Your neighbor’s house burned down. The lady living across the street? Her house went up too. The only thing left of the corner house is a foundation.
Yet a fire station is right around the corner. So why is there nothing left but blackened bricks and misshapen metal pipes stabbing the air like some avant-garde art project gone horribly wrong?
The firetruck didn’t have gas and the hoses are at the fire chief’s house watering the lawn.
This was the state of public education in Newark when an energetic, Yale-educated lawyer, Cory Booker, moved into a low-income neighborhood. Only one in ten 11th-graders were finishing 12th grade. College? Forget it. School facilities were rodent infested and falling down, and good teachers left because no one could get rid of the bad ones. Poverty was the norm and the public schools were enablers.
Booker saw the problem and did something about it. Not only did he set up charter schools to give every child a chance for a good education, he raised hundreds of millions of dollars to fund and improve the public school system. And while there still is some distance to go, kids in Newark have a real shot at breaking the cycle of poverty.
Booker is a pragmatist whose focus is on solving problems. He sets politics aside to make a difference. That’s why I support Cory Booker for president and I hope you will too.