Cory Booker on Jobs



$1,000 tax credit for job-training apprenticeships

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC), the two African-American members of the US Senate, are bridging significant political differences and teaming up on legislation for the first time.

Booker and Scott are unveiling a proposal that would promote apprenticeships in highly-skilled trades, a move designed to help fill millions of technical jobs in the construction, manufacturing energy and telecommunications industries, while also creating jobs for younger Americans, especially minorities struggling to find work.

Booker and Scott's LEAP Act (Leveraging and Energizing America's Apprenticeship Programs) would provide tax credits to employers who offer apprenticeships to younger job applicants. Companies that offer apprenticeships to people under age 25 would receive a $1,500 tax credit and a $1,000 credit for apprentices above age 25. Apprenticeships, unlike office internships, offer a combination of on-the-job training and instruction in highly-skilled occupations.

Source: Washington Post on 2014 New Jersey Senate race , Apr 9, 2014

1/3 of all NJ development is in Newark, where only 3% live

Q: As the Mayor of Newark: Unemployment there is over 13%. Why have you not been able to make more progress in this particular area?

BOOKER: Well, politics is a zero-sum game. The spirit of Martin Luther King taught me that love multiplies and hate divides. We've got too much division going on in our politics. Where people come together, you make remarkable results. Well, Chris Christie and I disagree on most things. But if we just sat back in our relative partisan positions, we wouldn't have gotten anything together. The fact that we've come together right now has created the largest economic development period in Newark in over a generation. In fact, we are 3% of the state's population with a third of all the development in New Jersey is going on in Newark, in commercial multi-families. Our biggest boom, period, because we found ways to get together.

Source: Meet the Press 2013 on 2014 New Jersey Senate race , Aug 25, 2013

2002 campaign: unemployment & housing hasn't improved

Until 2002, Newark Mayor Sharpe James appeared to be an invincible political figure. Since first winning elective office in 1970, he had never lost an election. Something changed in 2002.

Cory Booker was not the typical, weak, opponent. Challenging a 16-year incumbent may strike some as a quixotic enterprise, but a number of factors suggest that Booker's run in 2002 could be classified as strategic. Booker maintained that conditions in the city (i.e., high unemployment, low home ownership, and low high school graduation rates) had not improved since James had taken office. Moreover, James' administration had been implicated in corruption scandals.

Sharpe James responded to Cory Booker's candidacy by making the election a contest of racial authenticity. Because James realized that he was losing among whites and Latinos, he knew he had to consolidate the black vote, calling James the "real deal." [Booker lost 53%-46%]

Source: The New Black Politician, by Andra Gillespie, p. 63-4 , May 7, 2012

Passed laws on prevailing wage & large-scale firings

Our Administration has taken numerous steps [on labor issues]: from being the first city in New Jersey to adopt a prevailing wage law to the first city to pass legislation to prevent large scale firing of workers when new contracts are awarded.
Source: 2008 State of the City Address , Feb 1, 2008

Raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2016.

Booker co-sponsored Minimum Wage Fairness Act

Congressional summary: Increases the federal minimum wage for employees to:

  1. $8.20 an hour beginning 6 months after enactment
  2. $9.15 an hour beginning 1 year later,
  3. $10.10 an hour beginning 2 years later, and
  4. an amount determined by increases in the Consumer Price Index, beginning annually after 3 years.

Proponent's argument in favor (RaiseTheMinimumWage.com): The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour remains decades out of date, and the federal minimum wage for tipped workers--$2.13 per hour--has not increased in over 20 years. The minimum wage of the past provided significantly more buying power than it does today. The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.56 today when adjusted for inflation.

Opponent's argument against: (Neil King in Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24, 2014): The CBO concluded that a jump in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could eliminate 500,000 jobs. For Republicans, the report provided ammunition that a higher minimum wage would kill jobs. Democrats pointed to the CBO's findings that the higher wage would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. But both sides missed a key finding: That a smaller hike from the current $7.25 to $9.00 an hour would cause almost no pain, and still lift 300,000 people out of poverty while raising the incomes of 7.6 million people.Congressional Budget Office report:: Once fully implemented, the $10.10 option would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3%. Some people earning slightly more than $10.10 would also have higher earnings, due to the heightened demand for goods and services. The increased earnings for low-wage workers would total $31 billion. Accounting for all increases and decreases, overall real income would rise by $2 billion.

Source: S.1737 & H.R.1010 14-S1737 on Nov 19, 2013

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Other big-city mayors on Jobs: Cory Booker on other issues:

Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee)
Bill de Blasio (D,NYC)
Rahm Emanuel (D,Chicago)
Bob Filner (D,San Diego)
Steven Fulop (D,Jersey City)
Eric Garcetti (D,Los Angeles)
Mike Rawlings (D,Dallas)
Marty Walsh (D,Boston)

Former Mayors:
Rocky Anderson (I,Salt Lake City)
Tom Barrett (D,Milwaukee,WI)
Mike Bloomberg (I,New York City)
Cory Booker (D,Newark,NJ)
Jerry Brown (D,Oakland,CA)
Julian Castro (D,San Antonio,TX)
Rudy Giuliani (R,New York City)
Phil Gordon (D,Phoenix)
Tom Menino (D,Boston)
Dennis Kucinch (D,Cleveland,OH)
Michael Nutter (D,Philadelphia)
Sarah Palin (R,Wasilla,AK)
Annise Parker (D,Houston)
Jerry Sanders (R,San Diego)
Antonio Villaraigosa (D,Los Angeles)
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Page last updated: Mar 16, 2017