Cory Booker

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Cory Booker


Cory Booker is the junior United States Senator from New Jersey.

Relationship

Cory Booker is reportedly in a relationship with Chanda Gibson, executive director of the Council of Urban Professionals.

Gibson, a single mother of two boys, has known Booker since she worked on his 2002 campaign for mayor of Newark, NJ.

Background

Booker was born to two of IBM’s first African-American executives, and grew up in northern New Jersey.

Born in Washington DC on April 27, 1969, Cory Booker was raised in Harrington Park, New Jersey, a mostly white town where his parents Cary Booker and Carolyn Booker, former civil rights activists and pioneer black executives at IBM, settled down.

He attended Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. Following his graduation he enrolled at Stanford University in California where he earned a B.A. in political science as well an M.A. in sociology. Booker played varsity football at Stanford and was named to the 1991 All-Pacific Ten Academic Team. [1]

Booker became involved with his community at an early age, receiving awards as a Stanford undergraduate for his work with a peer counseling center and other volunteer activities. Booker later studied as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and received a J.D. from Yale Law School. While he was in law school, he helped run free legal clinics for New Haven residents, and went on to found Newark Now, a charity dedicated to improving neighborhoods for Newark residents.

As mayor of Newark since 2006, Booker has spearheaded a number of initiatives related to fighting crime in Newark, reforming education, improving city services, and curbing gun violence. Booker is also known for his personal involvement in constituent issues: in 2012, he saved a woman from a house fire, and often steps in to help residents in times of natural disasters and other emergencies.

Second favorite

Sen. Kamala Harris is the potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate generating the most excitement among the black political elite, according to participants at the 2017 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation policy forum in Washington.

It’s still way too soon for endorsements — none of the major potential candidates are even in the race yet and elected officials say they’re more focused on the 2018 mid-terms than the next presidential contest — but Harris, a California Democrat who is in her first year in the Senate, has emerged at the center of attention.

In interviews with more than a dozen political insiders and CBC members here, Harris’ outreach to other political leaders, her attention to issues of importance to voters of color, her perceived ferocity, and even her status as a graduate of a historically black college — Howard University — were cited as reasons she’s emerged as an early, if far from prohibitive, favorite.

"You’re hearing Kamala, and Cory’s a distant second," James Williams, director of federal relations for Wayne State University and a former longtime congressional aide, said, referring to Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.[2]

Background of a future president?

Terry Moe, professor of political science and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, recalled Booker as one of his most successful students. "He was a very sharp guy who participated actively and was a great student." Moe said. "All around, very impressive." While at Stanford, Booker was much more than an outstanding student who was acknowledged for numerous awards at graduation. He was an AllAmerican tight end on the football team, as well as a live-in, overnight counselor at The Bridge. While Booker grew up in an affluent suburb in New Jersey, Associate Professor of art, art history and classics Jody Maxmin noted that this only encouraged Booker's growing passion to improve society. "He talked about the disparity between the rich and poor, as well as the problems of the inner city," Maxmin said. "He had this great burden of wanting to give back — and every step up the ladder of his career, I think his purpose intensified." Booker received a bachelor's degree in political science with honors in 1991 and a master's degree in sociology the following year. He then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and received an honors degree in modern history in 1994. He entered Yale Law School and received his law degree in 1997.

Booker has also sought to maintain his Stanford ties, serving on the University Board of Trustees as a residing member. After leaving school, Booker launched a career in public service in his home state of New Jersey. In 1998 he served as a staff attorney for the Urban Justice Center and as a program coordinator of the Newark Youth Project. He was elected to the Newark City Council where he earned a reputation for being a strong leader with innovative ideas. "He was so good at leading his peers and great at breathing confidence into others," Maxmin said. "He was destined to be a leader." In 1998, Booker moved into Brick Towers, a notorious public housing project in Newark, in order to understand the tenants better and to help them demand better living conditions. In 2000, Booker lived in a motor home parked near locations where drug trafficking was known to occur. "He's done these amazing things to put himself in the midst of troubled populations in an effort to understand and lead them," Moe said.

In addition to his political accomplishments, Booker is also a partner in a Newark law firm and founded a nonprofit organization aimed at improving and empowering neighborhoods in Newark. For his extensive work in the public interest, Booker has been recognized on a national level by a number of publications, including Time Magazine, Esquire and The U.S. News and World Report. "People have been comparing him to Barak Obama," Maxmin said. "He too is a young, idealistic politician of color that has the ability to bring the nation together. The future may very well rest in the hands of people like Obama and Booker." While Booker has an ambitious agenda for the city of Newark, many familiar with Booker and his accomplishments anticipate that he will continue his impressive rise. "He's had a remarkable career so far," Moe said. "It won't be long before he runs for higher office."[3]

Jack Kemp connection

Cory Booker wrote in the Huffington Post;[4]

In college, I was a fiercely committed Democrat — a meeting with Jack Kemp, then Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, challenged my blind partisanship. I met Secretary Kemp in East Palo Alto, California where I was working with youth. He was a Republican, I was a Democrat yet somehow he cut right through my then natural state of cynicism. I must confess that I almost regretted that I immediately liked this Bush appointed HUD Secretary. My mother has a saying, “who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.” It wasn’t his gift for gab that struck me but the power of his ideas and his authentic spirit. Kemp was clearly passionate about urban spaces and the people of cities. He immediately engaged me (a college student) in a direct candid manner; he appealed to my compassion and my logic. And more than that, it was obvious that he was not in East Palo Alto looking for a photo op surrounded by people of color — he was there to listen, to share his ideas and hear concerns.
After that meeting, I sought out more about Jack Kemp. I ordered some of his speeches and read what I could. I found I disagreed with him on some matters of policy, but reading and listening to him, I found that he always challenged me in the most productive of ways. My study of Kemp encouraged me to learn more about subjects from tax policy to international trade and, on occasion, I had to yield to the strength of his ideas and change my views.
From my position as a Democrat, I began to look at him with more affection than some within my own party who were great with rhetoric but seemed to lack a substantive analysis of issues. Though I had met him only once, following Jack Kemp was a gift; he challenged me, forced me to defend positions and invited me to engage in more dispassionate objective analysis of facts and less personalized partisan assaults on individuals that had me, in the past, often leaving ideas completely ignored. Even to the end of his life, this was how the man conducted himself - he didn’t believe in ad hominem attacks but wanted to keep everyone, even those within his own party, focused on what was important (see his defense of Barack Obama against Sean Hannity).
As Mayor of an American city, I can confidently say that one of the more successful federal/state urban initiatives of the past quarter century has been the creation of the Urban Enterprise Zone. (See also Bill Maher and Kemp mention). Jack Kemp was the evangelist for this idea and sponsor of the legislation in Congress which created the zones. Urban enterprise zones, soon adopted by many states, have driven billions of dollars into poor urban areas all across the United States.
The next time I saw Jack Kemp after our East Palo Alto meeting was when I was a Newark municipal councilman. We began a friendship and, as always, he challenged me, but now (I’d like to think) I could challenge him a little as well (and felt comfortable enough to tease him about his hair and my lack thereof). I was so encouraged by how much he seemed to be invested in Newark and the success of our City. He really believed that our nation could never claim to have achieved herself unless we made the opportunity and promise of America accessible to everyone. He freely admitted that we, as a country, were falling short and that there was great urgency in the fight to make America real to everyone. He and I bonded on everything from the urgent need of education reform to what many must view as his courageous beliefs on immigration.
When I first ran for Mayor, Kemp joined with another one of my political heroes, Bill Bradley, to host one of my early fundraisers in Washington, D.C. These two great men, both athletes, carried with them an intimate, almost visceral, understanding that black or white, Catholic or Jew, Republican or Democrat, we are all on the same team and we will either win or loose together.

