Meet the Candidates: Cory Booker

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker: Long before Booker arrived in the Senate, he was a Yale-educated activist living in the Brick Towers, a public housing project in Newark, NJ. Eventually city council member and then Mayor of Newark, Booker has a long history of first-hand experience fighting for the progressive racial and economic justice that his campaign centers on.

Criminal Justice: Booker seeks to end the War on Drugs, a deeply-flawed and failed campaign that has resulted in the mass incarceration of men of color. He’ll push for the decriminalization of marijuana and retroactively clear records for those incarcerated for non-violent drug crimes, target racial profiling in policing and sentencing, and invest in the communities most impacted by this decades-long damaging policy.

Jobs: The Federal Jobs Guarantee Act is Booker’s pilot program of a national job-guarantee policy, providing $15/hour wages with full benefits for any adult in need of a job. An expanded version could theoretically end recessions, as the policy is similar to what the government already does during times of need, but Booker’s program would proactively boost the economy consistently…and, it’s predicted to force major employers like Walmart to match wages and benefits.

Gun Reform: In addition to expanding background checks, assault rifle bans, and other gun violence reduction needs, Booker is promising something next level: gun licensing. Similar to driver licenses and currently required in nine states (including New Jersey), there’s a ton of research indicating a federal policy would drastically reduce lost lives. Ex: Connecticut saw a 40% decrease in gun homicides after implementing licensing.

Affordable Housing: Booker wants to give a tax credit to renters who pay over 30% of their income toward housing, which would bring 9.4 million out of poverty. He has also introduced Baby Bonds, savings accounts opened at birth and fed into monthly by the federal government, providing enough for a downpayment on a house by 18 years and adjusted higher for low-income children.

Critics say… his longtime advocacy for charter schools in Newark puts him in line with school-choice conservatives, and his ties to the pharmaceutical industry have long made him a lightning rod for progressive criticism, though he has sworn off corporate campaign cash, including from pharma, in his presidential bid.

…and finally: He’s a vegan! Not that he’s specifically campaigning on this, but it’s nice to think about a president whose daily lifestyle combats climate change and cruelty to animals.

For more info on Cory Booker’s issues, read up on his website!

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