I was all prepared to write about our foray into Kindergarten at a Charter School. You know, staunch advocate of public education sends her kid to a charter-what the? That will certainly be a post for another day. Wanna know why? Huh? Huh? Well, I woke this morning to get the house going and per usual I checked my phone. Along with the 27 emails that came in (while I slept!) I had a text message via Twitter from Cory Booker. Yes, Cory Booker Mayor of Newark sent a Direct message…to my phone. Well, happy Friday to me.
Now I must confess, in case you don’t follow me on Twitter, last night I tweeted that I had a wee crush on Mr. Booker because an indomitable spirit is an attractive thing. His tweet “Yes, you will fall and crash but never let your dream die Only those who fall again and again discover they can fly” is what inspired my confession. I swear it is not just because he is easy on the eyes. (Probably doesn’t hurt though.) I follow him on Twitter for the same reason I follow @RevRun (even though sometimes I still think it’s weird that he inspires me spiritually and not just to dance.) because almost daily his tweets make me want to go out and take on the world. So I sent out a message, expecting nothing. Then he responded to me. Me? I am no one. I am not Conan O’ Brien. I have donated no money. Heck, I’m barely registered to vote in New Jersey and I’m certainly not a vote in Newark. But he saw my Tweet and took a second to respond, not because it got him anything, just because that’s what he does-listen and respond to people.
I have followed Mr. Booker far longer than I have lived in New Jersey. His star has shone brightly in my universe. Cory Booker is everything I wish I was and everything I hope I can raise my kids to be. He has a clear sense of right and wrong and will not stop fighting for what is right, no matter the political ramifications. In fact, when he lost his first Mayoral bid, rather than scheme for the next, he hit the streets and started an organization that directly helped the members of the community. Sure, this had positive political effect later, but he could have gotten the same results through back channels and fat cat donors like most NJ politicians seem to do. I won’t go on and on about him, because I could. What I will say is he fights hard, laughs out loud and-bottom line-gets stuff done. Really done. He gets things done that people here in Jersey are passed believing in. He’s reduced crime-really, like the lowest rates in over 50 years. He’s decreased the size of the government in Newark (take that Republicans). He has brought in tons of private philanthropy dollars to the city. (I know, tons? C’mon-I’m not a news writer I just play one on the Internet. You had to know that when I started out by admitting I had a crush on the guy.) Most importantly, he has motivated the people of Newark to stand up and take back what is theirs. Cory Booker is what everyone in public service should be-dedicated, honest, and passionate about not the job, but the people who got him the job. Evidence to his dedication? He turned down an Obama White House position citing his commitment to Newark. I’m not sure I could have turned down and Obama White House job, but Mr. Booker did.
That’s what’s important to Cory Booker-people. He is not from Newark as I am not from New Jersey. But where you are from doesn’t matter. What matters is where you are and what you do to make that place better. What Cory Booker wants and what he works for is what is best for the people of Newark. Isn’t that what we want from all of our leaders?
** PS-if for some reason you know anyone in Mr. Booker’s Office, please, please, please get that man to run for Governor. I watched it happen in Baltimore. It works.
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Cristie Ritz King says
As for Mayor Fenty-he never received any rave reviews from me-a little too slick for my taste. I'm pretty sure he never would have turned down a White House job to stay and fight for his city. I do think the one good thing he did was bring in Butt-kicking Michelle and his police chief. As for Rhee's "snafu" in the schools, I can't help but wonder, were the layoffs good teachers? I'm guessing she laid off 300 and then "fixed" the budget just in time to replace them with higher quality. Some might say it's dirty, and I wouldn't disagree, but at least you have to give her credit for being true to herself-hard core no matter what.
FYI the above anonymous isn't me…Cathy
Sounds like the ringing reviews and endorsements fetted on "the Blackberry King" Adriane Fenty, Mayor of Washington DC, as recently as a year or two ago. Now his trail blazing Head of Education is imbroiled in a budget snafu that resulted in the premature layoffs of 300 teachers. He is fighting accusations of his close friends getting lucrative city contracts without Counsel approval and the residents of Ward 8 (SE) are complaining that he is no longer sensative to their needs. His reelection is in doubt. The shelf life on politicians is relativly short… Unless of course if your Mayor for Life Marion Barry.
James J. Dobbs says
Street Fight was a great documentary on the first mayoral run: http://www.pbs.org/pov/streetfight/film_description.php
Leenie Girl says
Having worked in Newark for 23 years, I can see the impact that Corey Booker has had in the city. Only in the past 2 years has anyone asked me for directions to Newark. Only in the past 3 years have any of my friends GONE to Newark. You can spot them Cristie! eileen
Crystal D says
I love this post. I don't live in NJ, but I am going to follow him on twitter now. Happy Friday Cristie!!
Aunt Julie says
Had never heard of Cory Booker (have had my hands full with MD politics) but he sounds like one of the good ones!! We need more of them in every City & State.
Plus I love Rev Run also – don't have twitter but love watching his show on MTV:)