Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Sign up today to receive our weekly newsletter and special announcements.
Good evening. I am Sondra Farganis, Director of The Wolfson Center for National Affairs. And it is my pleasure to welcome you here this evening. I speak on behalf of this center and with appreciation to Linda Dunne, Dean of The New School for General Studies, and to Fred Hochberg, Dean of Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy and their respective staffs for ensuring the success of this evening's program I thank two dear colleagues in particular who gently but persistently held my seat to the fire to make sure tonight happen in a format consistent without a valid invited speaker. Daphne Farganis of the Institute for Urban Education and Rodney Rodriguez, Chair of Foreign Languages and a Newark, Jersey Girl. Forty years ago riots erupted in Newark. Riots fueled by the iniquities of urban life's and the powerlessness and the sense of disentitlement that accompanies economic and social disparities deeply rooted in American history. If the riots assured in a declined in the fortunes of Newark and if there have been several historical turning points away from that decline since 1967 the election last year of Cory Booker as Mayor of Newark, even though he is not simply a politics of hope but also a policy of concrete public initiatives based on vision commitment and political smarts that seek to address the deep seeded pattern of failure. On January 17th 1996 10 years before Cory Booker became Mayor Booker, the nation lost one of its most loyal and distinguished elected officials Barbara Jordan Hers was a voice that was perceive and compiling. Hers was a carrier that integrated the women's rights and civil rights movement, the concrete and specific democratic politics. Played out first in the Texas State Senate and then in the US congress. At the time of the Watergate hearings she chose to defend the honor and integrity of the constitution against the Nixon, White House. She went on to play a role in immigration reform that vital role in the Watergate hearings would not allow some policies and practices that would and I quote her, "Derail this engine of American Liberty". Within a week of congress women Jordan's death Vera List one of The New School's major film traffic figures and endow the Barbara Jordan Lecture Fund to memorialize a driven crusader while at the same time ensuring that The New School would remain true to its mission as a sight for democratic discourse by using the lecture as a scorecard for assessing America' commitment to both procedural and substantive democracy. To Vera List, The New School and Barbara Jordan were a perfect fit. One acted politically to be van god for justices and democracy and the other provided a rope tow for assessing America's rhetoric of democracy and its record of achievement. Forty years after Newark went up in flame and on the occasion of the birth date of Abraham Lincoln and with the legacy of Barbara Jordan in mind we have invited Cory Booker to deliver the Barbara Jordan Lecture. The confluence affecters speak for themselves. Allow me then to introduce the President of The New School Bob Kerry, to whom is given the honor of introducing Mayor Booker. Well my intent is to get off the stage as quickly as possible. Talking to Mayor Booker and asking him in the first seven or eight months are going in like many of you been reading accounts of his efforts in Newark and I don't know how many of you feel like I did with it. Things should not have won him getting an academy award instead of "Street Fight". But having watched that remarkable story we just feel lucky that some one with the background and the talent that could be doing anything that he chose to do he has chosen to do the most difficult job in politics which is the Mayor of an Urban City were a large number of people have given up, a large number of people have no hope and the problem seeing almost insurmountable. And the only way they did so is this miracle Cory Booker being willing to do it, staying optimistic, staying enthusiastic and continuing day into day out believing that he and we can make a difference. So it is a high privilege and an honor for me to able to introduce to this audience the Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I am a former football player; I was on the offensive side of the ball. So if you stand still for too long you have this nagging fear that somebody is going to hit you. So I like to be liberated by a mic, but its so great to be here and to be able to take a break from what is often a 12, 14, 15 hour day to come over here and share with people who I believe are probably are very much like spirit, who still resonate with a tremendous hope for our nation. But still feel that there is unfinished business and there is sense of urgency with where we have to go. And I am so happy in many ways it's a bit of a synchronicity that I was asked to give a Barbara Jordan Lecture because in Law School I held on to her as a figure that so inspired me. And I was telling my staff he is hopping that I want to give the full quote, but I will give half the quote, about a quote that I was using from, it came from a book collective book of African American Quotations that I used to read to my fellow class mates. That say, this basically says this came from after sitting around for, every lunch meeting every breakfast meal, every class room before the teacher came in, when we got talking about our issues of trying to solve all America's problems we would get very articulate in talking about what the problems were. Barbara Jordan basically said is, she said we live in a distraught present though we have the courage to deplore it, we fail to heal the rift. And to me this is so true about where we are right now. We live in a distraught present and we have come so far but we failed to bring healing to where we are and I have so many stiring examples of this in my life that I know I will be talking to you about and I am going to try to get through my prepared remarks quickly, so I can get to give and take with you all, because I think that will benefit me the most frankly, its hearing from you and hearing from your question. There is a poetry about what public leaders do and there is a policy of pragmatism about it as well, but so much of my life is been caught up trying to figure out the spiritual elements and dynamics of where we are and where