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Attention @CoryBooker

May 11, 2012

Ordinarily, I would post anything even remotely political- which is rare anyway, because I hate political discourse of any kind- on my “bitch and complain about everything” blog. This, however, I am posting here, for two reasons: 1, because people actually read this blog, and C, I will be doing no bitching nor complaining whatsoever. Other than maybe why more mayors aren’t like Cory Booker.

I first heard about Newark, N.J., mayor Cory Booker a couple years back, when he appeared on an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” discussing the movie “Waiting for Superman”, and the problems with our educational system. Only reason I saw it at all was because Kelly, one of my newer but one of my dearest friends, who is also, coincidentally (and luckily), Ian’s assistant principal, was in the audience for that show and actually got to speak to and with Ms. Winfrey and Mayor Booker. She tweeted about the show, so I DVR’ed and watched it, as well as the YouTube video of the “after-show”. I really wish I had the link available so you could see it. I’ve searched YouTube, and pretty much the entire internets™, to no avail. If I somehow happen across it after posting this, I’ll be sure to add the link.

I was immediately struck by the genuine passion of Mayor Booker. Most politicians, regardless of which way they lean, are masters of saying what [they think] we want to hear, putting on a good show. Mayor Booker is exactly the opposite, in that he knows what we “want” to hear but he tells us the way it is- no matter how painful it is to hear, no matter how much we don’t want to hear it. Many politicians with a camera in their face would say some BS thing like, “We have a growing problem with education in America”, with their carefully choreographed hand gestures and looks of “concern”, and proceed to duck out of addressing it so they can have their photo op and then head back to whichever ivory tower from whence they descended. Not Mayor Booker. He will look (and HAS looked) dead into that camera and will say (and HAS said), “These are the problems with education in America and THIS is how I intend to try to fix them.” And here’s the kicker: he actually DOES it.

Now, obviously I’m not going to bulletpoint all of Mayor Booker’s accomplishments, since that’s a rather long list to post here, and also since you can use the webiverse to read up on him yourselves. And, being about as disgusted with politics and politicians as one can get, I’m probably the last person who is capable of accurately discussing and describing anything or anyone political. I’m simply here posting that this man is 100% real, mayoral bad-ass.

Mayor Booker has a genuine love for his city and for the people in it. This is crystal clear. Mayor Booker makes himself readily accessible to his city and to the people in it. He doesn’t sit there and wait until a metaphorical group of metaphorical angry villagers come and metaphorically storm the metaphorical castle to deal with a problem. He goes out into the city and looks for the problems and then either fixes them, formulates a plan to fix them, or ask said villagers, “What can I do to fix this problem?”, and he listens to them and he acts upon it. Dude is about as proactive at their job as anyone I think I’ve ever seen, let alone a politician.

I follow Mayor Booker on Twitter (@CoryBooker, just in case you didn’t click on the hotlink above :)) and I am simply amazed. He occasionally posts inspirational tweets, and sometimes will mention appearances he will make or has made, but he actually does his job on Twitter. People tweet him directly with a problem and- get this- he addresses it. Right there on the Twitters. Power outage in such-and-such neighborhood? Mayor Booker’s response: “Call 973-xxx-xxx and ask for _________.” Accident with injuries? Mayor Booker’s response: “I have sent police, fire and rescue; they will be on scene in four minutes.” Speed bumps need to be painted or signed on your street? Mayor Booker’s response: “City engineering department is now looking at the problem.” I even saw a tweet where someone complained about traffic congestion issues around the stadium during the NHL playoffs, to which Mayor Booker replied that there would be extra police sent during the game, and something along the lines of, “the playoffs will continue if I have to direct traffic myself.” And I’mma tell you what: I believe, if the situation demanded it, he would.

He asks- almost dares- his constituency for the problems they have, and he faces them head on, full speed ahead. Again, dude is bad-ass.

I’m not sure if our mayor here- in a capital city- even has a Twitter account. I am reasonably sure he did during his election campaign (natch), but I really don’t believe he still has one (if someone knows that he does, please correct me in the interest of fairness). I follow many local newspaper reporters, television and radio outlets, and various other people in the political know, and I’d think that, if he does still have and/or use a Twitter account, I would surely have seen a retweet from somebody. He’s been mayor here for a while now, after all. Even if he does have a Twitter account, I’m betting he’s not using it to engage the residents of Springfield like Mayor Booker does for Newark. Politically, ideologically, socially, and personally, Mayor Booker speaks not at his constituency, but to them. Directly. He gives credit to those that deserve it yet takes responsibility for every negative issue with which he is faced.

By now, I’m sure many of you have seen or heard of Mayor Booker’s profoundly resonating words about marriage equality, and about equality in general. Look into his eyes in the clip. That passion cannot be faked. And I, for one, am humbled by his words and stand behind him 100%.

I wish there were some way I could get him to read this post and for him to know that, even outside the city of Newark, there are hundreds, if not thousands (or, perhaps, millions) of Americans across the country that support Mayor Booker, what he does, and for what he stands- and also that dearly, DEARLY wish he were their mayor. I am one of those people. There’s even been talk around here of “Booker for President 2016”.
I am not a left OR right, red OR blue, conservative OR liberal kind of person. I don’t see most things as that easily definable. That said, I just cannot vote for most Democrats. While there are some decidedly liberal views in which I believe (gay marriage being one of the big ones), there are some liberal views to which I just cannot subscribe. However, anymore, I also just cannot vote for most Republicans because, among other reasons, I am absolutely SICK of their elitist, holier-than-thou, “corporations are more important than people” views and the bullshit pious “a vote for me is a vote for Jesus” crap. There are, to be fair, some conservative views in which I believe (eliminating abortions being one of the big ones), but there are also a rapidly growing list of conservative views with which I cannot- no, I REFUSE- to go along. Admittedly, I still need to do some more interwebs™ research into the man, but I am rather surprised to see that the person I think I could most endorse, in best conscience, is a vastly liberal Democrat. At this point, Mayor Booker would have to pretty much go batshit crazy before I could think about voting against him- were he to some day run. There, I said it. Mayor Booker, should you ever run for President, you have my vote.

And if, by chance, you happen to be reading this, please know that, should you ever make your way to Springfield, IL, be it personally or professionally, I would be honored to shake your hand and buy you a beer. And then try like hell to get you to run for President. Or at the very least, for mayor of Springfield. God knows we have had more than our fill of shitty politicians in this city. And I won’t even begin to cover the governors we’ve had in recent years. #convictedfelons


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Marjorie Stearns permalink
    May 13, 2012 8:18 pm

    I’ll have to check him out. I’m sorry to say I’m not familiar with him.

  2. Marjorie Stearns permalink
    May 17, 2012 9:21 am

    Did you see the ad made by Chris Christie and Booker? It was really funny, portraying Booker almost as Superman and Christie as potential vice-president material. It was funny.

    • May 17, 2012 10:23 am

      Somebody sent me a link but I haven’t watched it yet.

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