chloevirginia: I am staying up all night to write a paper about you
Cory Booker @CoryBooker: Let me know if u need a quote. I'll call.
Let me give you another NJ statistic: Blacks make up less than 15% of our New Jersey's population but make up more than 60% of our prison population. I can't accept that facts like this one do anything but demonstrate the historic and current biases in our criminal justice system. I strongly recommend people read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander it has very compelling parts and data. People should not see these facts and this discussion as an indictment of any one race, sector, or occupation, it should be seen as a call to all of us to do the difficult things to make a change because this isn't a "black" problem this is an American problem.
The so called War on Drugs has not succeeded in making significant reductions in drug use, drug arrests or violence. We are pouring huge amounts of our public resources into this current effort that are bleeding our public treasury and unnecessarily undermining human potential. I see the BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of dollars being poured into the criminal justice system here in New Jersey and it represents big overgrown government at its worst. We should be investing dollars in programs and strategies that work not just to lower crime but work to empower lives.
Douglass says; "It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men." So much of this problem could be solved by strong education systems and other systems of support for our children before they get in trouble. So let me offer this as a final action item to heal our nation, end many insidious racial divisions and exalt our country's highest ideals. Mentoring. It takes 4 hours a month to mentor a child, the amount of time most watch TV in a day. There are hundreds of kids in Newark on waiting lists for a mentor: a positive adult in their lives who cares. Mentoring has demonstrated a profound ability to dramatically lower incarceration for youth and even lower early unsafe sex practices. And it has shown to boost youth outcomes from self-esteem to dramatically increasing school performance. EVERYONE who is qualified should be mentoring a child who is not their own OR encouraging others to do so OR supporting mentoring organizations. If every so-called "at risk" kid in Newark had a mentor we could dramatically end future crime in our city. So please advocate for policy changes, challenge our current system, fight for change but before you point fingers at all the things that aren't being done by others, look in the mirror at your self and ask could I be doing more for our kids.
In the end BIG changes are made most by small acts of kindness, decency, love and service.
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From my position as mayor it is important for me to state that many banks and financial firms are HELPING our city. They are not ALL bad actors and in fact I reject any claim that vilifies the financial industry as a whole. [...] This is what I meant: we in Newark are in our biggest period of economic development in a generation or more. Major projects are going on in my city from our first new hotels in 40 years to our first new office towers in 20 years. We are creating entire new neighborhoods like our 130 million dollar Teachers Village project that includes work force housing for teachers. [...] These projects that I mentioned and others (we have over a billion dollars worth of ongoing projects now) are creating over 6 thousand jobs in Newark and have countless other economic and quality of life benefits. Many of the projects have needed help from financial firms and institutions (investment banks, etc) and in this difficult economic time when so many banks and others aren't loaning or investing some strong firms have stepped forward and helped. I will not be one of those people who vilifies or paints a broad brush on an entire industry.
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