we are trying to go. But the bring point to it or light to it in a sort of half embarrassing story about this rift that I am talking about, that has become so acute within my generation. I will take you simply to my, a time when I was 1998 I ask to give a lecture, at least I thought I was at Essex County College it is a local college in New Jersey. And I was called to give it I was a young, in fact the youngest person ever elected in my city, I was a new council person elected with storm of hope And it was the very first months that was there and I got there and I saw a line waiting outside the door and I immediately felt big for my britches and little arrogant and said, oh these people are lining up to hear me speak, my aid was with me, so I say lets roll around to the back and go in through the side door and we went in there and it was hustling and bustling in the back and I am standing there waiting for somebody pay attention to me because I'm so important, and this women over to me and said so you are Cory Booker and I am like, yes I am. And she goes well stay right here and she runs often nobody is really paying attention to me, they seem like they are getting ready for some thing big and I look up and see this big poster on the wall it basically said Ja Rule concert tonight and just as was sort of donning on me that they, everybody was there to see Ja Rule, she runs back over to me and she says, Mr. Booker we're glad you're here, we are so happy you agreed to give a little bit of a positive message before Ja Rule comes out. And I said to her no joke, I said you must be high. And right when I was saying this to her the crowd in the auditorium was starting to sort of pound and started saying Ja Rule, Ja Rule, Ja Rule and now I get into this dialogue with Jermaine James, so at that point was recent graduate at Hampton and now is my Deputy Chief of Staff and he was just smiling like cheshire cat, you got to do this man I said I am not doing this. And we get into argument back stage and lo and behold I realized he is backing me towards the stage and I finally decided to turn around I go out there and I couldn't believe it was entirely almost of all black folk and ages probably like 16 to 25 and as soon as I walked out they thought I was the first person on stage so they thought I was out there to introduce Ja Rule and so I decided to go with it and I grabbed the microphone and I said you all ready for Ja Rule and everybody goes yeah. And I said you all really ready for Ja Rule and they go yeah And then I just thought I would desperately try to do what they call flipping the script and I reached out and I, the only thing I can think of doing as I said is that is, anybody in here that's black, and you are not going to stand, I don't care if you are Korean, if you are Jewish, proud who they are, so everybody stands up and say yeah.. black people, and I said is, I said is there anybody here really black and they got the same kind of reaction, black people. And then I got, I got right to my point about this rift and I said, well tell me some thing, why was it that about 5 generations ago, they were holding black people in bondage and slavery and chains. And now here I am five generations later and about one out of every four black men my age, our age are in bondage behind bars and handcuffs or somewhere in penal system. And everybody sort of like, got quiet and somebody say why, and I start to keep going with it and I said, I said well tell me something, way was it two generation s ago that why racist structures and individuals were literally hunting down and shooting black people, Medgar Evers, James Meredith, Martin Luther King and here I stand just two generations later and black people are killing black people at rates they have never before seen in America. And now people are really quiet and I said, now tell me something. I said why was it just 2 generations ago black people were literally being infected with diseases in racist experiments, Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and now here I am two generations later and we are killing and troubling with the spread of infectious diseases within our community and everybody got really quiet. And I said, I said Carter G. Woodson wrote this book called "The Mis-Education of the Negro" and Carter G. Woodson was a person who started Negro History Week which has become Black History Month and I said he had a saying where he said, "the primary cause of human suffering is forgetfulness." And I said you all need to remember what it needs to be black. Not the music you listen to, not the clothing you wear, that is something deeper than that and it's a matter of struggle. And I said to everybody you all stay black and I just walked off the stage. Now to me this in many ways captures what is having us in in this distraught state that Barbara Jordan, I think was talking about in the quote that I said, is here we live in this democracy the professes to be so much, professes such values and such ideas, indeed I was raised by a family and parents who used to be so patriotic, so and so patriotic. I literally grew up with busts of presidents around my house. I used to eat breakfast looking at John F. Kennedy. And my mom always used to say to me that this country was founded in perfect ideals, but a savagely imperfect reality. And the history of this nation is a history of good people, ordinary people doing extraordinary thing so try to make real on this promise of democracy. And my parents were very pointed in what they said to me is that this democracy is not achieved, that is still aspiration and that there is still so much work to be done. Take Langston Hughes who said, "America never was America to me, but I swear this oath America will be". And my parents wanted my brother and I to be deeply rooted in our African American culture to luxuriate in it, to celebrate it. But they always wanted to make sure that we understood that it was a portal for us to understand the deeper qualities of humanity. Have a deeper understanding of the textures of that would bind this all together in a common destiny. My parents had an incredible vision for what they wanted my brother and I to do, and most pointedly was to try to make real on this experiment of America. This is a great American democratic experiment. So here I found myself after a circuitous education, it took me literally around the world, coming back to my community to the community of Newark and