Tag Archives: Cory Booker

A Look at “Brick City”


I saw an interesting ad recently, previewing the Sundance Channel documentary Brick City.

The show will focus on Newark, New Jersey (a city that while not in the Rust Belt, has certainly had its share of problems), Mayor Cory Booker, and other city officials and residents, such as the chief of police, a gang member, and a youth counselor.

You can watch a number of clips from the show and read a bit about it on the web site.

We’ve written about Mayor Booker and his efforts to turn the city around on this blog before; he has been the subject of a number of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as a documentary about his campaign, Street Fight.

I enjoyed the documentary, but it mostly focused on politics and the election, so obviously I’m hoping this show goes well beyond that. It airs later this month.

Has anyone else heard anything about this?


Filed under Crime, Featured, Good Ideas, Politics, Race Relations, Urban Poverty

Dissecting Flint’s Mayoral Race

Slate is running an awesome, awesome, story about the mayoral race in Flint, Michigan, where a 35-year-old Rhodes Scholar is battling a 64-year-old grandmother/former state representative for the city’s highest office.

Flint’s former mayor, Don Williamson, was a convicted felon-turned-multimillionaire who resigned in February to avoid a recall election that was likely to remove him from office.

Why would anyone want to be mayor of a city with so many problems, Slate wonders.

“It’s my hometown, and no matter where I’ve lived I have a special place in my heart for this city,” says mayoral candidate Dayne Walling, a fifth-generation Flint family-man and former Rhodes Scholar. “It’s terrible to see this kind of suffering inflicted on a community. It’s wrong. It shouldn’t happen anywhere in this country. So I’m committed to being part of the solution.”

Dayne Walling, left, campaigning at a Church's Chicken.

Dayne Walling, left, campaigning at a Church's Chicken.

“It is the worst of times, but a leader leads in good times and in bad,” says¬† Brenda Clack, his opponent, a former state rep and current county commissioner. “I feel that people who have stayed in Flint, who have hung on, who have persevered deserve a leader of integrity.”

When I was working as a reporter, I once told Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams I would never want his job. Several years later, one thing is clear: political figures in hard-luck rust belt cities, at the very least, make for interesting political profiles.

But I wonder, could it be possible that these places somehow attract top leaders? Youngstrown’s Jay Williams and Braddock’s John Fetterman and even Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, who had a very complimentary write-up in Next American City recently, certainly make a strong case for the theory.

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Filed under Featured, Politics

Check out Next American City


My latest issue of the magazine Next American City arrived in the mail on Monday.

I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but so far I enjoyed two interesting articles:

one on the problems with publicly funded convention centers for cities;

and the cover story on Newark mayor Cory Booker.

I don’t think these articles are online – if they are I haven’t found them – so you may have to step away from your computers for a minute and buy the magazine.



Filed under Politics