Cory Booker believes that the American dream isn’t real for anyone unless it’s within reach of everyone. Booker has dedicated his life to fighting for those who have been left out, left behind, or left without a voice. Booker grew up in northern New Jersey and received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University.
At Stanford, Booker played varsity football, volunteered for the campus peer counseling center, and wrote for the student newspaper. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to study at the University of Oxford, and then Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1997.
After graduating law school, Booker moved to Newark and started a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families, helping tenants take on slumlords. In 1998, Booker moved into the Brick Towers housing project in Newark, where he lived until its demolition in 2006. Booker still lives in Newark’s Central Ward today, where the median household income is less than $15,000. At 29, Booker was elected to the Newark City Council, where he challenged the city’s entrenched political machine and fought to improve living conditions for city residents, increase public safety, and reduce crime. Starting in 2006, Booker served as Newark’s mayor for more than seven years.
During his tenure, the city entered its largest period of economic growth since the 1960s. In addition, overall crime declined and the quality of life for residents improved due to initiatives such as more affordable housing, new green spaces and parks, increased educational opportunities, and more efficient city services. In October 2013, Booker won a special election to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate. In November 2014, Senator Booker was re-elected to a full six-year term.
As New Jersey’s junior Senator, Cory Booker has brought an innovative and consensus-building approach to tackling some of the most difficult problems facing New Jersey and our country. He has emerged as a national leader in the effort to fix our broken criminal justice system and end mass incarceration, helping craft the most sweeping set of criminal justice reforms in a generation, the First Step Act, which became law in December 2018. Booker has also worked to reform America’s broken food system, address our nation’s nutrition crisis, and end food insecurity. Booker sits on the Judiciary Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the Small Business Committee.