beginning to start analyzing my activism, where our democracy was, what was the state of this nation in one way where we were. I did a lot of study in graduate study and history and something I began to realize it was so true, is it if you study great nations, civilizations, great people from the fall of the second temple of Jerusalem which is a wonderful story about this point to the Roman Empire, to even a Soviet Union you will see that great civilizations never fail simply because of external threats. They fail because of internal corruption. Because of the failure to manifest the values of they have espouse or to which that they adhere. And the challenge to me was looking at my democracy, from some people might say the underbelly of democracy, I say the central point of it which is the inner city. We have to begin to wonder is America fulfilling its ideas, we have children every single day stand up and say "one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all." And I begin again to analyze my democracy. I moved on to the street that I lived on until a few months ago, Martin Luther King Boulevard, the old High Street in Newark. In my very first month I live there, I moved into a home for recovering drug addicts, it was the one room I could find living in the neighborhood, this neighborhood that I wanted to live in and it was a world that I've never seen before and I've worked everywhere at that point from East Harlem to East Palo Alto, California. In my first month there I witnessed a shooting on the streets as kids were walking to school and they scrambled. My first month there I walked past the school, quick and street schools, see crack wilds on the door steps. I see the challenges the kids had in the school when they were brought to the school. In my first month there I watched and witnessed, a 24 hour drug traded, they traded pharmaceuticals in the way they could put Rite Aid to shame they way they moved it on that street and next to me where I had this house for recovering drug addicts was right next to a crack house, they use to call happy house, where you would see black folk, white folk, asian folk, people driving Mercedes and people driving pickup trucks, buying their drugs in the street conferring back behind there and unfortunately my house was, in my room I can look at the back and see them strapping on surgical tubing and sticking, IV drugs into their arms. Often sometimes the kids are standing next them waiting them to get their morning fixes. In my first month there I was jogging one morning; I found a body bludgeoned to death on my street corner. In my first month there I was walking along and looked up as I walk past and saw a guy in every way was like me, my same size, my same age, my same race, and I said hello to this guy and I will never forget, he leaped off from the step where he is standing and looked at me and threatend my life, he said I don't know who you are and where you come from, he said if you ever so much as eye ball me, I am going to bust a cap in... lets call it my posterior region. And, I later got to know this guy and his name was Tee Bone and I am a vegetarian, so that was a particularly viscous threat. But here was the status of America in my opinion in Langston Hughes' words, "There is a dream in the land with its back against the wall, to save the dream for one you must save the dream for all". And it began to make me focus on where was our democracy. And how much did we truly invest in its continued evolution, how much did we sort of relax to the status quo, in my opinion was corrupting a very existence. And I began to know this a lot from my studies and from my thoughts and conversation with other people about where our country was going and what is long term projections were. If you think about it right now we've been more than 50 years since Brown versus Board of Education but disparities between blacks and whites in learning have not closed down at all. New York Times reported that the average black 12th grader in America is reading at the same level as the average white 8th grader, that's chilling. But even more chilling to realize, I talked to a friend of mine, African American friend, who works for Goldman Sachs and over in India doing some investing in companies and came back. And we had this conversation about education in about that in 30 years or so our entire nations work force will be a majority minority. And then we more and more as a nation especially in this time where we're no longer industrial economy are leaning upon the ability of our people to metabolize ideas and put them to work. Then our nation will be more and more dependent upon those that we're failing to educate right now. I look the government systems it to me where on their face democracy, we had elections but they have been perverted by the kind of corruption that seem to be in many ways endemic in the state of New Jersey as money and money interest seem to be playing over the interest of human beings, we were just struggling for still some of the most basic needs. I wondered by, about the status of democracy that became obssessed with people who were dying like JonBenÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â©t Ramsey, Natalie Holloway, that every person in this room recognizes their name. But I would say kids, black children being killed in my city with chilling regularity and nobody beyond the neighborhoods where they were shot or killed could even speak their names out loud. I started seeing the, the chilling reality of drug dealers as I got involved in my work in drug addicts who would come to me for help. Some of them are people coming home from prison and seeing, but they had very little options left to them, to get jobs even though they pay, even though they've done there time in jail, who I would talk to people who have drug addictions and get pick up phone to make calls to hospitals, the Detox center and find that they were waiting list months long, just few people into treatment. All these things maybe begin to realize about was our democracy on the local level or national level really focused on dealing with this problem. And I found myself being pulled away from my commitment to grassroots activism, I was a tenent organizer, I was working for some organization here, many of you know in Newark city called The Urban Justice Center. I was working here, working on issues, in one way I began to realize that the fight that I needed to fight lay within