By Amber Cox
A man who first set foot on Rider’s campus as an American Legion Boys State delegate returned Monday as the Mayor of Newark.
Mayor Cory Booker was brought to the campus by the College Democrats to back Gov. Jon Corzine. He was excited to come back and encouraged students to get involved with the political world.
“One of the best places to make change is politically,” he said. “I put the pressure on you [the students] to vote in the closest gubernatorial election of my lifetime.”
Lawrence Mayor Pam Mount introduced Booker and gave the audience words of wisdom before Booker’s speech.
“You never know what’s going to happen if you’re in the right spot and no one else is there,” she said. “Never say no, even if you think you have no clue how to do it. There’s always stuff you can do to help other people. It’s about all of you knowing each other and helping each other.”
Booker believes that both of the candidates for governor could have an effect on New Jersey government. He also encouraged everyone to make this election the best one yet.
“I know both of these guys and neither of them are bad men,” Booker said.
However, Booker believes that Corzine deserves a second term. He said that Corzine shrank the size of government and was “the first guy to take the responsibility in doing that.”
Booker made it very clear that this election is very important for New Jersey.
“There are values at stake in every election,” he said. “There are choices to be made.”
Booker started his career as an organizer in Newark and decided he was ready to make a difference in the city. He finds his position as Newark’s mayor as an opportunity to connect with people in the community.
“I see things that are incredible,” Booker said. “We should be taking back our streets and preventing crime.”
Booker continues his conquest to make a difference in the community every day and always asks himself if there is more that he could be doing.
“The more we give, the more our lives and selves are enriched,” he said. “We need to dig in and fight even more.”
Booker stated that he always tries to set big goals for himself. He stated his career is “about what life is really about.” He strongly believes that “love is the most powerful force there is.”
“I’ve learned that the universe is a very balanced place,” he said. “You get out of life what you look for.”
Booker stated that New Jersey is a phenomenal state and there are many things to be proud of.
It was here that George Washington thought the war was lost, but then his troops were able to cross the Delaware. The first brewery was in Hoboken and the first radio broadcast came out of New Jersey.
Booker encouraged everyone in the audience to follow his or her true calling in life.
“Don’t be obsessed with the position,” he said. “Stay true to your purpose.”