iOS app Android app

Cory Booker
GET UPDATES FROM Cory Booker
A native of northern New Jersey, Cory Booker's passion for politics and justice was instilled at an early age by a family committed to change. His parents successfully fought against racial discrimination and shattered corporate ceilings, inspiring him to pursue a life of breaking barriers and working for change. On May 9, 2006, Cory Booker was elected Mayor of Newark, with a landslide victory in the Newark Mayoral race.

While a varsity football player and class president at Stanford University, Booker ran a local crisis hotline and organized programs for city youth in East Palo Alto, California. As a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, Booker made headlines through his friendship with then-Lubavitcher Rabbi Schmuley Boteach. Their friendship, and Booker's leadership of the L'Chaim Society, was a powerful example of Booker's strong belief in the strength of diversity and the tremendous possibilities that result when people move beyond simple racial, ethnic and religious tolerance.

During his first election, Booker rose to prominence by upsetting a four-term incumbent to become councilman. He knocked on tens of thousands of doors, inspiring over a thousand previously discouraged voters to turn out for the first time.

Booker lives his politics, often in unconventional and creative ways. In the summer of 1999, he went on a 10-day hunger strike in one of the most drug-infested housing complexes in Newark, an effort that resulted in increased police presence and improved security for residents. For five months in 2000, Booker took to the streets; he lived in a motor home and parked it on the worst drug corners in the city, inspiring residents and businesses to fight against drug dealing and crime. For this, TIME magazine called him "The Savior of Newark," and he proved to the city and the nation that he is dedicated to fighting inner-city problems.

Booker brings his passion for social change to the podium. His drive and commitment are inspirational to audiences across the country.

As Newark's Central Ward councilman, Booker introduced dozens of pieces of legislation and resolutions that have impacted housing, youth, safety, jobs and created better government. He has earned a reputation as a leader with innovative ideas and a willingness to take bold actions. From increased security in public housing to new playgrounds, his initiatives are changing lives.

Booker was an All-American football player and excelled in sports throughout his academic career. He ran a mentoring program for low-income youth while studying history in Oxford, England. While earning his law degree at Yale University, he co-founded and ran legal clinics to help low-income residents of New Haven. He is currently the director of Newark Now, a grassroots nonprofit group, a partner at a Newark law firm and a senior fellow at the Rutger's School of Public Policy and Planning.

Blog Entries by Cory Booker

It's Time to Emphasize Pragmatic and Achievable Gun Law Reform

(1373) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 1:15 PM

If today is a typical day in America, 34 people -- men, women, and children -- will be killed with a gun. Countless more will be wounded. As the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, I don't enjoy the luxury of ideological debate -- whether guns in our society are "good"...

Read Post

Make It Count -- Electing America's Next President

(0) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 2:24 PM

This morning on Morning Joe, I joined with Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock to debut a short-form documentary entitled Make It Count -- Electing America's Next President. The documentary is a behind-the-scenes look at the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention as seen through the Congressman's...

Read Post

Call for Youth Voice in Election 2012

(2) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 12:50 PM

With the presidential debates rapidly approaching, I am reminded of how critically important it is for America's young people to raise their voices about issues that matter to them, and to take action and vote. To this end, I am issuing a call for wires on #waywire, to help elevate...

Read Post

A Dream Anew

(247) Comments | Posted August 24, 2011 | 10:11 AM

Last week, I was in Atlanta for a day. I went directly from the airport to meet Congressman John Lewis at the King Center, where he and I were to be filmed for a program that Henry Lewis Gates is putting together about our ancestry. As I juggled cell phones...

Read Post

Community Engagement And PENewark

(26) Comments | Posted June 23, 2011 | 10:54 AM

This week, I was surprised and disappointed to read a story filed by a leading news organization that mischaracterized the community engagement and response to the Partnership for Education in Newark (PENewark). In an effort to provide full transparency for the PENewark progress, what follows is a community...

Read Post

My Birthday Wish to End Animal Cruelty

(227) Comments | Posted April 6, 2011 | 9:51 AM

Recently a heinous incident of animal cruelty took place in our city and shocked the world. On March 16th, the day before St. Patrick's Day, a 1-year-old pit bull was found inside a trash bag, starved and near death after having been thrown down a trash chute....