the very gears of democracy that we've been playing out within the city of Newark. And I got involved in this political campaign and began to really think hard about where we needed concretely make a lot of the changes, and began to believe that more than ever before, we needed a revolution. That in many ways the fight had to be reinvented in some ways within the city of Newark to the idea of reinventing a fight to try to claim the ideas of democracy. In 1998 I got elected to my first office and got, as runoff elections was really tight and I went down the City Hall and I never forget the first few weeks in City Hall. I was sort of assigned one council rooms office, coucilman's office and got in there with a heat of July and they had somehow rig the heater it would not go off. And we must have call the engineers left and right throughout the City, but no body was coming to the fix the heater and go to work in a suit and end up taking it down stripping down to my t-shirt and just doing it work. Within my first month there I began to see that my car were been ticketed everywhere I parked in the city of Newark, even when I parked it with the council people in front of City Hall, eventually they were able to expose my phones were being tapped by the municipal police, that my employees werent getting their pay checks, all these things started beginning happening in this democracy, in this land of freedom that we couldn't believe that we was actually believe what's actually going on in the city of Newark in the United States of America. And we began to fight against problem and we found that much of our fights were not around policy, I would bring great ideas to city council chamber and wouldnt even get a hearing not to mention my ability to get 5 votes to make a change 5 out of 9 county people. But lot of our fights was fighting against the entrenched political machine that controlled the city of Newark. And we fought and we fought, but more that I fought I began to see the lot of the highest ideals of government were been perverted in a way that was systemic not just to the city of Newark but to many cities around our nation. And I began to re-conceive of different things that I believe were we needed to, sort to rethink how our democracy work. I will just will give you real understanding what I saw in the city of Newark and what many of my, the young Urban innovators are now been working with around the country as a lot of new Mayors have been elected, this was an old paradigm that use to run the way governments works. And in fact I've watched this old paradigm in the business sector change around the table in my parents who worked for IBM are some of the first black employees in a professional level. And this was the idea that big was better, some of you who read Thomas Friedman book, he talks about these incorporations where we went to as a country from having big blue judged by the size of your mainframe, where you judged by how large your corporation was, how many employees, how many division. And then they went though this radical transformation, where it wasn't the size of the mainframe. It is how small your laptop is. You've been judged by your connectivity, you will judged by the speed which you work there no longer been big blue was not as important as being fast in streamline being efficient and effective. Well governments in many ways in a local level and cities were often stuck, were still stuck in this old paradigm and Newark definitely was one. We saw that the democracy which we were adhering to and the machine that was getting the allegiance from the community was still in a backwards era that was undermining basic policy advancements or democratic advancements for our community. So much so that machine had so much power of it in order to protect itself from the threats. It was doing very undemocratic things; it was still being allowed or convinced by the powers that be, or those who supposed to protect the freedoms of our community. See our government was still struck in the big government paradigm where people believe that the, the government was about was creating big employment mill for as many people as possible. But the government was about patronage and about money and about power; it was about the ability to create efficiency not around delivering of services, but amazing efficiencies that we began to realize. That if I walk into municipal facility in southward of our city, I could walk in there and back in the Mayors office they would hear about it within two minutes. Booker just walked down to a facility and god forbid if they had a police officer following us like often was the case but it was amazing how political efficiencies work. And you couldn't get a contract in our city if you didn't know somebody how if you couldn't get a job in City Hall in fact every single hiring decision was going across the Mayors desk for his signature. And this was that the old paradigm of which we were facing. And we are realizing that the challenge we had democratically was to somehow shake this machine to its core to loosen this grip on power and to bring about a revolution within the City Hall. And this is what we accomplished in our 2006 election, after loosing in 2002, now we were able to break into City Hall in 2006, and it was amazing to me, I've been in office now for 7 months, how this is been the big challenge we have for every, almost every week is changing the way even people within our organization think about government. Change in the way they think about the democracy which they are part of, changing the systems to create different outcomes. And I will just give you some examples of this, when we took office the first day I saw touring different offices in City Hall, I walked into one in the court system. And Newark court system is well know for having lines rapping around City Hall as people wait to get into pay tickets to come in for their court case, (indiscernible) and I walked march right in and then I saw a women who is running the court is scurrying around over the place trying to make decisions in the morning. And I just sort of asking her basic questions, well what are you doing. And she said well I am trying to figure out where our employees should go. And I said well don't employees have jobs, where they should know they should go and she said, well yes they do but I have a big problem that employees don't come to work, quite that regularly and I think if you got