booker talk at Duke 2-4-09

Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., spoke on “The Future of Political Leadership” Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Fleishman Commons at the Sanford Institute of Public Policy @ Duke University

it was a great talk.
some themes i left with:

-“a sacred effort” ( Fredrick Douglass comment on Lincoln’s last inauguration address)
-measure of sacrifice

-important to have vision for what is possible; Moses/Joshua… Moses led people out of Egypt, but not into the promised land. 10 of the 12 who went to scout out the promised land spoke of land of giants.. that ‘we are but grasshoppers…’ Joshua and Caleb believed that they could defeat even these and they did… they had vision to do the seemingly impossible

-Moses/Joshua story (follow-up on this)
-check out “Streetfight” movie documents some of story

blurb about the speaker:
At 39, Booker is one of the nation’s most prominent politicians under 40. He was elected mayor in 2006 in a landslide, rebounding from a tight loss in 2002 against long-time incumbent Sharpe James and his political machine. Booker gained nationwide attention during the 2002 race, which filmmaker Marshall Curry chronicled in his Academy-Award nominated documentary “Street Fight.”

Despite his top-notch education—Stanford, Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Yale Law—Booker took up residence in one of Newark’s most notorious housing projects, Brick Towers, when he returned to New Jersey to work as a community organizer. Turning to politics, he served on Newark’s city council from 1998 to 2002, fighting against the entrenched political establishment to combat crime and drug trafficking on the streets where he and others lived.

Booker has made significant changes in his first two years in office. Newark has seen a 40 percent decease in murders and shootings, bucking the upward trend among major cities. Working with local foundations, Booker created a $20 million fund to support charter schools and a Brick City scholarship fund. He also created the new position of Inspector General to investigate corruption in city agencies. When Brick Towers was condemned, Booker moved in another troubled downtown neighborhood.


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