Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker is a larger-than-life figure fighting for what he calls the “Most Important Civil Right of All–equal access to high quality education.”
On May 4th Booker gave an inspiring keynote address before the American Federation for Children, a national school choice organization. He said his strong support for school choice stems from the options he was afforded in his own life–options denied to millions of children because their ZIP codes determine what schools they must attend.
A Black Democrat himself, Booker made it clear he is disappointed that “his president” hasn’t yet joined him in supporting school choice for every family, not just for those he calls “the connected and elected.”
Not surprisingly, the left was upset that Booker would speak before a group partially funded by what it considers right-wingers. Booker slapped those concerns aside in his talk, making it clear that to him school choice is not a left/right or partisan issue, but one of equal rights.
But, the virtual heat Mayor Booker took from the left over his talk pales in comparison with the literal heat he took last month. Ignoring his security team’s advice, he ran into a burning building to save his neighbor trapped in the flames. He rescued the woman and then went to the hospital with second-degree burns and smoke inhalation.
Cory Booker is a genuine hero. Not just to the woman he saved from that fire, but to the millions of poor and minority children trapped in a life of disappointment and failed dreams by what, in effect, is our burning public school system. Booker is trying to rescue those children, too. Please join him by making full school choice a reality in your community.
Addendum: On May 8th Cory Booker spoke on television with another education hero I recently wrote about here. Booker said to Salman Khan: You’re an American Hero – Watch the video.
Steve Buckstein is Founder and Senior Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.