every morning who shows up and therefore we actually put them and I said, well if the employees not showing up for work why don't you discipline them and sanction them and work to fire them, and she looked at me and she said Mr. Mayor I can discipline people and I said yes. And she proceeds and tell me that every single decision she made on discipline she would have to write up the names of the people she would discipline send them up to City Hall, for City hall to review them. And if the Mayor or the Mayor Chief of Staff would review them to realize that they are not somebody who they believe should be disciplined because their connections, their roles in campaigns what have you they would be sent the list back down until they couldn't do it, she said effectively she found out that the people she had could, she could barely touch any of them. So this is where our City Hall was. And in every single way it was perfectly designed for political experiences. But it was horrendously designed to make a difference in people's lives, to deliver services, to empower folks, to think creatively about solving problems. And we had time and time again examples of this on how the system was perverted. Some of them are mundane, more mundane but I will give you another example of just workman's comp cases, so we had a situation where most municipalities in our region or the County of Essex would just dismiss about 30% of the workman comp claims it would come before people slipping and following, getting injured down at work. But in the City of Newark we dismissed virtually none. City council people in fact were slipping and following and making a claim and getting a check. We found out when we got in that we had 4000 some odd employees and we called up the third party administrator to check this out and third party administrator asked us well you have 4000 plus employees, how many outstanding workman comp cases do you have. And we said about 3500. And he said you are lying and I said no, you are joking, I said absolutely not. This is the situation. So here was an institution that was supposed to be focused on serving the public. It was supposed to be focused on some, what I do even in the most critical problems we have, but it was failing to do anything about it. Because its function, its efficiency, its focus was all around maintaining a set of political power. It began to make me think that democracy is in and of themselves are not perfect and that in fact if you think about it, as (indiscernible) always say about time, the time does not necessary do, the passage of time does not necessarily mean progress, that there has to be a purposefulness in about what you do, where things are more eloquently the change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, it must be carried in on the backs of the people that are going to struggle for, for fight for and to sacrifice for. So this is not only endemic to my City Hall. And if you think about it, the forces that is this change all over the place. There is two men Levin and Feinberg who started something called the KIPP Academy many of you know about those, I see some people shaking their heads. These are two guys who stared in Houston, Texas within a public school and said here is something wrong with this model of education that we are working with right now. And they actually brought our accounting to revolutionary thought about how we should educate. KIPP as been now so successful 60 Minutes did a special on them, they started in South Bronx in New York, they proliferated in New York, they started in New Jersey and we actually at Newark have the top performing KIPP School in the United States of America. I visited this KIPP School and began to realize what KIPP of the new time you see another article about another cluster of successful performing Charter Schools called Uncommon Schools, it also dates at New York and I began to look at this realize that there is a revolutionary idea about this challenge is some of the basic fundamental things we take for granted and don't as democratic citizens take time to examine. And this is that we would base in our educational on an industrial model of education and here they come in taking simple concepts and flipping them over. What's a simple concept? Let me give you one. One simple concept is we as devotees of our current education system, think that education time should be the constant and achievement should be varied. Is this idea that you go to school and set number of days, set number of years, set number of days a week, set number of hours a day and the people who achieve the varying different levels within that system. Well what the KIPP Schools have done among other things is one of them turned that upside down, and they are basically saying that in KIPP school achievement will be he constant and time will be the variable. And therefore kids have to go to school in a longer school day, so be it, we are going to bring them on the longer school day, if they have to go in the longer school week, and I was just in the KIPP School the other day, that they were talking about the kids are very happy coming on Saturday school so be it, if they were school, to school on a longer school year, so be it the pushed to a longer school year. And our KIPP School and most of our Uncommon schools are remarkable to me. Because when they started up they were taking average kids, they were taking a three grade level below, the city average, city average in terms of achieving on standardized test. And then as my school North Star this Uncommon school send, every one of their kids now to college on ahead of grade level. It's a remarkable simple revolutions but it took so much to get there because many people do not want to release the status quo and will fight to defend it even though it is producing unconscionable results. We in the city of Newark now have unconscionable results and we are manifesting themselves in symptoms that are so contrary to the dignity and the power of humanity and we stand for as a people and one the biggest way is violence. If anybody thinks that the murder rate in any city in America, just this about every major city in America including New York City is having murder rates going up. If anybody thinks that this itself is the problem, here we are. The murder rate in my city is manifestation or the symptom of a much larger problem going on. I was walking one day in my neighborhood with my father was actually