Education

Cory Booker received his Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1991 and Master of Arts in sociology in 1992 from Stanford, a Bachelor of Arts in Modern History at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar in 1994, and in 1997, completed his law degree at Yale University. From 1998-2003, he served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University.

Stanford activism

Cory Booker (A.B. 1991, A.M. 1992), Council of Presidents and organizer of volunteers for youth in East Palo Alto as a student, Rhodes Scholar, later a tenant organizer in the Brick Towers housing project in Newark, New Jersey.[5]

The Bridge

After a year of planning, The Bridge, in February 1990 was now offering peer counseling services that specialize in helping blacks and Asian Americans. Jackie Chang, who heads the Asian-American counseling service, and Cory Booker, who is in charge of the black counseling service, created the program because they both felt a counselor would be able to relate better to a counselee of the same ethnicity. "The Bridge has been viewed as a primarily white organization," said Booker. According to Chang, former Bridge peer counselors had some difficulties relating to counselees of different ethnic backgrounds. For example, said Chang, a non-Asian-American counselor would find it hard to understand why an Asian-American counselee would be afraid to tell his parents that "he didn't want to be premed." Some of the topics which will be covered in the black and AsianAmerican counseling services are interracial dating, academic stress and stress resulting from trying to live up to high expectations. Currently, 13 people make up the Asian-American peer counseling staff, and seven people are on the black peer counseling staff. In the past, there was a peer counseling group for black students that was based at Ujamaa House. But the program died out for several reasons, including lack of confidentiality and loss of members to graduation. Besides that service, said Chang, there have been no other peer counseling groups that focused on students of color. The project began last winter quarter after Booker attended Chang's Bridge community peer counseling class and asked if anyone was interested in creating a program to provide peer counseling for minority students. Chang, who had been thinking of starting an Asian-American peer counseling group earlier, teamed up with Booker.[6]

Dicovering Blackness at Stanford

Many black people on campus didn't see me as such a bastion of racial understanding, and a host of painful experiences and confrontations forced me, by the end of my freshman year, to face the black community and ask, "What's wrong with me?" This question was coupled with a great amount of effort. I voraciously read everything I could about the black experience, I sought out black peers as friends and, admittedly, as pedagogical units. I actively participated in black cultural and political events. In short, this effort was rewarded. I gained a new consciousness. I discovered the extreme self-hate I had for everything, from my physical features to a misinformed hatred of my history. From Stanford's black community I was imbued with self-esteem and selfconcept, without which I would be lost in mediocrity. But most importantly I found a home, in the truest sense of the word, a place where I can go and feel an unabashed sense of love, strength and community. Now, when reflecting upon my experience I realize that it is a black thing. . . and you must understand. Just as I possess an understanding of what it is to be white, I believe whites can understand what it is to be black. No, they can never know what it is to be black, but they can begin to understand[7]

Old friends

Cory Booker, Steve Phillips and Aimee Allison all knew each other at Stanford University in the 1980s.[8]

Carpe Diem

With five overseas campuses yet to report their votes, ASSU Elections Commissioner Steve Krauss said April 22 1990 he was "fairly sure" that "Carpe Diem" would win over top contender "Slate of the Century" in the race for Senior Class Presidents.

Jackie Yau and Cory Booker of the "Carpe Diem" slate said they felt "very excited and euphoric," but confessed they were exhausted by the rigor of election week. They said they were glad that they didn't have to face any runoff elections because of the successive-elimination system and its "mini-runoffs." In the event they win, their first job would be to put together a "Senior Council," composed of losing candidates and others, to assist the slate in its activities.

Slate of the Century," said the successive elimination system provided his only complaint about the elections.

Senior Class election was especially elaborate this year. For example, "Slate of the Century" advertising consisted of five large wooden signs with detailed artwork and lettering displayed around campus. Boulous said "Slate of the Century" spending was approximately $75. The wood for the signs was gathered from a trash heap near the Wilbur earthquake modulars, and the artwork was performed by Slate members Joanne Kim and Jeff Maggioncalda. Yau estimated the "Carpe Diem" election bill at about $95.[9]

“Why have I lost control?”

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This article was published in Volume 201, Number 52 of The Stanford Daily on Wednesday, May 6, 1992, shortly after the controversial Rodney King verdict.

HOW CAN I WRITE, when I have lost control of my emotions? Not Guilty… Not Guilty… Not Guilty… Not Guilty.

Rhodes Scholar

Cory Booker at Oxford University

Yale

At Yale, Booker volunteered as a big brother and was active in the Black Law Students Association.[10]

Community organizer

Though Booker was raised in affluence in New Jersey, following his graduation from Yale he moved to Brick Towers, a crime-ridden public housing project in Newark’s Central Ward. He became a community organizer, urging his tenant neighbors to fight crime and demand improvements in the projects.

A former class president may be well on his way to becoming president of the United States. That's what many have said about Stanford graduate Cory Booker, the recently-elected mayor of Newark. N.J. Booker made headlines when,on May 8, he was elected Newark's mayor with 72 percent of the vote. It was Newark's first contested election since 1986 — former mayor Sharpe James has run unopposed in the four elections since.

From Brick Towers Booker, at age 29, upset a longtime incumbent to win a seat on the Newark City Council in 1998. His term on the council proved controversial. He advocated school vouchers as part of a broad package of educational reform. He went on a 10 day hunger strike, pitching a tent in front of the Sunset Pines Housing Project to protest open-air drug dealing. However, Booker was unable to make sufficient change from his city council post as his initiatives were often outvoted eight to one.[11]

Mayor of Newark

In 2002, Booker ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Newark against four term incumbent Sharpe James and was defeated 53 percent to 47 percent.

