All Articles Tagged "Mayor Cory Booker"
Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been dubbed “Super Mayor,” having performed heroic deeds from living on food stamps to bring awareness to the plight of those on the program to rescuing a freezing dog.
Booker’s latest effort was his first annual Mayor’s Masked Ball to benefit the New Jersey regional chapter of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The event, held at the Newark Club, sold out and initially raised $250,000 through ticket sales and other bequests, reports theGrio. Mayor Booker also collected a ton of $1,000 checks during the night from the movers and shakers in attendance.
“The mayor raised an additional $27,000 for our Campaign for Emergency Student Aid,” a spokesperson for the UNCF told theGrio.
This is just one of the first in a series of events planned in partnership between the UNCF and mayors across the country. These balls originated in Atlanta in the 1980s during Andrew Young’s tenure as mayor.
Actor Craig Robinson, currently starring in Peeples, Extra entertainment reporter A. J. Calloway and CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King, who was the event’s honorary chair, were among those in attendance. Singer Chrisette Michele performed.
According to Michael L. Lomax, CEO of the UNCF, involving the mayors is essential to promoting education. “You talk to a mayor two decades ago, and they said their number one issue is crime and economic development. Today, if you ask a mayor what his number one issue is, it’s education: ‘If I have an educated workforce in my community, that’s going to reduce crime, that’s going to bring economic development,” said Lomax.
Mayor Booker, “unofficially” announced his run for the U.S. Senate, told theGrio that if he is elected he will continue making educational access a priority as a U.S. Senator.
“It’s been the transformative force in my family, and for me personally. It’s something that should really become a fundamental aspect of our nation — where every kid, no matter where you’re born, no matter the zip code, has abundant pathways towards academic success,” the mayor said.
The challenge came about after a conversation with a follower on Twitter, when Booker challenged @MWadeNC and himself to live on $33 for a week’s worth of food. In New Jersey, the average monthly food stamp allocation was $133.26 per person, or about $33 a week. It all started yesterday following a weekend shopping trip with Newark’s Food Policy Director Elizabeth Reynoso. It ends on the 11th.
Tagged the #SNAPChallenge (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), people can weigh on the Mayor’s experience online and via social media. @FeedAmerica, the Twitter account for the nonprofit organization has tweeted: “Thks @CoryBooker for raising
#SNAP (food stamp) awareness thru your #SNAPchallenge! Looking forward to following along!”
Booker is documenting the challenge on his social media accounts, including tweeting his Pathmark receipt, blogging about the challenge on LinkedIn, and posting a picture of his breakfast on Instagram. He also posted this video with his thoughts after day one. It will be interesting to see and hear his experience for the week, and hopefully it will make an impact.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker is joining the ranks of the millions of people who use food stamps to pay for their groceries — at least for a week. This past Sunday, Booker challenged one of his Twitter followers, a 39-year-old mother from North Carolina, to join him on a seven-day food stamp experiment. The challenge came after a back-and-forth discussion following a tweet by Booker that said: ‘An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics’ Plutarch ancient Greek historian (c. 46 – 120 CE),” reports UPI. The follower, who is a self-described “Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR), fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism,” took issue with the tweet.
The University of Bridgeport, which is holding the “UB SNAP Food Challenge” next month, offered to referee the Booker challenge, which will happen December 4 through 11. Booker plans to document his efforts on various social media platforms. According to the rules, reports BET, it has been stipulated that each person has a total budget of $35 to spend on food and beverages, which is $5 per day or $1.66 per meal. They also can’t accept food from outside sources, such as family, friends and work, and cannot use food that’s already in the home, excluding condiments and spices.
It has been estimated that there is a likelihood that half of all adult Americans between the ages of 20 and 65 will use food assistance at some point. Today a record number of people — nearly 50 million – will use food stamps to pay for their Thanksgiving dinners. According to United States Department of Agriculture data, 36 percent of participants in the food stamp program are white, 22 percent are African American, 10 percent are Hispanic, two percent are Asian, four percent are Native American, and 19 percent are of unknown race or ethnicity.
Typically, food stamp recipients get $133 a month per person. Besides holiday meals, many recipients are using their stamps typically to purchase foods with poor nutritional value. The federal food assistance program SNAP pays $1.7 billion to $2.1 billion for purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages every year, reports The Los Angeles Times. But the government doesn’t reveal details on what people spend their food stamps, notes the Washington Post. Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak, says the newspaper.