around the time of my birthday, he was up visiting me and my father has this disappointing view on where America has gone. When we talk about it it's painful for me to listen to that. Because my dad was born to a single mother in 1936 back when we had a very bad stigma to be born that way. He was born in a very small town in North Carolina everybody knew everybody else. His mother was very sick, she couldn't raise in, and my father was eventually raised by his community, in many ways he lived African American parable, its almost made even slightly hack to this point that it takes a village to raise the child. And my father was taken in by the funeral home operator some folk in his room will know that if you are funeral home operator black segregated south that was tall cotton, high cotton, as I say, I though a good family brought up with. And my father who now comes up to Newark, sometimes in fact he first said is it's a chilling reality that he sometimes think that a black kid growing up at his neighborhood back in the 30 to 40's under a extreme poverty to the challenges you have maybe look better walk, them move all with the kids going up in the same circumstances like now in the city like Newark. And something that my father and I talked about my rail against when he says things like that. But I remember this one day we were walking up in street and a gun shots ring up and I swing around to see this children running down the hill, running away from the gun fire, and I told my dad to stay where he was and I ran through the kids towards with the gun shot. Just in time to see a child who was holding on to some banisters so to slip backwards and I just caught him as he fell and laid him down and since I look over his chest, he had a white t-shirt on, that began just to fill up with red blood, and I started screaming to people to call the ambulance, call an ambulance and drew my hands into his chest trying to hold back stream of blood not knowing anything that was doing, but just thinking the pressure was what he needed and I asked his name, his name was Wasim Miller. And Wasim started crocking, gagging, blood started spewing out of his mouth and it was most gruesome thing I could remember as I just didn't know what I was doing. But I reached my hand in to his mouth trying to clear passage way for him to breath but he wasn't breathing anymore. And I felt his pulse one time it was incredibly weak by the time I felt it again there was no pulse left so ever and screaming at him Wasim stay with me, Wasim stay with me. And I never forget, the ambulance finally came and seems like its hours as I sat there and pushed me out of the way, as I have this kid's blood over mine, all over me and they ripped open the, they ripped open the kids shirt and I saw the three gun shots one in the chest and one in the side and they worked on it, worked on it, worked on it but Wasim died. And here I had just as this overwhelming sense of anger and frustration and the cops were coming to me and asking me questions, I was in no mood answering, this is may be two years before I became Mayor and I remember walking back to my apartment and my father opening the door and just seeing me covered with his blood. He asked me how he is doing and at that point I hit a wall and I just said to my dad, I said I can't talk and I went to the bathroom and I started trying to scrub this blood off with my hands and second in the sinks scrubbing, scrubbing and I, the blood was all gone but I was still just nervously, anxiously just scrubbing and I just suddenly broke and started crying in to the sink as my tears mixed with the water going down and I felt something choked me that I never felt choked me before as a sense of hopelessness, in the sense of despair and I remember coming out of the bathroom eventually, my father was standing right there and I sort of pushed by and said I just want to go to bed. I slept and I got up real early the next morning and sort of left out before my dad had to talk to me. And I remember just walking outside and just feeling like I wanted to scream. I had lived in Brick Towers at that point for six or seven years and I was even thinking about how this community had banded together and did what it did. I wasn't thinking about anything but this relentless tide of violence within my community and how, time after time I sort of dug into the life's of these young people with that shot and murder, shot and murder, shot and murder. And I've seen it so much since that death. I saw my friend Hassan Washington, a kid who grew up my building who was murdered this August almost on the main street in Newark. And I put a lot in this kids life towards the end of his life. I thought of taking him out set him down with friend of mine who were extra dearest, get him to talk to him about what he was doing and where his life was going, took him even to the movies anything I couldn't be try to breaking down a little bit to get to this young 16 year old. And Hassan was shot murdered. I've seen too much of this violence and every time I dig down Wasim's family again he was born to parents who didn't take care of him in the sense taken in, he had a family that lot of good people who was trying to help this young man out but he start to see the systematic challenges that they are facing. I have a good friend who is now my Deputy Mayor who worked in the youth house and saw what happens when kids leave as kind of a lock up, here in Newark again to give you statistics of this side of the river, something amazing like 80% of the young kids that leave do not intended to say, would be re arrested in just a few years, its amazing to see the number. But again to me this is symptomatic of a larger crisis in a larger problem and I hope in the question and answer period people ask me about lot of the policy things we are doing, but the policy prescription I can give you and I can find concrete things and I become very loud about it within my own team and within New Jersey about the concrete ways of our towards avenues of hope. But that is even not the ultimate answer of what is going to deal, help us deal with this problem. And I am here talking bout Barbara Jordan being, this Barbara Jordan Lecture and before we get question and answer let me see if I can capture for you what ultimately I think is what the, still yearning that, we are as a nation so we yearning for right now this time of crisis. The best example I can give is, is actually a