During the 2002 campaign Cornel West and hip-hop star Queen Latifah stumped for Booker, and Spike Lee taped calls to voters, calling Booker "the right thing."[12]

After losing Booker immediately proclaimed his intentions to campaign for the post again. While he was out of office Booker founded Newark Now a nonprofit community service organization in 2003. He also became a partner in the West Orange Law Firm of Booker, Rabinowitz and served on the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and the Executive Committee at Yale Law School.

On May 9, 2006, Booker again ran for Mayor of Newark and defeated Ronald Rice, the former Deputy Mayor and state Senator. Rice criticized Booker for raising over 6 million dollars for the campaign, which Booker went on to win handily with 72 percent of the vote. The council elections also went favorably for Booker as all of the city council candidates who supported him were elected, giving him the power to implement the changes he, and they, had advocated during the campaign.

Even before taking office Booker sued the city to stop municipal land sales to political contributors of the former Mayor. Upon taking office he initiated a 100 day plan to reform the city. His proposals included monthly office hours with residents to discuss city problems, placing more police on Newark streets, and establishing background checks for city jobs. Those reforms angered many in the city. In June 2006 New Jersey investigators foiled an attempt by four gang leaders inside a New Jersey prison to assassinate the Mayor.[13]

On December 20, 2012 Booker became a candidate for the United States Senate seat to succeed Senator Frank Lautenberg who had died in office on June 3, 2012. Booker won the Senate Democratic primary on August 13, 2013 and the general election against GOP candidate Steve Lonegan on October 16, 2013, garnering 55% of the vote. In doing so he became the first black Senator from New JerseLink titley. Booker is expected to defend his seat in the regular Senate election in November 2014.

Truman National Security Project

As at September 8, 2010, Cory Booker was a senior fellow of the Truman National Security Project:[14]

Van Jones connection

Van Jones has known Cory Booker since about 1997.[15]

Cory Booker, December 13, 2016;

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Van Jones and I have been friends since I was in Law School. I love the conception of "An Army Of Love." - and his affirmation that in the fight we must adhere to our highest values and ideals not abandon them.
Van Jones: Only a 'Love Army' Will Conquer Trump - Rolling Stone

http://www.rollingstone.com/…/van-jones-only-a-love-army-wi…

#cut50 Briefing in D.C. (January 22, 2015)

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#cut50 packed the house with political movers and shakers on Jan. 22 2015, in Washington, D.C. to address the critical need for criminal justice reform. Speakers included Dream Corps Van Jones, Right on Crime's Vikrant Reddy, Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Cory Booker, and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.[16]

Book review

Van Jones is a light in the darkness when we need it most. Beyond the Messy Truth breaks with the tribalism of today’s politics and offers us a way forward. In the tradition of the great bridge builders of our past, Van’s love for this country and all its people shines through.”—Cory Booker, U.S. senator, New Jersey.[17]

"THINK OUTSIDE THE CELL: A NEW DAY, A NEW WAY"

A national symposium on issues affecting the incarcerated, the formerly incarcerated and their families that will bring together an impressive array of well-known speakers, September 24, 2011:

Rev. Al Sharpton; Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker, named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People; CNN journalist Soledad O'Brien; Randall Robinson, best-selling author and social justice advocate; Jeremy Travis, President of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice; "Chef Jeff" Henderson, formerly incarcerated motivational speaker, author and star of the Food Network; Rossana Rosado, CEO of El Diario La Prensa, one of the nation's top Spanish- language newspapers; Khalil Muhammad, noted historian and new director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; Alan Rosenthal, co-director, Justice Strategies, Center for Community Alternatives; Terrie Williams, youth advocate and author of the book, Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting, CBS national correspondent Byron Pitts; and Marc Lamont Hill, a leading hip-hop generation intellectual and host of the nationally syndicated television program, Our World with Black Enterprise.

Location: The Riverside Church, W. 120th St & Riverside Dr. NYC

The "Think Outside the Cell: A New Day, A New Way," symposium is made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation to the Think Outside the Cell Foundation, which was founded by Sheila Rule. It is being presented in partnership with the Fortune Society’s David Rothenberg Center for Public Policy, the College and Community Fellowship and the Riverside Church Prison Ministry.[18]

Minimum Wage rally

Senator-elect Cory Booker, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Larry Hamm, Chairman People's Organization for Progress NJ and others addressed the NJ Rally to Raise the Minimum Wage Newark, Saturday October 26, 2013, Washington Park in Newark.

Co-sponsors included: New Jersey Citizen Action, Planned Parenthood Action Fund - NJ New Jersey Council of SEIU, New Jersey Time to Care Coalition Local 194, IFPTE, AFL-CIO Montclair NAACP NJ State Industrial Union Council, People’s Organization for Progress, Health Professionals and Allied Employees.[19]

Senate campaign

Cory Booker hired 270 Strategies, run by Obama campaign alums Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird, to lead his grass-roots organizing operation. Benensen Strategy Group, Obama’s lead pollster, did polling for Booker.[20]

2014 Senate endorsement

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The Council for a Livable World endorsed both Rush Holt, Jr. and Cory Booker for the open Senate seat for New Jersey in 2014. They wrote of Booker;

Booker is prepared to bring his energy and his problem-solving skills to tough issues in the U.S. Senate, including those related to national security. On military spending, he believes:
"For too long, Congress has been spending money on weapons our military doesn’t want, weapons envisioned for wars never fought against enemies that no longer exist. That doesn’t make us any safer – in fact, it makes us less safe by siphoning funds away from essential training and spending on relevant weapons systems".[21]

Phillips/Sandler connection

Cory Booker is very close to San Francisco donor/activists Steve Phillips and Susan Sandler.