Read Post

Hypocrisy

(301) Comments | Posted January 4, 2011 | 8:47 AM

2010 was a challenging year. Our city, like so many others, faced extraordinary obstacles brought about by the worst economy in decades. Fiscal hardship unrivaled since the early 1970s forced painful decisions. Further, after four years of double digit percentage drops in shootings in Newark, shootings rose compared to 2009....

Read Post

A Historic Opportunity

(343) Comments | Posted September 25, 2010 | 1:32 AM

The public school system in Newark -- the largest in New Jersey -- is no different from most urban school districts across the country. Challenged by such issues as uneven student achievement, cuts in funding and growing mandates, our schools have failed to deliver on the promise of providing a...

Read Post

Breaking the Cycle of Re-Arrest and Re-Imprisonment

(57) Comments | Posted January 3, 2010 | 2:23 PM

Cross-posted with the New Jersey Star Ledger.

Amidst the partisan rancor focusedon by our national media, New Jersey has an opportunity to demonstrate substantive and even transformational bipartisanship.

Newark, New Jersey, leads the nation in reducing gun violence with a 46 percent decrease...

Read Post

A Great American Servant

(12) Comments | Posted May 15, 2009 | 3:34 PM

There is too much disagreement for disagreement's sake.

In a time of persistent challenges that still call into question our most sacred aspirations as a country, we cannot afford shallow callous divisiveness in our public debate. We become distracted from productive labors by our perceived opponents; we become focused...

Read Post

A Hard Look at Education

(234) Comments | Posted May 10, 2009 | 7:27 PM

This week, I became a more active tweeter (@CoryBooker)! I was encouraged by the dialogue that came from one of my tweets regarding education reform. There is no doubt that America faces severe educational challenges.

We are a nation that proclaims unalienable rights and "that among these are

Read Post

Barack Obama is Elected President -- Now What?

(150) Comments | Posted November 9, 2008 | 5:06 PM

I spent Sunday morning visiting black churches here in Newark and heard so many pastors, in poignant praise, illuminate our nation's presidential choice in historical context. My own pastor spoke of years of struggle and tears, years of sacrifice and pain, years of faith amidst oceans of despair that WERE...

Read Post

A Time For Change: A New Narrative for America and her Cities

(20) Comments | Posted November 4, 2008 | 11:55 PM

My experiences in Newark have been clear. When American citizens pull together, there is little we can't accomplish. Today, millions of Americans united and chose change. This is a historic election for many reasons. Most importantly, the election of Barack Obama now offers a momentous opportunity for us to reclaim...

Read Post

A Great American Tradition: Community Organizing

(111) Comments | Posted September 10, 2008 | 12:46 PM

I learned about community organizing from my parents. As a child, their stories were so instructive. For example, in the summer of 1963, my mother was a teacher in Washington DC. She used her summer months to volunteer with the Urban League. That summer, as the Urban League was preparing...

Read Post

When Neither Crime Nor Punishment Pays

(125) Comments | Posted August 9, 2007 | 11:12 AM

In barbershops and boardrooms, in newspaper headlines and presidential debates, Americans are questioning the billions of dollars a month being spent on a failing war, and the current "surge" in Iraq.

But we, policy-makers at every level of government, should also be questioning the "domestic surge" at home in the...

Read Post

The Larger Picture in Newark

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2006 | 12:25 PM

March 22nd was a long day on the campaign trail, but I want to take a moment to write a special blog for the Huffington Post. After receiving encouragement from Arianna Huffington to participate, I decided to share some blogs from my web site. However, I realize that in doing...

Read Post

It Is Not About Who We Are Running Against...

(13) Comments | Posted March 21, 2006 | 1:24 PM

So many interviews -- it was an interesting day as the press circled around to hear from me what I thought of the city hall theatrics. As reporter after reporter told me how "funny", "sad" or "comical" the display was, they all asked me the same questions:

"What do you...

Read Post

Brick Towers

(0) Comments | Posted May 11, 2005 | 1:44 AM

I live in Brick Towers, a public housing project in Newark's Central Ward. I moved in when the projects were privately owned by a man who the residents and I believed was a grade A slumlord. To fight for change, I worked with the tenant leader, a woman who is...

Read Post