While we don’t know what Booker will buy with his stamps, we do know this seems to be another move by Booker to take a hands-on approach to governing. You may recall that during Hurricane Sandy the Mayor invited people without power over to his house. Mayor Booker’s hands-on approach was actually greeted with boos and a near pepper spraying last night when he stepped in to cast a vote to fill a city council spot with someone that other members and people in attendance didn’t agree with. You can watch the mayhem below (h/t Slate).
This summer, the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), Prudential Insurance and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) announced the BCDC Newark Fund, a loan program intended to help small businesses that want to set up shop in Newark, N.J. The program is just one part of a larger effort to bring companies to the city.
The largest city in the state, Newark is about 13 miles from Manhattan. It has experienced a resurgence over the past few years, boasting the area’s first new arena in a quarter century, the Prudential Center, which opened in 2007; a growing population, which is a big change from the previous decades when residents fled; and a landscape that’s being redesigned by an influx of new businesses, buildings, and green spaces, even urban farms. Just this week, Prudential, which has been headquartered in Newark for more than 130 years, got approval for a $444 million office facility.
Prudential has more than 50,000 employees around the world and $961 billion in assets under management. During the press conference announcing the new loan program, Lata Reddy, the company’s VP of corporate social responsibility noted that small business is “critical to the economic vitality of the city.”
With this latest fund, Marie Mascherin, chief lending officer at the NJCC, told us the partner organizations were trying to create an alternative to traditional sources, like banks, which have become more cautious about lending money to small businesses and startups. Add to that the lack of resources for minority-owned businesses and there’s a real need.
“We’re trying to fill a void that’s been created as a result of the banks pulling out,” says Mascherin.
According to BCDC CEO Lyneir Richardson, the goal of his organization “is to have a variety of tools” available to small business owners and minority entrepreneurs who need a helping hand.
“Our approach is to be proactive,” says Richardson. “We want to get the message out that if companies see an opportunity here, we can be the first stop.”
The organization has a number of funds, and millions of dollars have already been invested in building new businesses in the city, with “three or four deals in the pipeline,” Richardson says. Businesses that have already benefited from the BCDC’s help include a franchisee, a clothing retailer, two grocery stores (“solving the food desert problems,” says Richardson), a pediatric dentistry office, and hotels.
Besides the financial assistance the group offers, it also serves as the center of a small business network, connecting people and companies in a way that’s useful for all parties involved.
“Our work is more of a quarterback,” says Richardson. “Our goal is to make economic development happen.”
With all of that in mind, Richardson has four main reasons why small business owners should plant their flags in Newark:
- It’s close to New York.
- It’s a hub that’s accessible to Newark International Airport, home to to the third most active port in the country, and near trains and roads, which has proven handy for distribution companies.
- There’s great access to talent because of the five colleges (Rutgers and New Jersey Institute of Technology among them) and 44,000 students who live and study in the city.
- “Now we have this Mayor whose celebrity helps not only shine a light on the city, but on entrepreneurs,” says Richardson.
The city of Newark, NJ along with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), an economic development group, Prudential Financial, and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a nonproft that provides assistance for housing and community development, today announced the BCDC Newark Fund, a loan fund to support small business growth in the city.
The fund will make loans up to $400,000 to small business owners looking to set up shop in Newark. Loans are available to Newark residents as well as those wanting to head to Newark.
The fund will “enable business to have access to capital and start new businesses,” Lyneir Richardson, CEO of the BCDC said during his opening remarks. He told Madame Noire that restaurants, grocery stories, and companies in other industries have already taken advantage of BCDC assistance. He says the city could use more retail outlets.
Besides providing help for entrepreneurs, the organizations involved with the Fund see it as a way to build Newark’s communities. Lata Reddy, Prudential’s VP of corporate social responsibility, said small businesses, and providing capital to small businesses, is “critical to the economic vitality of the city.” Prudential Financial has been headquartered in Newark for more than 135 years.
“It’s important that small business come to downtown” as well as other neighborhoods, said Wayne Meyer, NJCC president, because they provide “jobs for residents, build wealth, create safe spaces… and are vital to build and stabilize communities.”
The Fund wants to attract, not just small businesses, but minority-owned businesses, and businesses owned by women. Loans can be used for things like inventory, equipment, and real estate purposes. Loan interest rates start at eight percent and last for a maximum of five years. Anyone interested in learning more is asked to contact Ryan Johnson at the BCDC (email@example.com).
Perhaps you’ve never thought of opening your business in Newark. Mayor Cory Booker was on hand to address that.
“In the depths of the worst economy that I’ve ever seen, something powerful is happening in Newark,” he said, adding that the city is experiencing the largest resurgence since the 1950s. The city, he said, has “some of the ripest soil in America for opening a business.”
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