finding your roots

Cory A. Booker

Newark Mayor Cory BookerThe Honorable Cory A. Booker, 42, is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, the largest city in the State of New Jersey. Mayor Booker is presently serving in his second term.

Elected with a clear mandate for change, Mayor Booker began work on realizing a bold vision for the City. Newark’s mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshalling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families.

Mayor Booker and his Administration, together with the City’s residents, have made meaningful strides towards achieving the City’s mission by tackling significant challenges with innovation, new coalitions, creative public private partnerships and building on the already existing great foundation in New Jersey’s most historic city.

Mayor Booker and his team have more than doubled the rate of affordable housing production; created the City’s largest expansion of parks and recreation spaces in over a century with nearly 50 acres of new or refurbished parks; and brought more than $1billion of new economic development into the City (including the first new hotels under construction in the City’s downtown in 40 years and the first new office tower under construction in 20 years). Business attraction has also been a focus for Mayor Booker and his team – they have attracted new large businesses (including Panasonic, Manishewitz and to relocate their national and international headquarters to Newark and, through the City’s economic development corporation, created a small and midsize business loan fund that has helped over 50 businesses start or expand. Mayor Booker has also attracted national attention for his education reform efforts –already succeeding in significantly expanding high quality public education options for families and leading in the creation of new strong educational and career development opportunities for Newark’s disaffected youth.

Recognizing the dignity, worth and limitless potential of all people, Mayor Booker has led in the creation of an innovative network of resources and programs for men and women coming home from incarceration, dramatically driving down recidivism rates for those involved. Mayor Booker and his team have led with other innovations for youth and families including New Jersey’s first youth and community courts and the creation of a network of grassroots financial and family empowerment centers in 14 neighborhoods throughout the City.

Mayor Booker has also gained wide attention for his implementation and usage of new technologies ranging from creating the State’s largest wireless network of crime fighting technology (including cameras and gunshot detection) to raising the bar on customer service using social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

For all his efforts and those of countless Newark residents and activists, Newark is fast becoming recognized as one of America’s rising cities of hope and promise. Mayor Booker’s leadership in these significant civic strides has been recognized by numerous magazines and other media outlets, including being named to the 2011 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Mayor Booker received his B. A. and M. A. from Stanford University, a B. A. in Modern History at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and completed his law degree at Yale University. And he has often been known to say, he got his B.A. from Stanford but thanks to a great city, he received his best education from the people of Newark, New Jersey.

Watch the full Finding Your Roots episode: John Lewis and Cory Booker.

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About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

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