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10 Reasons Cory Booker Is a Superhero

10 Reasons Cory Booker Is a Superhero

Cory Booker, the mayor of the city of Newark, and one of his Twitter followers are to try to live on food stamps for a week. The idea surfaced during a Twitter exchange between Booker and his follower, TwitWit, with the handle @MWadeNC, about the government’s role in funding school breakfasts and lunch programs.

To TwitWit’s question of “why is there a family today that is ‘too poor to afford breakfast’? are they not already receiving food stamps?”, Booker wrote back “Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?”  In New Jersey, the average food stamp benefit was $133.26 per person in 2011.

TwitWit is a self-described “Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR), fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism.. Army Veteran, Army Daughter, Army Wife” and said yes to the challenge.

Booker’s office is in the process of figuring out “the rules” for the challenge so that, as he told reporters, it will not be a “gimmick or a stunt.” TwitWit has said she wants to know the “ground rules” before participating and has indicated that she is “upset she has not been included in the research process.”

It remains to be seen exactly how the “food stamp challenge” will occur. Booker has reason to get the details in place first. In his six years as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city whose name has become synonymous with urban woes from gang violence to poverty, Booker has attained a national profile. He has sought to bring jobs and businesses back to Newark, reduce crime, combat corruption and increase the amount of affordable housing in the city.

Here are ten reasons that Booker is a candidate for superhero status.

1) He gives his cell phone number to people who indicate they’re serious about finding a job.

2) He went on a 10-day-hunger strike  in 1998 to draw attention to open-air drug dealing; Booker first stayed in a tent and then in a motor home near drug dealing areas in Newark.

3) He lives where his constituents do. From 1998-2006, Booker lived in Brick Towers, a housing complex in the city’s tough Central Ward. Afterwards, he moved into the top story of a three-floor rental in an area of empty lots, boarded-up houses and drug and gang activity.

4) He shoveled the driveway of an elderly Newark resident and then ran about the city to help shovel out more houses in 2010.

5) Earlier this year, he risked his own life to enter a burning building and carry a woman out of there to safety.

6) He opened his own house to those who had no power or heat after Hurricane Sandy struck in late October.

7) He has (he says) precisely two addictions, books and coffee.

8 ) He has reduced his own salary twice since becoming Newark’s mayor.

9) He’s a vegetarian for ethical and environmental reasons.

10) In 2009, he turned down an offer from President Barack Obama to become the head of the new White House Office of Urban Affairs Policy, saying that he had a commitment to Newark.

Detractors have accused Booker of being more social media showman than something more substantial. But it can’t be denied that Booker has drawn plenty of attention to Newark and done more than his share of good in ways large and small along the way. What more would you expect from a superhero?

 

Related Care2 Coverage

Who’s Got the Mojo to Win in 2016?

Morning Mix: Cory Booker – A Man, A Mayor, A Super Hero?

Fox Pundit Jokes Food Stamps Could Be A Diet Plan

 

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90 comments

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9:26AM PST on Dec 26, 2012

"Tom E.: If they have a week of low income living I do hope that the medical, power, heating, transport, and every other cost of living factor is included."

"Mary L.: I've lived on food stamps. If he wants to make it, pasta, rice, beans, pasta, pasta, beans, rice. Lousy nutrition, bad for the body but, hey that and white bread are cheap."

You are right to the point of it all!

I suspect it's a publicity stunt or more a Twitter thing. Bear also in mind that both "contestants" likely are physically and emotionally fit to endure the 7 days of living the "poorer" life. They know there's an end to it.

Booker may be a "super" hero in some people's eyes, but I reserve my right to a later decision on that matter.




8:32PM PST on Dec 3, 2012

I've lived on food stamps. If he wants to make it, pasta, rice, beans, pasta, pasta, beans, rice. Lousy nutrition, bad for the body but, hey that and white bread are cheap.

5:22PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

Sounds like he's one of the good guys.

2:00PM PST on Nov 28, 2012

(continued)


We support the Vermont National Guard, and are willing to work to continue their presence in our area. However, that does not mean we support basing the F-35A weapon system in South Burlington. We believe the best way to “Save the Guard” is to insure their operations are compatible with the surrounding community and region. ...


So, kudos to South Burlington’s City Councilors - and do keep an ear to the ground in case this sort of thing is proposed in your area, in case yours aren't looking out for you.

1:59PM PST on Nov 28, 2012

(continued)


... Rejecting Class Warfare is Truly Democratic

In concluding its letter, the city council confronted the arrogance and pressure tactics of supporters of the F-35, as well as their willingness to use coercion and fear where they don’t have arguments or facts. The petition was misleadingly titled “Save the Guard,” when its clear intent was “Sacrifice South Burlington,” in response to which the council wrote:

Your petition stated, “the So Burlington Council’s position is wrong.” We do not believe that it is ever wrong to speak up for our residents and our community. The majority of the people who would be directly affected by the basing of the F-35A are of moderate to low income (the average Vermonter). These people are at a distinct disadvantage compared to those who support the F-35A. The F-35A proponents have far more financial and organizational resources than individuals or communities. If we do not speak up for the average resident, who will? This is what we have done, and what we will continue to do, even if it means going up against industrial, military, and political interests.

We support the Vermont National Guard, and are willing to work to continue their presence in our area. However, that does not mean we support basing the F-35A weapon system in South Burlington. We believe the best way to “Save the Guard” is to insure their operations are compatible with the surrounding commun

1:08PM PST on Nov 28, 2012

A very inspiring man indeed.

11:43AM PST on Nov 28, 2012

John very few people live off of it for life.

1:48AM PST on Nov 28, 2012

Sharon. What Romney said about the 47% and what got Obama elected was accurate . If Booker or any wealthy person wants to see how a poor or low middle class person lives they got to get rid of there wealth . It's easy to do a token gesture for a couple of days or weeks because you know you can go back to your lifestyle . The food stamp programs and all other government help is there to help you try to live not make it to where you live off of it for life .

11:24PM PST on Nov 27, 2012

Cory Booker is such an example of real leadership. During Hurricane Sandy he responded personally to many requests for help throughout his city. He also explained why certain requests couldn't be met at the time, detailing what constituted a real emergency in the midst of Newark's crisis. He did this with respect for the person with whom he was dealing, increasing my admiration for him.

9:54PM PST on Nov 27, 2012

@Pam W Re: "I've been watching Cory Booker fir a couple of years, ever since seeing him on Bill Maher's show."- Me too!
-Which is also why I've stayed interested in him. He has his faults, all real people do, but he's definitely one to watch. I would love to see more of what this man could accomplish.

Oh and I sent you a green star for another statement but I wanted you to know you had me ROLLING over this comment!!!
"Or are you just the most contemptuous little cracker in the box?"

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches ancient Greek, Latin and Classics at Saint Peter's University in New Jersey.... more
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