The Progressive Case for Cory Booker

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"The Progressive Case for Cory Booker". Posted by Steve Phillips, Political Intelligence, on December 20, 2012.[22]

Every progressive person in America should support Cory Booker’s campaign for U.S. Senate. Lest there be any confusion on the Left, allow me to make the case for why this needs to be a priority for all progressive-minded people.
First, let me make clear that I come out of the Left. I've studied Marx, Mao, and Lenin. In college, I organized solidarity efforts for freedom struggles in South Africa and Nicaragua, and I palled around with folks who considered themselves communists and revolutionaries (the non-violent type), and I did my research paper on the Black Panther Party (just so we’re clear, I also had Republican friends -- I’m talking about you, Hank LaBrun). My political baptism was the Jesse Jackson 1984 Presidential campaign, and I've drawn my inspiration from Malcolm, Martin, and Mandela rather than Democratic Party triumvarite of Kennedy, Carter and Clinton.
So it is with that background and perspective that I consider the candidacy of Cory Booker. And I believe every progressive in America should enthusiastically support Cory for the following reasons:
He is one of America’s most eloquent champions of the poor
At a time when mainstream politicians shy away from talking about poverty and poor people (e.g. we’ve gone from a War on Poverty in the ‘60s to a Middle Class Task Force today), Cory is a passionate, unapologetic and forceful champion of the plight of poor people. And he has led by example. While others may occassionally visit people living in public housing, Cory moved into the housing projects for seven years. When a Twitter follower disparaged folks who have to get by on food stamps, he challenged the person to a contest to try living on food stamps for a week, and, in the process, brought national attention to the reality of how poorly we treat the poor. At a speech he gave during the 2008 Democratic Convention, he recounted an elderly woman in Newark telling him, “until you look in this community and see the face of God, you can’t help us.” That experience helped transform his vision from seeing only problems in urban areas to envisioning potential and opportunities.
He is using his privilege to help those most in need
Having graduated from Stanford undergrad, Yale Law School, and being selected as a Rhodes Scholar, Cory could have pretty much done anything he wanted professionally. Instead of pursuing a lucrative law career, he moved to Newark, New Jersey and chose to direct his energy and efforts to tackling some of the most intractable problems in America. While he moves comfortably in circles of high tech tycoons, he has used those relationships to bring $400 million to help improve the education of 38,000 mainly low-income children of color in Newark.
He is addressing the issues and engaging the people others won’t touch

There is very little public appetite in America for effectively addressing crime and violence in America beyond calling for increased police presence and longer prison sentences. Despite thirty years of those policies, the problems persist, and Cory is one of the few political leaders in the country who directly engages with -- and challenges -- young people on the street engaged in destructive behavior. He has supported a program that helps young men coming out of prison find gainful employment, turn their lives around and become contributing members to society. This track record has made him a key spokesperson for gun control in the wake of the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook school.. There has historically been very little political upside to addressing criminal justice reform and urban violence, but Cory works on those issues because it’s the right thing to do.
He was an early and vocal champion of marriage equality
Before the national tide began to turn and marriage equality became a safer cause to back, Cory was a staunch ally of the LGBT community. And he has again led by example by refusing to perform any marriage ceremonies until everyone is free to marry. That is a position far ahead of the curve of even most Democrats.

He possesses rare moral courage
Media coverage of his exploits rescuing a neighbor from a burning home have kind of caricatured the act by calling him “Superman.” I’m guilty of this myself, as it’s just so hard to wrap one’s mind around that act of bravery. Less appreciated is what it must have taken to make the decision to go into a burning building. He feared his neighbor would die if he didn’t act, and he literally put his own life on the line. Who among us would do such a thing? And what politicians would take such an act (there was no time to conduct a poll). That same sense of moral courage led him to challenge drug dealers by conducting a hunger strike right in the areas where there was heavy drug-dealing and to live in a motor home for five months right alongside dangerous areas of drug trafficking.
He is the embodiment of “public servant”
In an age when unresponsive bureaucracies -- in government and the private sector - frustrate citizens seeking services, Cory is incredibly accessible and responsive. Showing up to personally shovel the snow of a resident’s driveway, setting up hotlines to respond to complaints of malfunctioning traffic lights, and opening up his home to residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy are just a few examples of his work in this regard. By being so responsive and attuned to his constituent’s needs, he is making the case for the importance of government and effectively refuting the arguments of conservatives who seek to gut vital government services.
He is a master of social media
Progressives will never be able to compete directly with the money and power that flows from the beneficiaries and protectors of the current capitalist system. But whereas they have concentrated capital, we have the power of numbers in that economic, political, and social change is in the best interest of the vast majority of the American people (99% anyone?). Historically, however, it’s been prohibitively expensive to physically connect and organize similarly-situated, but geographically dispersed, people. Social media ha the potential to change that and level the playing field, and the power of technological tools is one of the best hopes for advancing small “d” democracy. With his 1.3 million Twitter followers, and his savvy integration of new and old media, Cory is one of the most sophisticated political leaders using cutting edge technology tools. All progressives can learn from his example and join his cause to build our collective network for change.
There are no African Americans in the U.S. Senate
It’s hard to believe we have a Black President, but not a single Black Senator in the highest legislative body in the country. That’s a travesty for a democracy, and now South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley plans to make a mockery of democracy and affirmative action by appointing the inexperienced and underqualified Tea Party nut job Tim Scott to the Senate. Cory’s election would will be key to giving African Americans across the country greater ownership of our government by electing a champion of our interests to the highest deliberative body in the land.
No, he is not perfect
Some progressives have criticized Cory for being too cozy with the hedge fund crowd and too tepid in supporting organized labor. He has clearly cast a wide ideological net in seeking solutions and welcoming allies, and I have had my own discomfort about some of his friends in the education reform arena (my wife and I have raised those concerns to him). A couple observations in that regard. First, having served on an urban school board for eight years (in San Francisco), I know firsthand the political complexity of trying to look out for the interests of low-income children of color when those children have little political power. I had to make some decisions that my friends in labor didn’t approve of, but I believe I did the right thing for the children, and that doesn’t make one “anti-union.” Second, although Cory is friends with some deep-pocketed business leaders, he has used those relationships to try to help low-income children. No one else has inspired Mark Zuckerberg to drop $100 million, and for Zuck’s first large grant to be to help the children of Newark speaks volumes about Cory’s persuasiveness.
At the end of the day, though, Cory’s network does span a broader ideological spectrum than many of us have historically been comfortable, and I’d just say that that’s all the more reason to create a strong left flank in Cory World so that the Wall Street crowd doesn’t exert disproportionate influence. We should do for Cory what’s been hard to do for Obama -- create a strong left pole that both provides accountability and room to operate effectively.
As frequently happens with successful movements for change, the standard bearer has a hard time remaining the crusader once he or she wins office. Obama is now the President (thank God), but he is no longer the principal embodiment of a grassroots movement for change. Obama is the establishment, and that’s good thing. But now we need new vehicles to champion change over the next several years, and Cory Booker’s campaign is one of the best vehicles for that kind of movement that I have seen in many years. Progressives from coast to coast should enthusiastically embrace and back his candidacy.

Next vehicle for the “Obama coalition”

Steve Phillips wrote in Political Intelligence, May 17, 2013.[23]

There are two races PAC+ is looking closely at for larger strategic reasons. First is in New Jersey where Cory Booker is running for U.S. Senate, and we think Cory is well-positioned to serve as the next vehicle for the “Obama coalition” across the country now that Obama has run his last race...

