It’s no surprise that Cory Booker has entered the race for President in 2020. Along with his announcement, he released a touching campaign video about his family history and how he became a champion in Newark, New Jersy. But make no mistake, Cory was born in Washington D.C. and went to Yale an Ivy League college. He wasn’t from a poor struggling neighborhood.
Many remember Bookers “Spartacus” moment during the hearing of Judge Kavanaugh. In fact, many accuse Booker of being a grandstander. Many in Newark said they felt he moved to Newark to make a visual improvement in downtown where he added businesses and motivated companies like corporations Panasonic and Manischewitz to relocate their headquarters to Newark. But his mission was to improve neighborhoods.
“In that mission, some argue, he was less successful.
Sure, some neighborhoods have flourished, like downtown, and the Ironbound, a Portuguese stronghold, where whole eels and sardines were served up on paper plates from stands on Portugal Day last month, and hip restaurants flung open doors and windows to serve sangria by the bucket.
But there’s a widely held perception that Booker was more interested in remaking the more visible and higher-profile downtown, which he had represented as a council member, than areas farther from the city center. He might have attracted corporations like Audible, whose CEO, Don Katz, a friend of Booker’s, says relocating was one of the best things he’s ever done for the company. But of the 850 employees Audible now employs in Newark, only 12 percent live there. “I think you can’t wave a wand and put up the kind of housing that my folks would want to live in,” Katz says. “That’s the kind of conversation I’m having now.”
One popular moment for Cory Booker was when a resident needed diapers during a snowstorm and Booker tweeted, “on it”. Barbara Byers was that resident. “Byers laughed at the memory and thinks everyone missed the point: Booker, she said, focused on the individual heroics because the larger task of managing city services eluded him.”
In his announcement he had this to say:
“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table; where there are good-paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe, instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame,” Booker said in his announcement video, with a veiled knock at President Donald Trump.
“It is not a matter of can we, it’s a matter of do we have the collective will, the American will?” he added. “I believe we do.”