Booker, NJ’s Black Mayors Strategize for Post-Obama Era

WNYC | January 10, 2017 | Politics
Senator and mayors plan how to win federal resources for New Jersey under Trump administration

Credit: Karen Rouse / WNYC
NJ Senator Cory Booker and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka discuss Trump with the New Jersey Black Mayors Alliance for Social Justice.
Members of the New Jersey Black Mayors Alliance for Social Justice met with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Monday in preparation for what they believe could be a major shift in their relationship with Washington, D.C.

Dwayne Warren, the mayor of Orange, said representatives of inner cities enjoyed a warm relationship with the Obama administration during the past eight years. He said President Barack Obama “articulated what his policies were, and didn’t leave us to guess about it, and invited us in.”

Anticipating a different kind of reception from the administration of President-elect Donald Trump, Warren, along with other members of the alliance, met in Booker’s Newark office to develop a strategy for getting federal resources in a changed political landscape. Although Trump said during his presidential campaign that he would represent and improve inner cities, the New Jersey officials fear his cabinet will be unsympathetic to their communities.

Booker said he doesn’t want Republicans to shift money away from New Jersey. He and the mayors said they will defend their cities against policies that discriminate against immigrants and women, or reverse social reforms.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said, “We understand that we have to be diligent and create a state kind of strategy to make sure … that we defend ourselves against things that would be a reproach against the very principles that we fight for.”

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