Booker’s West Coast Visit - My9 New Jersey

Booker’s West Coast Visit

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Newark, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Mayor Cory Booker is out on the west coast this week for some fundraiser's in his honor. First stop for him was San Francisco where he talked with some of his tech-money connections and then he plans to hit up Hollywood tonight where he will be rubbing elbows with the likes of celebrities like Ben Affleck.

Tom Moran with the Star Ledger chimed in to discuss the criticism surrounding Booker as possibly being an absentee Mayor. With the ongoing crime and murders in Newark, not to mention their failing school system, is it appropriate for Booker to be jet-setting around the west coast to raise money for the Senate election?

Moran said, “Overall crime is down since Booker took office, it’s been a very rough stretch recently but I don’t think anybody really faults the amount of effort the guy has put in on crime, He spent a lot of time in police cruisers at night, at murder scenes, a lot of these trips that Booker makes are intended to raise money and the biggest beneficiary has been the police department. If you go there it’s very high-tech, it looks like a Batman movie and it’s all with money he raised on these trips.”

A colleague of Moran’s recently did an investigation on Booker which took up about a year of his time where he looked into just how long the Mayor is really absent from Newark and he found that Booker was gone about 20% of the days which is about the same as Governor Christie.

A recent report also showed that three-quarters of children born in Newark are born into poverty. Moran thinks that these statistics are not quite accurate. He said, “I don’t believe that stat. Newark’s poverty rate is more like 30%. I don’t know any mayor who really could be expected to significantly reduce poverty in their city, it’s an impossible demand because the key thing there is to create jobs and a mayor doesn’t have that kind of leverage, even governors have limited leverage on creating jobs. The real questions is so what’s he doing about it in his city.”

Moran went on to commend the mayor on his efforts towards education. He mentioned the charter schools in Newark that Booker helped open and also how he developed a new teacher contract that makes it easier to fire the bad teachers and give bonuses to the good ones.

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