Should Mayor Roberts do this?
Here’s an interesting concept. The Mayor of Newark moved to the crappy area of the city in an effort to clean up drugs and violence.
Would Roberts or a member of the City Council be willing to do this? I think that would be a good step for our “altruistic” Mayor.
Newark Mayor Moves to Rough Neighborhood
Monday November 20, 2006 10:01 PM
By JANET FRANKSTON LORIN
Associated Press Writer
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Some residents of a drug- and gang-plagued neighborhood of boarded-up houses and empty lots are hoping their new neighbor will bring improvements.
Mayor Cory Booker left his apartment in a dilapidated public housing high-rise last week for the top unit in a three-story rental on Hawthorne Avenue on the south side of New Jersey’s largest city.
“I think he’ll clean up the neighborhood,” said Cynthia Flowers, 38, as she shopped at a store two doors away. “There won’t be as many people hanging out on the corners. It’s a great thing.”
Flowers, who lived on Hawthorne for 14 years and still lives nearby, said she has noticed a heavier police presence in the last week: “It’s not as scary as it used to be.”
Others were skeptical of Booker’s motives and questioned whether his presence will do any good in the area, which has a few newly built homes.
“He thinks that his presence is going to change it, but he can’t be on every block,” said Samere Ore, 23, who lives about three blocks from the mayor’s new abode. Ore said children as young as 9 join gangs in the district.
The 37-year-old mayor is paying $1,200 a month plus utilities for the apartment that he moved into on Thursday.
“I wanted to live in a place where I could make a difference,” Booker said.
Newark, 10 miles west of Manhattan, has long struggled with crime and poverty. Among large cities nationally, only six have lower incomes than Newark, where the median household income was $30,665, according to recent data from the Census Bureau.