“I’m an American. That comes with an obligation. People are fighting to become citizens of the United States of America, willing to do whatever it takes, but we’re taking for granted what that legacy means.”
So says Cory A. Booker, the 38-year old Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. The city is perhaps most famous for the 1967 race riots, when Life Magazine featured a dead child on its cover under the headline: ‘Shooting War in the Streets: Newark, The Predictable Insurrection‘ and many believe Newark has never recovered from this image. Today the murder rate in Newark is twice that of the Bronx, almost a third of its residents live below the poverty line, and only 40% of the city’s youth graduate from high school. But Cory Booker is not deterred by the dismal statistics, despite being repeatedly told by the most sincere, well-intentioned people that the problems are unsolvable. Instead of joining the chorus of doubters, he is seeking out ways to end the madness.
Booker, who is convinced we are suffering “a spiritual crisis of people not believing in the greatness of who we are,” has made changes in every department of city government since taking office. A year later, Continue reading