The other intriguing race is in Georgia where the incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss is retiring, thereby creating an opening in a state that is 45% people of color and where Obama got nearly 46% of the vote without even contesting the state. Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, is looking carefully at the race and if she gets in, things could get very interesting.

"An Open Letter About Cory Booker"

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From Steve Phillips, PowerPAC+ October 18, 2013;[24]

Now that Cory Booker has been elected to the United States on Senate, I would like to take this opportunity to urge all of my friends in the progressive movement to work with Cory to create the kind of country we all want to see.

IT’S BEEN LONELY OUT HERE

Our team at PAC+ has been excited about the possibilities and potential of Cory’s leadership for years. In 2012, Cory asked us to crunch numbers for him to assess a path to victory in a statewide race, and our data crunchers put together charts, graphs, and maps highlighting the critical counties to focus on in order to prevail. We followed that up with one of the first polls on the Senate race in January of this year. When he first said he was exploring the race, we emailed tens of thousands of progressives across the country urging them to join the cause. Before he was able to fully ramp up his campaign, we put together the first public piece highlighting his record as Mayor, and when the special election was called, we put together an independent expenditure campaign that contacted 120,000 voters. And we leveraged all of our relationships to help raise more than $100,000 for his campaign.
We were happy to do all that because that’s what you do when you say you’re going to stand with someone. You go all in. We just thought there’d be more of our friends and colleagues from the progressive movement joining us in seizing this critical moment.
Unfortunately, from the blogosphere to online activists to new and old media pundits, too often we heard crickets about the New Jersey Senate race (in an off-year, moreover, when the number of elections is much smaller than usual). Even worse, too often when progressives did weigh in, they did so to simply express doubt, skepticism or outright opposition to Cory’s candidacy.
I would respectfully suggest that taking a pass or taking potshots fails to properly assess the significance of this moment.

CORY IS NOT KARL MARX

To be clear, Cory Booker is not Karl Marx. Nobody is. Bernie Sanders, bless his heart, is the only avowed socialist in Congress, and his impact is limited at best. Cory is a different kind of political leader, and the progressive movement hasn’t known what to make of him. Unsure how to judge things such as his relationships with corporate leaders and his complex position on education reform, many have defaulted to wariness and skepticism. Whereas previous political leaders have sought a “third way” that looks far too much like a new face to conservative Democratic politics, I believe Cory is attempting to transcend traditional categories to build alliances that advance the progressive agenda. I have sat in small-group meetings with Cory and top corporate executives in America and listened to him talk to them about criminal justice reform, addressing poverty, and supporting teachers’ unions (yes, you heard that right; supporting teachers’ unions).
Even if you want to hold onto skepticism and suspicion, the fact is he is a U.S. Senator now, and everyone will have to adjust to that new reality. Just as he is open to conversation with Wall Street leaders, he is open to conversation with progressive activists, so I would strongly urge you to join in in order to help hold him accountable. At worst, you’ll be a counterweight to the more conservative forces in his orbit (like most national leaders, his supporters span a broad ideological spectrum). At best, you’ll help strengthen a movement that can solidify the progressive majority in America.

Sandler support

Susan Sandler is a philanthropist and political donor. She was the first and largest donor behind the independent efforts to support Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. She was also the lead investor in the independent activities supporting Kamala Harris’ 2010 campaign for California Attorney General and Cory Booker’s 2013 election to the United States Senate. She is a national leader in education reform and has served as a board member of several progressive non-profit organizations including the Democracy Alliance. [25]

Pac Plus support

A national super PAC that backs progressive candidates of color is launching a seven-figure outside effort to elect Newark Mayor Cory Booker to the U.S. Senate seat occupied by the late Frank Lautenberg.

Pac Plus, a San Francisco-based group that focuses on mobilizing black and latino voters — and which is looking for new leaders for President Obama's coalition of young and minority voters — has in the past backed figures like California Attorney General Kamala Harris and Obama, on whose behalf it raised about $10 million in 2008. The group's founder said it will spend between $1 and $2 million in the run-up to the New Jersey special election election this October.

"Here we are talking about the post-Obama world, and where the Obama coalition is going to go," the group's founder, Steve Phillips, told BuzzFeed. "We think that Cory is one of the people who is best positioned to advance that movement."

Philips said his wife Susan Sandler — whose family members are among the largest liberal donors in the country — would seed the group with a $100,000 check. Pac Plus, where the Booker project will be housed, is a hybrid political action committee and so-called Super PAC, with one arm that can make unlimited expenditures and another that can contribute directly to federal campaigns.

Phillips said the project will be called "Help Cory Win."

"We want to be clear," he said of the group's name.

"I'm going to try to put together 10 other funders of $50,000 to get the first round of funding going," Phillips said. "We were always focused on building an infrastructure for the broad enthusiasm that exists for him across the country. So that had been the plan, and we had all been on that trajectory, until this week. We're in a 70-day sprint now."

"Help Cory Win," Phillips added, also aims to increase "turnout of young people and people of color" in advance of the special election primary, scheduled for Aug. 13, and the general election, on Oct. 16.

Phillips, a California-based activist and former San Francisco School Board president, said his group's goal is to promote candidates who can "advance the Obama coalition," he said, citing Harris, the California attorney general, as a prominent example.

But Phillips has been focused largely on Booker since last December, when the mayor said in a video announcement that would "consider" replacing Lautenberg before the senator had even decided to retire — a move that many inside New Jersey deemed disrespectful. Pac Plus, though, wasn't waiting for Lautenberg to bow out; the same night Booker released his video, Pac Plus sent an email to 75,000 supporters nationwide, rallying support from "progressives from coast to coast."

Phillips said he sees Booker as the "young leader who can capture the imagination of an ascendant coalition," he said, citing Booker's engagement with issues like urban poverty and economic inequality.

"He is the most unapologetic and eloquent spokesperson about poverty in this country right now," said Phillips. "I have not heard anybody talk about poverty in that way since Jesse Jackson's 1988 Democratic convention speech."

Booker, whose campaign is circulating a petition for signatures to get his name on the ballot for the special election, has not yet formally announced his candidacy.[26]

PAC+

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Steven Phillips' PAC+ backed Cory Booker early on.

