Cory Booker on Crime
"Nobody would argue with the need for a holistic approach over the long term, but our citizens need help right now," said one mayoral candidate. "I requested federal emergency funding to flood high crime areas with more police." Booker would not comment on whether those dollars would be available but said he has been talking with U.S. Attorneys about immediate strategies.
He also said the violence was not confined to Newark. The Star-Ledger reported today that New Jersey has seen a seven-year high in homicides statewide. "Looking at the whole state, we have serious, serious violence issues," Booker said.
We as a people can never allow our inability to do everything, [such as] solving poverty, to undermine our determinations to do something. And so I'm a child of a generation that said, "I'm going to do something to make this world a better place."
[For example], the Manhattan Institute is a right-leaning think tank. I have lots of disagreements with their leadership, but we said that one of the biggest problems in America is mass incarceration. It's one of the most expensive governments that's gone out of control and it fails. They release those people and the majority of them come back. And we found ways to get together and do reentry programs of dramatically-reduced recidivism.
We have a politics in this country that's failing its people.
His heroics aren't merely expressions of physical courage--though they certainly are that. They're applications of a theory of civic revitalization, which says that a single leader, visibly doing the right thing, can influence a whole community's behavior.
In 2010, Booker celebrated Newark's first month without a murder since 1966.
There's no public money available for something like that. Booker assumes he'll pay for it himself, or get some of his well-heeled friends to pitch in. Many of the most important initiatives Booker has introduced, from the Emergency Operations Center's huge wall of flat-screen TVs to the police department's bulletproof vests, have been funded with private money--more than $300 million for the city from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Goldman Sachs, and Zuckerberg.
Booker has been a long-term believer in the "broken windows" theory, which was made popular by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Booker spoke glowingly about this theory to voters during his 2002 campaign, at great political risk. The theory holds that if police officers enforce community standards of decorum (e.g. no loitering, panhandling, littering, squeegee window washing, and the like), criminals will get the message that residents care about their community and will not tolerate crime. This idea led to the belief that police officers can reduce the number of major crimes by enforcing the laws regarding even minor infractions.
The old data collection system was confusing and not terribly helpful to fighting crime. There was little to no geographic mapping of crime. By revamping the data collection process and giving the precinct commanders greater ownership of their precincts, the hope was that precincts would become leaner, more effective crime-fighting organizations.
Violent crimes fell dramatically in the city in 2007. Increasing the number of police patrols at night, when most violent crime happens, had the effect of either deterring the crime or catching the criminals before they were able to act. The most notable decline was in the city's homicide rate.
His administration's prisoner reentry plan proceeded with fits and starts.
Alerted via e-mail every time there was a shooting, and frantic to avoid another one, he started hitting the hoops court at midnight to help keep kids busy and out of harm's way. Then he began going out on night patrols in cruisers with cops, rolling up to shady characters and initiating come-to-Jesus conversations about what they were doing with their lives. The foolhardy gambit had its impact: Booker's dedication started to rub off on the department. More orthodox strategies have included what's known as the broken windows theory--the idea that attention to basic quality-of-life issues can ultimately help avert serious crimes.
Every dollar we invest in re-entry initiatives results in many more dollars saved as we reduce our dependency on courts, police and jails. These programs must, and, under our leadership will, expand in the coming years.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
Senate Retirements 2014:
Senate races Nov. 2014:
AK: Begich(D) vs.Miller(R) vs.Treadwell(R) vs.Sullivan(R)
AR: Pryor(D) vs.Cotton(R) vs.Swaney(G) vs.LaFrance(L)
CO: Udall(D) vs.Gardner(R) vs.
DE: Coons(D) vs.Wade(R)
GA: Nunn(D) vs.Perdue(R) vs.Swafford(L) vs.
HI: Schatz(D) vs.
IA: Braley(D) vs.Ernst(R) vs.Butzier(L) vs.
ID: Risch(R) vs.Mitchell(D)
IL: Durbin(D) vs.Oberweis(R) vs.Hansen(L) vs.
KS: Roberts(R) vs.Orman(I) vs.Batson(L) vs.
KY: McConnell(R) vs.
LA: Landrieu(D) vs.Cassidy(R) vs.Maness(R)
MA: Markey(D) vs.Herr(R) vs.Skarin(I) vs.
ME: Collins(R) vs.D`Amboise(R) vs.Bellows(D)
MN: Franken(D) vs.McFadden(R) vs.Johnson(L) vs.
MS: Cochran(R) vs.Childers(D) vs.
NC: Hagan(D) vs.Tillis(R) vs.Haugh(L)
NE: Sasse(R) vs.Domina(D) vs.Haugh(L) vs.
NH: Shaheen(D) vs.Brown(R) vs.Smith(R) vs.Rubens(R) vs.Testerman(R) vs.Martin(R)
NJ: Booker(D) vs.Bell(R) vs.
NM: Udall(D) vs.Weh(R) vs.Clements(R)
OK-2: Lankford(R) vs.Johnson(D) vs.
OK-6: Inhofe(R) vs.Silverstein(D)
OR: Merkley(D) vs.Wehby(R) vs.
RI: Reed(D) vs.Zaccaria(R)
SC-2: Scott(R) vs.Dickerson(D) vs.
SC-6: Graham(R) vs.Hutto(D) vs.Ravenel(I) vs.
SD: Rounds(R) vs.Weiland(D) vs.Pressler(I) vs.Howie(I)
TN: Alexander(R) vs.Ball(D) vs.
TX: Cornyn(R) vs.Alameel(D) vs.Roland(L) vs.Sanchez(G) vs.
VA: Warner(D) vs.Gillespie(R) vs.Sarvis(L)
WV: Capito(R) vs.Tennant(D) vs.Buckley(L) vs.Lawhorn(I) vs.
WY: Enzi(R) vs.
Senate Votes (analysis)