Newark Mayor Cory Booker is Back But With Baggage

In his second term, he still has a lot to prove

The Honorable Julien X. Neals (far right) swears Cory Booker in for his second term as Mayor of the city of Newark. (Source: BlackEnterprise.com)

As far as inauguration’s go, Cory Booker’s second term installation as mayor of Newark was quite nice. But “nice” is a disappointment compared to the reception his supporters gave him four years ago when people were turned away from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center because it was packed to the gills; and when all of the nine city council people installed that day were favored by him. Since then he has become somewhat of a celebrity. In fact, Booker’s good friend and talk show host Gail King sat on stage at the inauguration with Booker’s family, and @CoryBooker has almost 1.1 million twitter followers.

His inauguration this year was solemn and respectable. But compared to the cheers and hallelujah’s that erupted from the folks who backed Ras Baraka and Darrin Sharif, two newly instated city council members who challenge Booker on several major issues, its evident that some things are changing in Newark.

That’s not to say that Booker isn’t still popular in Newark. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have won the election with 59% of the vote. Locally, he has accomplished some of his campaign promises, including a reduced crime record–New Jersey, leads the nation in reducing gun violence with a 46% decrease in shootings over the last three years–and increased business development.

“We’re doing everything from making more loans available, partnering with business incubators, creating bonding support …” said Booker after the inauguration. “There are a lot of things that we are doing to support local businesses.”

For example, the Black Wall Street project broke ground in Newark’s West Ward back in December 2008. The project, led by the black-owned Mid-Atlantic Alliance, developed affordable and eco-friendly housing. The mayor blogged that it was a triple win involving “local minority developers creating wealth, construction jobs … and affordable homeownership … for more residents.”

But this year, Booker has a lot to contend with, including a $180 million budget deficit. The city budget he proposed for 2010 last week calls to lay off 651 employees, including many of the 300 policemen he hired to reduce crime. Plus he wants to create a municipal utilities authority that will offset the deficit by $50 million but allow a private entity to control Newark’s watershed, an option that has his critics steaming.

“I really disagree with selling the resources of the people. We need to sustain working people’s lives, their jobs, and not depend on corporatism,” said Baraka, newly installed south ward councilman who defeated a Booker ally.

If the city does start to outsource services, it seems there might be plenty of opportunity for the city to increase contracts to black-owned businesses. Booker has taken symbolic measures in the past to show his concern for the working class and the poor in Newark–even going so far as to live in a housing project to draw awareness to the plight of the poor. Making sure that black-owned businesses get fair access to contracts with the city is one way to start making his symbolism real.

For more information on Cory Booker: Power Player: Cory Booker

ACROSS THE WEB
  • KAI

    The baggage is that $180m city debt. Many states don’t owe that much. What’s up with Jersey? He’s a good mayor in need of a miracle.

  • Pingback: Top Black News Headlines – July 3, 2010 | Black News

  • Pingback: Newark Mayor Cory Booker is Back But With Baggage | BlackNewsTribune.com

  • http://www.isopropylalcohol.info Isopropyl Alcohol :

    construction jobs these days are on demand because the construction business is booming again”,~

  • Pingback: Book Review: Black Faces in White Places - BLACK ENTERPRISE

  • Pingback: Book Review: Black Faces in White Places | BlackNewsTribune.com

  • http://www.kitchenrugsmats.com Kitchen Rugs ·

    construction jobs are on the rise again these days because the recession is almost over ;`,

  • Poetry

    We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with useful info to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive activity and our entire group shall be grateful to you.

  • my blog

    Excellent goods from you, man. I’ve be aware your stuff previous to and you’re simply extremely fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which by which you say it. You are making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is actually a great web site.

  • download windows 8 beta

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this publish and if I may just I desire to counsel you some interesting issues or advice. Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!

  • genel sağlık

    I feel that is one of the so much significant information for me. And i’m glad studying your article. But should commentary on some normal things, The site taste is great, the articles is really great : D. Just right activity, cheers