As the progressive movement begins to grapple with its direction and priorities and it prepares for a post-Obama world in a few years, it is critical that strong, unapologetic, and inspiring social justice leaders step forward to continue to catalyze the emerging new majority coalition.
There is no leader in America who better combines savvy social media skills, an enthusiastic, young, national network, and consistently strong stands on the moral imperative of addressing poverty than Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Cory is planning on running for U.S. Senate from New Jersey, and PAC+ was the first national organization to embrace his candidacy. We will continue to help harness and channel the national enthusiasm for Booker’s candidacy so that he can both win his Senate race and bring the issues of poverty, criminal justice reform, and marriage equality to the highest levels of the national stage.[27]

PowerPAC+ endorsement

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In 2013 PowerPAC+ endorsed Cory Booker, US Senate, New Jersey.

Victory

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Race Will Win the Race conference

PowerPAC+ June 25, 2014;

Today's the day! #WINin2014 Race Will Win the Race conference is finally here. Check out what's to come and join us on Twitter @PowerPAC_Plus using #WINin2014. — with Stacey Abrams, Cory Booker, Trey Martinez Fischer, Representative Marcia Fudge and Mark Takano in Washington, District of Columbia.[28]

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Plus speakers Aimee Allison, Deepak Bhargava, Susan Sandler, Steve Phillips, Ingrid Nava, Andy Wong, Subodh Chandra, Linda Hammond-Darling, Alida Garcia, Julie Martinez Ortega.

PowerPAC+ supported Elected and Appointed Leadership

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The list of PowerPAC+ leaders is growing.

Here are the social justice champions we have helped elect.

Phillips influence

Aimee Allison, Cory Booker, Steve Phillips

Steven Phillips is co-founder of PowerPAC+, a social justice organization dedicated to building a multiracial political coalition. PowerPAC+ conducted the largest independent voter mobilization efforts backing Barack Obama, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris.[30]

Democracy in Color podcast

The Democracy in Color podcast, hosted by Aimee Allison, features today’s best and brightest political political leaders, strategists and thinkers of the New American Majority. We’ve featured Senator Cory Booker; Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal; San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim, Stockton, California Mayor Michael Tubbs; BART Director Lateefah Simon; writer Eric Liu; #Goodmuslimbadmuslim co-host Tanzila Ahmed; New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb, and writers Rebecca Solnit and Jeff Chang, among many others. Ellen McGirt, editor of Fortune magazine’s raceAhead, calls it: "The smartest podcast on race I've found in ages. Listen and grow.".[31]

Collective PAC

Launched in August of 2016, the Collective PAC has helped 18 candidates win primary and/or general elections at the local, state and federal level thus far, including U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, U.S. Representatives Val Demings, Lisa Blunt Rochester and Donald McEachin, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, Vi Lyles of Charlotte, Yvette Simpson of Cincinnati and Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor in Virginia.

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Through our coordinated PAC, independent expenditure only committee and 501c4 arm, we have raised over $850,000 from over 13,000 individual contributions, with over $234,000 going directly to support our endorsed candidate campaigns. In addition, we launched and hosted The Black Campaign School training for 120 candidates and campaign operatives from around the country this past June, organized The Black Political Power Summit in August and hosted a candidate information session with special guest Senator Cory Booker in September. With over 140,000 email subscribers, over 6,000 donors and various mentions and features in The New York Times, Washington Post, Buzzfeed and NBC News, The Collective has grown to be the largest and most prominent organization focused on helping electing African American candidates to public office.[32]

ARA PAF endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Cory Booker in 2014.[33]

Congressional Black Caucus

In January 2015 Cory Booker was listed as a new member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 114th Congress:[34]

Radical intern

Vidhaath Sripathi, Cory Booker

Vidhaath Sripathi was an Intern at Cory Booker for Senate, June 2013 -November 2013.

"Amnesty" hunger strike

Cristian Avila, Dae Jung Yoon, Eliseo Medina

December 4, 2013, saying their 22-day "fast for families" to demand Congress approve comprehensive immigration reform had gotten worldwide attention, former Service Employees Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina and his fasting colleagues ended their D.C. vigil by handing off the fast to a group of successors.

The fast drew continued attention to the issue, and support from Democrats all the way up to President Obama, who visited the fasters in their tent at the foot of Capitol Hill on Dec. 1. But it did not budge the decision-makers it targeted: the anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic GOP majority in the U.S. House. [35]

Numerous lawmakers stopped by the tent to express their support. Twenty six members of Congress, all Democrats, even joined the fast in solidarity for 24-hour periods, including Joe Garcia, New Jersey Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker and California's Zoe Lofgren, the top Democrat on the House's immigration subcommittee.[36]

BLSA events

On February 21-22, 2014, Stanford’s Black Law Student’s Association (BLSA) celebrated Black History Month by holding two events on campus honoring and celebrating champions of racial justice.

“The Next 50 Years of Civil Rights & Racial Justice” gala on February 21st, featured Maya Harris, JD ’92, a Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress and Tony West, JD ’92, Associate Attorney General as keynote speakers.

“BLSA Presents: A Conversation with Senator Cory Booker” on February 22, welcomed Booker '91 back to campus for an intimate discussion with Professor David Mills on civil rights and racial justice.[37]

United front for ACA

A number of local politicians and lawmakers, including New Jersey Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, U.S. Representatives Frank Pallone, Donald Payne, Jr., Bill Pascrell, Albio Sires, Josh Gottheimer, and Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, were present at a January 15th 2017, at 11:30 a.m. at the Robert Treat Hotel (50 Park Place) downtown Newark, rally to press for protection of the Affordable Care Act.

The law, often referred to as “Obamacare,” is currently under threat. The U.S. Senate voted at around 1:30 a.m this morning to approve a procedure that will let them potentially repeal parts of the ACA through a reconciliation bill, which enables the Congress to make changes to spending and tax legislation and, crucially, is filibuster proof. Reconciliation was used to pass the ACA in 2010.

Earlier today, Payne, Jr. delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Congress to highlight how Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act will affect Americans who depend on the law for their healthcare. He shared a story about how the ACA had helped a constituent who faced dire health problems, in order to humanize what is at stake if the legislation is repealed.[38]

Abandoned by Boteach

Cory Booker's old friend Rabbi Schmuley Boteach abandoned the Senator over his support for the Iran Nuclear Deal.