sample women I could always drop on. We try to bring this point home. But one of that person this women name is Virginia Jones who is a remarkable pain in my ass. Excuse my language, she is stubborn, tough, unrelenting, she is about 4 feet 11 inch and she is old, I know she must have seen the founding of this nation. And this is the women who, I had taken my BA in Stanford my PhD in Newark, New Jersey. Because she was one of the best professors I've ever had and I, here I was, let me give you just two things that's, which is real parallel between her and Barbara Jordan. Barbara Jordan was a women who got directly involved with political process and this women who got directly involved with the political process in urban. And the first time I met her is I was not in that black choking a cloud of negativity, after that young kid's death. The first time I met her I was in the height of my idealism. I was a law student in Yale. Traveling down to New York, I just need to cross the street; I just had my life threatened by that anti vegetarian, an individual I told you about. And he had me scared, but I had been told about this by women Miss Jones and I had to find her, and I went to find her and met her at a door and knocked on her door and this line backer voice said who is it. And I am like Cory Booker and the door opens and I am looking up and there is woman and she was what do you want and I said, I am Cory Booker, I m from the Law School, here to help you ma'am. And she looks at me with the cynicism that was deserved and she says you really want to help me, I said yes. And she said well; follow me, shrubs past me and she walks down these five flights there through this lobby into the middle of this street through the drug dealers at which point I am standing very close to her. And she stands in the middle of the street she swings around and she says if you want to help me, tell me first what you see around you. I thought what and she just describes me what she see, and I said I see a crack house, I see the projects, I see some drug dealers, which I said in a low and respectful tone. And I just described the neighborhood and the she looks at me and she just say you could never help me, and she swings around sorts of walking away. And I chase up to this women before she gets to T-bone and crew and I stopped her and I say what are you talking about and she looks at me fiercly and stepped back me and she says, boy you need to understand something, that the world you see outside of you is a reflection of what you have inside. And if you're one of those people always sees problems and darkness in despair all its this is ever going to be. But if you're one of those people who sees hope, opportunity, love, the face of god then you are going to be one of those people who can make a change and help me. And she storms off. And to me it was one of these aha, aha moments about where I was, at many ways people who come to my city in the past, and things were rapidly changing would be so quick to point out the problem. But here was a woman that saw the potential and the promise. And I remember I would go for months after that and just sit in my first before I've been got involved with kind of organize and I just sat with her and listen this women like a pack rat, her house is stack with newspapers and junk and stuff and she would just sit there and tell me story, lots of time I thought she was making up what she told me but every story had a lesson and a reason too. Probably one the most powerful story she told me was something that maybe think hard about where we were as a democracy. And it is the thing that snapping out of that moment when I came downstairs after that murder when I walked out to the courtyard and only person I saw early in that morning, I getting up to go to work was Miss Virginia Jones. And I saw the back of her head and remind me if that's one of the first stories she sort of told me was, actually not one of the first story, the latest story she told me about her son. You see her son put on the American Uniform to go serve in the military and he has flown way over seas and her son, a poor working class, black kid from Newark, put on the United States Military Uniform and stood in ranks in files in foreign lands for this democracy. He comes back to Newark and was standing in the lobby of the building in which Miss Jones and I lived. And Miss Jones just gets knock on the door with frantic women who cant speak and just drags her and dragged down these five flights of stairs and there she goes in the lobby and she sees her son on his back with gun shot wounds in his chest and Miss Jones tells me this story of she whaled out into the lobby echoing and fell to her knees and sobbed in the bloody chest of her son, who was dead. And here is this women telling me the story and she says to me in detail is this like I did the gruesomeness of the murder. And she finishes this story and I don't know what to say, have to listen something like that. When I look at this women and I say Miss Jones, I said I know where you work, she and I were two the only people in this building at that point of paid market rent. We could live to anyplace we want and so, you to go anywhere, why do you still live in this building, why do you still do what you do? And Miss Jones stood closer to me and she looked hard at me and she crossed her arms and she says to me why do I stay here, I said yeah. Why I still live in Brick Towers, I said yeah. She goes why am I still in this apartment, said yes Ms. Jones and she said to me because I am in charge of homeland security. Now there is so much that we are trying to do in the Newark right now and there are so many practical things that I could skip on if you will, would like to ask the questions. But the point of it all is this ideal about where we are as a country. And if she understood this woman who does not have the formal education that I do, but has wisdom that is exceeds anything I could hope to have. Saw her place in this democracy; she saw that local government, that the local neighborhood, the local community is the front line of the fight preserve America. She saw and understood that we as a nation are terribly lost and that the fight is right there, the unless we deal with the problems that are, we manifest are been seen most pointedly in the murders of our children at ways that you could not believe 85 people from New Jersey have dies in Iraq, 85 people during this war that