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 new February record

Yeah, so February, just when it was looking like you'd be typically wintry... you, too, have gone all weird on us. Thursday's high temperature at... (more)

Progressive, warm, vibrant Jewish congregations?

AH writes that her family is looking ahead to a move to Albany: So I'd love to hear any suggestions of progressive, warm, and vibrant... (more)

Fair Share 4 Albany

The push for the city of Albany to get that additional $12.5 million from the state continues... The Sheehan administration, backed by the city's state... (more)

"Let's just throw up some cones and see what happens for a week"

Some food for thought as the Capital Region continues to look toward expanding bus rapid transit: A city adjacent to Boston lacked a rapid transit... (more)

Brew goes Pint Sized, plans second location (and a tiny bar)

Changes are coming to Brew, the popular beer/coffee shop on Lark Street. Owner August Rosa says he's changing the name to Pint Sized. And he's... (more)

Recent Comments

If you've never checked out a Friends meeting (Quakers), I recommend giving it a go. I'm Jewish, but have been sporadically attending Friends meetings for several years. We sit in silence. There's no pastor. The idea is that G-d is within all of us, and if someone's truly and deeply compelled to speak, they share their message. Sometimes it's a full hour of silence and then at the end of the meeting we share joys and sorrows and community updates and you realize that the people sitting silently beside you are some of the most engaged, empathetic, and fair-minded activists around.

How we all ended up talking about a gondola between downtown Albany and the train station

...has 15 comments, most recently from Sandy Johnston

A progressive, friendly, diverse church?

...has 12 comments, most recently from JayK

Examining the forces and maps that redlined the city of Albany

...has 19 comments, most recently from JayK

Brew goes Pint Sized, plans second location (and a tiny bar)

...has 1 comment, most recently from JayK

The untaxed city within the city

...has 36 comments, most recently from JayK