I have supported Cory for 25 years. Made him my student President at Oxford University at a time when we were the second largest student organization in Oxford’s history. Had him introduce our guest Mikhail Gorbachev to 3000 students. Introduced Cory to the American Jewish leadership across the United States. Got him to speak before hundreds of Jewish audiences and facilitated his raising millions of dollars for his campaigns from the Jewish community. Helped him prepare countless speeches based on themes from the Torah and the writings of Jewish giants like Maimonides, the Rebbe, Elie Wiesel, and Victor Frankl.
But this time was different. There can be no silence in the face of genocide. There can be no passivity when confronting genocidal intent.
The United States is a signatory to the United Nations’ 1948 Anti-Genocide convention which makes incitement to genocide a crime against humanity. Rather than being given $150 billion by which to kill innocent people around the world, the leaders of Iran should have been indicted at the International Criminal Court at The Hague for their repeated promises to eradicate the Jews. Cory, as someone who promised eternal friendship to a community that made him the foremost recipient of contributions from Jewish supporters of any candidate in the United States, due to their love of Cory’s values, should have been at the forefront of condemning Iran’s promises to exterminate the nation of Israel.[39]

Anti "Muslim ban" rally

After 17 people were detained without charges this morning in John F. Kennedy Airport, protesters and elected officials gathered in Battery Park to speak against President Donald Trump’s slew of executive orders banning immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries and halting the entry of refugees into the country.

The New York Immigration Coalition, Make The Road New York, the National Immigration Law Center and several other New York-based organizations coordinated the rally, and over 10,000 supporters attended.

Among the speakers were Senators Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Mayor Bill de Blasio, activist Linda Sarsour and U.S. Representative Jerry Nadler. Many elected officials were also present at the rally in Washington Square Park on Wednesday, which promoted a similar message of open borders with the hashtag #NoBanNoWall.

Addressing the crowd, Schumer said that the protests in JFK contributed to the fight against Trump’s recent executive orders regarding immigration.

“Because of your actions, he [Secretary John F. Kelly] promised me that the 42 who are detained and under court order to be released, will be released to the United States and to freedom shortly,” Schumer said during his speech. “So we’ve made progress for 42 — we have to make progress for thousands and tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands more.”

Sana Mayat is the NYU’s Muslim Student Association vice president, and she expressed surprise and pride to see the number of non-Muslims that showed up at the rally.

“People are saying that an attack on one is an attack on everyone, not just an issue that is limited to one group,” Mayat said. “It is really impactful and it gives me a lot of hope.”

CAS freshman Claudia Franke attended the protest and said that the message of Sunday’s rally particularly resonated with her, since she has family members living in the U.S. with green cards. [40]

Jersey City MSA event

Jersey City, (February 18, 2017) – New Jersey City University (NJCU) will present “NJCU Students Supporting Refugees: Open Arms, Open Hearts, Open Doors” on Friday, February 24, 5:00 - 9:00 p.m., on the NJCU Main Campus at 2039 Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City. The event will take place in Multipurpose Room B of the Michael B. Gilligan Student Union Building. All are welcome.

The evening represents the culmination of many months of work to develop a Refugee Center at NJCU. The effort was spearheaded by the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and supported by MSA Faculty Advisor and Assistant Professor of Biology Meriem Bendaoud, and Professor of English Audrey Fisch.

Dinner for the evening will be provided by GERA, Global Emergency Response and Assistance. This organization, along with Church World Services (CWS) and International Rescue Committee (IRC), provides key support to refugees arriving in the Jersey City area.

Speakers on February 24 will include NJCU President Sue Henderson; Dinesh Suryawanshi on behalf of U.S. Senator Cory Booker; Esther Ongeri on behalf of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez; NJCU faculty member and Syrian Rescue Scholar Hassan Aljabbouli; NJCU student and Syrian refugee Zaki Minas; and Public Relations Representative from GERA, Jessica Abdelnabbi.

Any questions about this event can be directed to Dr. Meriem Bendaoud, , Faculty Advisor, Muslim Student Association, or MSA President Rania Noubani.[41]

Resolution to Honor Civil Rights Hero Fred Korematsu

February 6, 2017, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a resolution honoring Fred Korematsu, who challenged the internment of Japanese Americans.

Wyden and Merkley said the resolution honoring Korematsu’s work and advocacy of the civil rights and liberties of all people is timely, given the president’s executive order establishing a Muslim ban.

"Fred Korematsu’s brave advocacy for the civil rights of 120,000 Japanese Americans remains a timeless example of courage that resonates today and every day,“ Wyden said. “I am committed to fighting for the continued advance of civil rights he spent his life defending, and against those who would betray both the law and our history to impose an unconstitutional religious test on immigrants."

"Heroes like Fred Korematsu demonstrate the importance of fighting fiercely for our core American values, even when it is hard,” said Merkley. “His story reminds us that the time is always right to stand up for what is right. We must keep fighting for the freedom and equality that define our nation, and ensure that the Statue of Liberty continues to stand as a beacon of hope around the world."

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Cantwell, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Tim Kaine , Patty Murray, Chris Coons, and Dick Durbin.

A broad coalition of advocacy organizations support the resolution, including the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, Restore the Fourth, The Yemen Peace Project, and Fight for the Future.[42]

"Ideas conference"

Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman John Podesta alongside Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) at the Center of American Progress's "Ideas Conference" at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Democratic Party luminaries and 2020 presidential mentionables gathered May 2017 for an “ideas conference” organized by the Center for American Progress, the Democratic establishment’s premier think tank.

Its stated purpose was to focus not on “what could have been,” said CAP Vice President Winnie Stachelberg introducing the day, but on “new, fresh, bold, provocative ideas that can move us forward.”

Convened in a basement of Georgetown’s Four Season’s Hotel, the posh watering hole for Washington lobbyists, lawyers and visiting wealth, the conference quickly revealed how hard it is for Democrats to debate the future when Trump is taking all of the air out of the room.

Bold, new ideas were scarce, but there was a vigorous competition on who had the best Trump putdown. Instead of the sign on Harry Truman’s desk that read “the buck stops here,” Cory Booker offered, Trump’s should read “the ruble stops here.”

The most interesting contrast was between Warren and Senator Cory Booker, both given star turns. Warren was full of fire and brimstone, while using her speech to put forth a clear analysis and reform agenda that pushed the limits of the Democratic debate.

Booker closed the conference with a passionate address, invoking the progressive movements that have transformed America, concluding that Democrats can’t merely be the “party of resistance,” but must “reaffirm” America’s “impossible dream.” Fittingly, it was a speech brutal on Trump, replete with good values, sound goals and uplifting oratory, and utterly devoid of ideas.[43]

Single Payer Bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled Wednesday September 13, 2017 a new version of his plan to give everybody government-run health insurance, potentially opening a new chapter in the ongoing debate over how to make health care in the U.S. more affordable and available.

The plan calls for an overhaul of American health insurance with a souped-up, more generous version of Medicare replacing nearly all private health insurance ― and government exerting far more control over the cost of medical care. It would arguably be the most ambitious social welfare initiative in U.S. history, but Sanders told HuffPost in an interview Tuesday that he believes America is ready for it.