I do not believe in. But in the city of Newark alone last year a 106 people were murdered. So the reality is, the reality is we are not confronting to me what is the greatest and most important challenge that with, that with T-bone, T-bone comes to me after I get elected and says to me Cory, Cory do you wanna go for a ride, and I say T-bone your car or mine, and I very nervously get into this car and we drive off of Martin Luther King Boulevard (indiscernible) one of the strangest streets in America because as soon as we punch out of Newark its suddenly like going from the, in The Wizard of Oz, from black and white to technicolor. And suddenly this is huge horns, in fact children from Newark, his parents who lived just maybe a 100 yards away, sometimes they will use (indiscernible) to sneak their children's into better school and those towns have people that fall around, these minority children's, see where they going home. And they will remove them send them back from the old school and build them to the (indiscernible) this is the wonderful country you live in. And so we drove in the southward and we pull over to the side of the road and I sit there and T-bone tells me you got to get me out of here. And I am like; okay T-bone I got some programs and plans you see, we at that point had got drug dealers away from point of road. We at that point had gotten the slum lord convicted and federal court, Miss Jones danced that day, we got the local school adopted by students, now to helps in a way, we got the crack house torn then and now here is T-bone to me feeling incredibly confident. He says to me he got to help get out of here and I am like T-bone I got some programs and plans, I know what things you can do, it was you understand something and I, what do you need T-bones and his face explains to me that he has a warrant out for his arrest. And that they're closing in and I haven't see him for 3 weeks and I am now listen to him tell me the story. And suddenly T-bones starts telling me his story, which again is the same story, same story for the first 12 years or so of my dad first told me. Born to a single mother, born poor, my father is kind of; when I was younger he couldnt afford to be poor. I was just po - P. O. the other two letters, couldn't afford them. Same old thing, him and his mother, his mother had a, mother couldn't take care of him. Mother, my fathers, my grandmother, my grandmother could take care of my dad. They both were taken into the community. The community is, about T-bone was doing the gang now. And T-bone life spiraled down from there, here he is telling me the story about his childhood going toward in details and I am now losing, I am not hearing him any more, I am looking at my dad. A guy is evidence more genius than me, I guy that his was controlling the business, partly making more revenue; I have the control in business. In sitting there looking at each other. He is telling the story I am thinking about my dad and how that this glorious movement, civil rights movement began to make real on American promise. I got twisted in the point that where we were sitting at two young black man sitting there looking at each other and I began to see myself, I just looks like him, this guy could be my dad. And suddenly if he looks at me snapping me back to focus with the same philosophy with which he threaten my life, same philosophy and then he says to me, and he broke into tear and started crying this powerful marshal young black male sobbing into my dash board and then Barbara Jordan came back, because the rest of the quote there is simple, she says we live in a distraught present, though we have the courage to deport we fail to feel the risk that exist between the middle past black lawyer and the urban glow. That's risk between me and T-bone was interest to sat there, but I felt so alienated but there is a goof as wide as the grand canyon between us and I could not reach out to save this young man, he drove back down to Brick Towers, we, he got out of the car and I've never seen him again since at that. He disappeared into the streets. Ladies and gentlemen I want to end with quote and then you can open up the question. And the quote loosely quoted, it's from the end of the book that is about our democracy and it's such an opinion look into our democracy. In a painful look at our democracy at the time in the 1960's that many people were yelling and screaming out against this country. That many people fought, we are at this point were our country has been grown down separate divided people were arguing about as being separate to a lowest common honors and color of our skin, the geography in which we live it was a book written by my favorite author James Baldwin called "The Fire Next Time". And he was criticized actually because the book was so pinion and powerful in the last three pages was so optimistic, some black nosh was called him a paliana, but how he ended this purposeful book and he says in the end of that book, he says I know what I am asking you is impossible but in today's day, its an impossible is the least we can demand. For one is after all in bold might of spectacle of human history in general and Negro history in particular for testifies nothing less in comparative achievement of the impossible. And we, and by we I mean the truly conscious blacks, and the truly conscious white must like lovers come together and insist upon and create the consciousness of war. If we now do not make a sacrifice, we willing to dare it all, we are adjusting the recreate the vital process we made real in the Negro spiritual god gave rainbow sign no more water requirements now. I am here to tell you that the answer so much of what we deal with does lie in purposeful policy and that's why institutions like this came also critical in the fight to make realm this nation, but it must go deeper with them now. It must be a call to more of conscious of who we are. We must all rise to a higher level and we are at right now. This country must resonate with a different energy that we have right now, we are to be pulled into the rest. I believe that the nuclear service of center or the crucible of lot of that action is going to be in Newark, New Jersey. We all going to reach fire again and it wont be like the fires in the whites of rage in a nation frustration but will be the fires of hope, of opportunity and love varied towards the American and I appreciate you all giving me a time of talk. Thank you.