Cory Booker at Union

cory bookerCory Booker will be speaking at Union Wednesday night. The Newark, New Jersey mayor has become a star in political and media circles over the last decade. From a Time mag profile this past summer:

The Booker bio is irresistible -- and familiar: he arrived in Newark fresh out of Stanford, Oxford and Yale Law, passing up riches to save a poor city. He moved into a decrepit Newark public-housing project, which has since been torn down, and was elected to the Newark city council at age 29. In 2006, at 37, he became mayor. To his supporters, who include A+ listers like Oprah Winfrey, Bon Jovi and Brad Pitt, plus an élite cadre of Wall Street and Silicon Valley scions, Booker's self-sacrificial tale is heroic. To his critics, Booker is still a publicity-loving political opportunist, a permanent outsider using the citizens of Newark to jump-start bigger things for his career.

Booker recently got into a multimedia "fight" with Conan O'Brien after the TV host cracked that the city's health plan consisted of "a bus ticket out of Newark." Booker appeared with Conan on the Tonight Show last month to set things straight.

Booker's talk at Union is titled "How to Change the World with Your Bare Hands." It starts at 6:30 pm in the Nott Memorial.

photo: City of Newark

Comments

The snippet here, and opening pages of the article make Booker out to be the next great thing in politics. He's lowered the violent crime rate, his city is increasing affordable housing units. He turned down a job in Obama's aministration. The city has been "rediscovered by philanthropists."

Yet later pages in the Times article reveal increasing forclosure and jobless rates in the city, (among other concerns), and Booker's commitment to only one additional term. He may well know a move for more political power is through the Governor's post or Congress - not as head of an urban policy team for a first term president.

Newark may be undergoing a renaissance , but I wonder how much of it has to do with what was a red hot real estate market finally looking towards the city. Murder rates accross the country are dropping, so i don't think that alone is worth the press.

I do repsect his commitment to the city after the ivy league track for wall street. I think that's the most interesting aspect of the story. Skipping a pay-day to help your fellow man - definately commendable.

What do others think?

At Stanford, class president and varsity football player. At Yale law, co founded and ran legal clinics for low income residents of New Haven. As a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, became friends with Lubavitcher Rabbi Schmuley Boteach which led to leadership of the L'Chaim Society. And now Newark.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Lauren took her brunch tour to Latham. + There was a seal in... (more)

Today's moment of summer

Posing on Cortland Street in Albany in the early evening sun.... (more)

Favorite lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and other bodies of water

It is currently time to do all the summer things. And "all the summer things" often includes finding a lake, river, stream, some body of... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

A midsummer weekend awaits, full of sunshine and stuff to do. Savor it. Enjoy it. Commit it to memory so you can conjure it in... (more)

Morning Blend

Community support follow slurs People in Wynantskill have been rallying support for a couple whose house was vandalized with anti-gay slurs -- and a local... (more)

Recent Comments

The state of our roads makes it too dangerous for me to want to use my bike to go to work. It's scary enough to walk/jog around town and have people fly through stop signs/lights when I'm using intersections... and on a bike it's that much worse if you attempt to bike legally in the street. This would be a great start to making our community more safe in general. We have to start somewhere.

Three thoughts about the push for protected bike lanes in Albany

...has 42 comments, most recently from JayK

Reading through the Impact Downtown Albany playbook

...has 5 comments, most recently from JayK

Options for the Madison Ave Road Diet

...has 5 comments, most recently from Joe A

Good brunch spots in/near Schenectady?

...has 13 comments, most recently from Stephen

Morning Blend for Jul 31

...has 2 comments, most recently from Amelia