“The American people are catching on to where the Republicans are coming from, they see the limitations of the Affordable Care Act and they’re looking at the alternatives,” Sanders said. “And this is a rational alternative.”

That roster of co-sponsors includes a who’s-who list of potential Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Also backing the bill are Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.[44]

Backing Doug Jones

Doug Jones, Terri Sewell, Cory Booker

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell joined Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones December 10, 2017 at an historic Selma church as part of a home-stretch push for Tuesday's election.

The Jones campaign made another stop in Montgomery, where U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at Alabama State University.

Booker, appearing with Jones and Sewell, talked about the plight of Alabama's poorest counties and quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.

"When it comes to the long hard march toward justice, nothing is given," Booker said. "King used to say that change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability. It has to be carried in on the backs of good folk. The opposite of justice is not injustice, it is indifference, it is inaction."

In Selma, Jones, Patrick, Sewell and Selma Mayor Darrio Melton appeared outside the Brown Chapel AME Church, where civil rights marchers gathered in 1965 to begin the trek across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, was scheduled to appear with Jones that afternoon at Alabama State University.[45]

Endorsed Ben Jealous

Senator Booker endorsemed Benjamin Jealous in his 2018 race for the Governorship of Maryland.[46]

AFGE conference

February 2018 1,000 American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) attended t the union’s annual legislative-political conference in Washington DC. led by union President J. David Cox.

Speakers included Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

All the speakers spent a lot of their time on AFGE’s issues, denouncing Trump’s proposed pay freeze for federal workers, his call to virtually institute a spoils system in hiring and firing and praising the role of unions in creating, sustaining and defending the middle class, among other things. The difference was those three spoke more generally.

Kaine, the party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2016, led off the parade at the conference’s first working session on Feb. 12 by lambasting Trump’s knowledge, or lack of it, of the U.S. constitution.

“You take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution and so do I,” the normally low-key Kaine declared. “I don’t want to give a power-hungry president an easier hand to sack people for doing your jobs, just because we insist on holding him accountable.”

And unionists are right to doubt Trump, Kaine said. “He’s worried people’s loyalty may be to the Constitution, not to him=,” the senator explained.

Booker, shouting through the occasional wind at a Feb. 14 Capitol Hill rally, was even more expansive and more general.

Evoking the power of love of country and opposition to hate symbolized by the civil rights movement, the up-and-coming New Jersey senator praised the U.S. people in general – and unionists in particular – for the “power of love” that movement showed, and for courage in “storming the beaches of Normandy to fight the Nazis and in refusing to move to the back of the bus” in Birmingham, Ala., the 1956 start of the modern civil rights crusade.

“Hatred comes in many forms,” Booker declared. They include “bigotry and homophobia, but also in attacking the basic dignity of men and women who work at full-time jobs but who still earn (pay) below the poverty line.”

“And we see voting rights, civil rights, women’s rights and labor’s rights being attacked every day” by Trump and the GOP, Booker said, though he did not mention the president’s name. “That is unacceptable in a nation dedicated to liberty and justice for all.”

“This is calling out for us, as agents of love,” to end that poverty and discrimination, Booker declared. “And we know we have work to do…You cannot love your country unless you love your country men and women.”

Sanders fell in between. He joined AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka as headliners at the union’s Feb. 13 rally in front of the federation’s building before its march on Veterans Affairs Department headquarters a block away.

And Sanders didn’t miss a chance to again sound key themes – demanding to reduce income inequality and enact single-payer government-run health care – which he pounded home on the campaign trail during his 2016 Democratic presidential nomination run.

“You are negotiating today on behalf of 300 million Americans who understand this country is about providing quality health care to veterans, the elderly, the poor and the sick,” the Vermonter declared. “Our job is not to allow Trump and his friends to privatize the VA. Our job is to strengthen the VA.”

Indeed, energizing those others was a key point of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., at the Capitol Hill rally. The GOP has 51 U.S. Senate seats, but must defend only eight this fall. The Democrats hold 47, but must defend 26, while Sanders and the other pro-Democratic independent, Maine’s Angus King, also face the voters.

He told the group to “go home” and talk to their colleagues, getting them more involved in politics, and earlier than ever, like right now. The election is almost 10 months away.

“People in Washington like to kick you around,” Schumer told the crowd. “They like scapegoats. Sometimes it’s people of color. Sometimes it’s women. Sometimes it’s immigrants. And sometimes it’s you.”

“So don’t let the naysayers get you down. The people know what Donald Trump is and what he is doing to America. They are in the streets. They are marching. They are voting. Keep up the fight. We have your back, and on to victory!” he declared.[47]

Staff

Adam Zipkin.

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  5. Activist Stanford alums
  6. [The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 17, 28 February 1990]
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  8. Democracy in Color, S1E14 Senator Cory Booker: Making Our Future This Election
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  23. [http://www.powerpacplus.org/control_of_the_u_s_senate Political Intelligence Control of the U.S. Senate Posted by Steve Phillips on May 17, 2013]
  24. [http://www.powerpacplus.org/an_open_letter_about_cory_booker Dear Friends,An Open Letter About Cory Booker Posted by Steve Phillips on October 18, 2013]
  25. Sandler Phillips Center, about, accessed April 25 2018
  26. Buzzfeed, Progressive Super PAC Will Back Cory Booker Posted on June 6, 2013, at 10:51 a.m. Ruby Cramer
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  38. Brick City Live
  39. Huff Post,THE BLOG 02/24/2016 05:31 pm ET Updated Feb 22, 2017 The Vanishing Jews of Cory Booker’s Memoir By Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
  40. Square News, Protestors in Battery Park Respond to JFK Detainees Jemima McEvoy and Sayer Devlin January 29, 2017
  41. [http://www.njcu.edu/news/%E2%80%98njcu-students-supporting-refugees-open-arms-open-hearts-open-doors%E2%80%99-campus-february-24 NJCU UESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2017 - 22:55 ‘NJCU Students Supporting Refugees: Open Arms, Open Hearts, Open Doors’ on Campus on February 24]
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  44. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-single-payer-bill-major-support-senate_us_59b87dc1e4b02da0e13d465f HuffPo09/13/2017 08:00 am ET Updated 2 days ago Bernie Sanders Announces Single-Payer Bill With Major Support In Senate By Daniel Marans , Jonathan Cohn]
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  46. Mother Jones The Most Important Election of 2018 Might Be Happening in Maryland TEXT BY TIM MURPHY; PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREW MANGUMJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE
  47. Before big union crowd, parade of pols trashes TrumpFebruary 14, 2018 4:06 PM CST BY MARK GRUENBERG