Newark, N.J. Mayor Speaks to HLS Grads

Newark, N.J. Mayor Speaks to HLS Grads
The Harvard Crimson asks Mayor Booker about what inspired him to get into politics, the challenges he’s faced in Newark, and how the city has seen improvements in the past two years.

Given the harrowing local elections this week, I thought this excerpt was apropos.

THC: One of your former supervisors at The Urban Justice Center said that they all knew that you would be a politician because you were such a charismatic leader—you already had that air about you.

CB: A lot of people would often say that. You know I was drawn to people like Doug Lasdon who has changed tens of thousands of people’s lives through the strategic use of legal action, and that really inspired me. And I have to say, I had problems with politics and suspicions about politics in general. If you help someone across the road when you’re a do-good lawyer you’re a good guy. If you help someone across the road when you’re in politics often the cynicism of our age makes people say, ‘Oh well he’s just trying to get their vote.’

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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