In 2006 Newark, New Jersey took a major step in the right direction when Cory Booker became the city’s 36th Mayor. I am a New Yorker but I commute to New Jersey 5 days a week for work. My commute takes me through Newark, NJ and in 5 years I have seen change, albeit a minor change it is start. As a New York I have always heard all the stories about Newark and how much of a shit it was, to be honest when I started making the commute to New Jersey I finally saw what everyone was talking about. Before you enter Newark Penn Station on NJ Transit you have to pass a graveyard of industrialized warehouses from Newark’s glorious past during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Depressing doesn’t even describe the scene!!
Before Cory Booker became mayor of Newark 5 of the last 7 Mayors of Newark have been indicted on criminal charges; extortion, conspiracy, federal tax evasion, fraud, bribery charges, 33 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud. With a past like this Cory Booker could have easily showed up and done nothing and he would have been seen as a success. Lucky thing for Newark sitting around and not doing nothing is not in Booker’s personality. From his first political position as councilman Booker has been an active advocate for the people. I mean he has participated in a hunger strike and lived in a tent to protest drug dealing and violence in one of the toughest areas of Newark. It is determination and fire that will lift the people out of down and situations, you can’t throw money at a problem and think that everything will be all good. You need to take it to the streets and make a difference. So far I have seen this in Cory Booker and it is making a difference.
Now you look at Newark and you see the NJ Devils (hockey) have opened a brand new state of the art facility, Prudential Center aka “The Rock” right in the middle of downtown Newark. Along with the Devils Booker was able to successful negotiate having the NJ Nets (Basketball) play their 2010-2011 season at “The Rock”. Along with Hockey and Basketball Newark (well Harrison) will be home to the NY Red Bulls. All of this will bring in much needed revenue for Newark and the surrounding area, but that is only the beginning as Booker continues to put in work to make Newark an attractive place for businesses and families.
Booker could be the greatest salesman in trying to attract businesses to Newark and he can give all the taxs breaks in the world, but the key to Newark’s turn-around will be making the city safe! So far Booker has made tremendousstrides in bringing the crime rate down in Newark. Booker actually participates in night watch programs where they walk the streets of Newark protecting the streets. If you follow Booker on Twitter (@CoryBooker) you could follow his night watch program as he would tweet his nightly progress. Time and time again Booker has shown he will use unconventional means to make a difference, and his efforts recently paid off!
Newark was able to celebrate it’s first murder-free month (March) in over 44 years. As of April 1, 2010, the murder rate in Newark was the second best since 1941 and crime rates for aggravated assaults, robberies, carjacking, and shootings were also down for the first quarter compared to 2009.
We need more politicians like Cory Booker, less talk and more action!!
If there is something to be said, “Its On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!
Great post. I am glad that you’ve shared your thoughts about Newark with others. Newark is changing for the better. There are lots of people that come to work in Newark everyday and know nothing about the city. They take the trains to work and by 5:15 pm they are back in Penn Station ready to hightail it back to the burbs.
Newark has things to offer. Something for everyone I might say. Mayor Booker is doing an excellent job. I am sure he will keep up the good work.
Thanks for sharing.