“Character ultimately rules the day. People will see the truth of who you are even when you make mistakes.”

Cory Booker has served as the mayor of Newark, New Jersey—the largest city in the state—since July 1, 2006. Under Mayor Booker’s leadership, Newark is a leader in the nation among large cities for violent crime reduction and urban development. His political career began in 1998, after he served as staff attorney for the Urban Justice Center in Newark and then as Newark’s Central Ward councilman from 1998 to 2002. He has been recognized in numerous publications, including O magazine, Time, Esquire, New Jersey Monthly (which named him as one of New Jersey’s Top 40 Under 40), Black Enterprise (which placed him on the Hot List, America’s Most Powerful Players Under 40), and the New York Times Magazine. He is a member of numerous boards and advisory committees including Democrats for Education Reform, Columbia University Teachers’ College Board of Trustees, and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Mayor Booker received his B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University, and a B.A. in modern history at Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar. He completed his law degree at Yale University. (www.CoryBooker.com)

the interview

I saw Mayor Booker speak in New York City, and I was blown away. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more impressive orator. Needless to say, his schedule is extremely tight. Thankfully, he generously consented to a half-hour interview while I was in town. Our interview was conducted in a Starbucks at a Barnes and Noble on the Upper West Side. While riding from the Upper East Side to the Upper West Side in his car with his handlers, I learned that we had something in common: he also had some experience in film. His 2002 turbulent race for mayor of Newark against a four-term incumbent twice his age is chronicled in the Academy Award–nominated PBS documentary Street Fight (www.marshallcurryproductions.com).

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