprehended 75 fugitives. Booker also believes that instilling respect for the law is crucial in driving down crime. Newark has thus instituted sweeps of illegal gambling establishments, which for years have operated with impunity.
Driving with his police escort recently, the mayor watched as occupants of the car in front of them hurled trash out of their window. Ordering his escort to pull over the car, the mayor rolled down his window and berated the offenders. But the new mayor is resolute. Moreover, local judges in Newark have a reputation for setting bail low and putting dangerous criminals back on the streets, where they often create more mayhem, while they await trial.
In one recent case, Newark police arrested a man wearing full body armor and touting an arsenal of illegal weapons; he also had a long criminal record. Booker had to plug the late-year budget gap with a property-tax increase that enraged homeowners. Booker has sought to import more professional management. In addition to McCarthy, Booker tapped Pryor, a friend from his Yale Law School days who previously led redevelopment efforts for lower Manhattan, as economic development chief.
While vice president at the New York City Partnership, a business group, Pryor also headed up a program that used business-style initiatives, including merit pay and bonuses, to reward public school teachers and principals. In Newark, among other initiatives, Pryor wants to lure more banks into the mortgage market to increase homeownership in a city with one of the lowest ownership rates in the country. He has already fired more than 60 people at city hall, many in patronage jobs, and cut jobs in the Newark Housing Authority, after a federal investigation found that the agency, a longtime source of political cronyism, was padding the payrolls with money designated for capital projects.
Such efforts have sparked controversy, however, for most of those dismissed are African-American Newarkers, while new appointees have hailed from all walks of life and races. Student performance has continued to plummet. He wants to bring to Newark many of the promising education reforms he sees around the country: If Booker does vie for the highest office, he will encounter a number of obstacles.
He has championed school choice, atypical for a progressive. He has had one notable brush with scandal—an accusation, which he denies, that he took a salary from a law firm that did business with Newark.
But then there is this—the open question of whether the love-talking Booker is the right fit at a time when angry, rattled Democrats are hankering for combative, fight-fire-with-fire, anti-Trump rhetoric.
Perez; Booker with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and a group of Senate pages. We met at his apartment. The mostly bare walls and sparse, thrift-store decor gave it an almost dorm-room feel.Neighbors: Mayor Cory Booker of Newark Doesn't Live in Newark
Booker in his office, with a photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. Deeper into the family tree, Booker has a great-great-great grandmother who was owned by her own father.
Cory Booker Loves Donald Trump - POLITICO Magazine
A church collection plate helped pay for his first semester of college at North Carolina Central University. YouTube Robin Kennedy, wife of former Stanford President Donald Kennedy, told me she heard these stories the year Booker lived with them as barely a year-old undergrad. Ditto Andra Gillespie, who met Booker at a lecture he gave at Yale inwrote a book about him and is now a political scientist at Emory University.
This is a phrase powerful enough to topple even the most oppressive institutions—slavery, imperial England, federally enforced racism in this country—and therefore perfect for the test Booker confronts now in Trump.
I want to fight him. Booker basically told me I was asking the wrong question.
In other words, for Democrats, a one-term Trump presidency—maybe even shorter than that. And he often has expressed those two aspects of his life in roundly religious terms.
When he moved to Newark as he was finishing his course work at Yale Law, to be a public-interest attorney, representing and organizing tenants, while eyeing a spot on the City Council, he began attending Metropolitan Baptist. James called Booker a carpetbagger. He called him an Uncle Tom. The race was the subject of an Oscar-nominated documentary named Street Fight.