Monday, November 30, 2009

Voice for Equality: Newark Mayor, Cory Booker

Cory Booker is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. Booker, a Democrat, is a former Newark Councilman and community activist. He was elected Mayor in 2006, becoming the 36th mayor of Newark. On October 16, 2006, Booker formally introduced his administration's first adopted Newark City Budget. The approved $697.1 million budget resulted in an 8.3% increase in the city's property tax, which is one of the largest property tax increases in the city's history. The budget also increased the number of city employees from 3,968 to 4,197. These increases were cited as necessary to fix the structural financial deficit and secure a solid foundation for Newark’s future. Booker pledged to not increase taxes the following year, a promise he kept – the City of Newark has not raised taxes in over two years. His administration has also since reduced the size of government with a 2009 Budget proposal containing 3935 city employees. In addition, the City of Newark has for the last two consecutive years received the GFOA’s Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, reflective of the Booker Administration’s continued commitment to an honest, transparent budgeting process ending decades of neglect and setting a foundation to balance the city’s finances. Learn more here.

As Mayor of Newark, Cory Booker has been one of New Jersey's most vocal advocates for equal rights for the LGBT community. The mayor personally raised a pride flag outside city hall in June 2008 and performed civil unions for same-sex couples on Valentine's Day that same year. But more substantively, he recently formed a commission to advise him on issues in the lesbian and gay community, and he helped pave the way for an after-school program that will serve as a safe harbor for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. In August 2009, Booker explained to a group of journalists that he was backing New Jersey incumbent Democratic Gov. John Corzine because, if re-elected, Corzine would fully support equal marriage rights in the Garden State. [Link] Also, on November 10, 2009, Mayor Booker expressed his support for marriage equality, along with several other attendees, at the Emery Awards celebrating supporters of the LGBT community. [Link] See video below - Mayor Booker is the second speaker:

Freedom to Marry salutes Cory Booker as a Voice for Equality! Learn about all our Voices for Equality here.

If Mayor Booker's support inspires you - get involved!

**Make your NOMINATION for a Voice for Equality today!

Help keep Garden State Equality's ads on the air with a donation. And if you're a New Jersey resident, contact your legislators and let them know that voting on and passing marriage equality in this session is not negotiable.

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