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EXCLUSIVE: Booker Discusses Campaign, Public Education, Legalizing Marijuana

After two days campaigning in Iowa before heading to Georgia, the senator emphasizes some of the themes of his ‘Justice for All’ tour

Outside of Nevada, Iowa, Sen. Cory Booker discussed the launch of his nationwide campaign with NJTV News Senior Correspondent David Cruz.

In the first week of his “Justice for All” tour, the Democratic candidate has stops planned in Iowa, Georgia and Nevada. He says there’s commonality in those places despite different demographics.

“Americans want the same things for their families: good public schools, jobs that pay a living wage or better, that your kids can have job opportunities and you can retire with security, have clean air and clean water. So many of these things unite us and we’ve got to get back to fighting together for that kind of justice,” he said.

He also spoke about public education, citing the work that’s been done in Newark.

“I've seen charter laws in this country that are horrible for the states that they’re in and they should be fought against. I’m somebody that worked to fight to close charter schools even in Newark that weren’t serving our kids. We’ve got to create a system of public education that works for every child, no matter what ZIP code you’re in. And the federal government doesn’t need to be a test heavy, telling localities what to do. They need to be supporting public school teachers and public education.”

On New Jersey’s attempt to legalize adult-use marijuana, Booker spoke of the importance of the expungement aspects of the bill.

“I think the people that have nonviolent drug crimes 20 years ago shouldn’t still have trouble getting a job because they’re checking a box. We have to have robust expungement. Our marijuana laws in New Jersey have been enforced in incredibly biased ways against low-income folks, against minorities in our state. We need to pass this legislation. We need to pass legislation that has restorative justice provisions in it. I think it should be not only expungement but reinvesting some of that tax revenue into the communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the marijuana law.”

Booker heads to Georgia Wednesday for a stop in Atlanta and then will spend the rest of the week campaigning in Nevada.

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