From the Star Ledger: Booker, Newark celebrate Obama’s win.
The outcome of the race had special meaning for many residents of the predominantly black city, which has never fully recovered from the racially charged riots that shook it in the late 1960s. Mayor Cory Booker said the election of Obama — the first African-American to be elected president — is a signal the U.S. is ready to heal the racial divisions of the past.
“This is a time when it still seems exceptional that people are going to vote for someone that is not of their race, and Obama is beginning to melt that reality away,” Booker said. “Everything’s not going to be perfect just because we elected Barack Obama, but this is a sign that the healing has begun.”
Shortly after the election results rolled in, City Hall released a statement indicating great expectations for our President-Elect:
Newark, NJ – November 4, 2008 – The election of Barack Obama as President is a clear mandate for change in America – and, in particular, it presents a historic moment of opportunity for American cities.
For too long, there has been a limited vision of the capacity if our American cities and the potential role they can and must play in America’s long-term prosperity. In the recent past, federal partnerships to strengthen metropolitan areas have been insufficient but we now have renewed hope and a strong vision for change.
Obama’s vision and stated plans speak to future policies that will invest in our cities and work to develop the economic, social and cultural potential of our metropolitan areas. Obama is committed to safer cities, educational excellence for all our children and our cities becoming engines for our economic recovery and advancement. American cities can, and will, help generate American economic strength and help secure America’s global competitiveness.
We look forward to a partnership with the federal government that supports job creation, enhanced workforce training and increased access to capital for underserved businesses. Federal support of regional centers of innovation and next-generation industries such as clean technologies can help create new business and jobs. And, with Obama, we have a bolder opportunity to secure our short and long-term future through Obama’s plans to increase investment in early childhood education, as well as his commitment to making college more affordable for all Americans.
Today marks tremendous new hope for American cities. Working with Obama, we can create an America that nurtures all of her people’s dreams — a truly united country committed to strength, prosperity and justice for all. With the election over, it is now time that we, as a nation come together, work together, and strive together for our greatest collective aspirations.
TVJersey provides some man-on-the-street interviews from St. James AME Church.