I was really happy to visit with my friend Newark Mayor Cory Booker last week in his home city of Newark, New Jersey. My team and I briefed Mayor Booker, along with his deputy chief of staff Anthony Santiago, on our growing body of work in the state and city, tied to Hurricane Sandy response and recovery, being led by HOPE Coalition America and supported by both the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the New Jersey Relief Fund.
Mayor Booker has a long and consistent history of not only community service, but empowering under-served communities, mostly right there in Newark, NJ. In fact, other than L.A. County Board of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, I cannot think of many other elected officials who are as knowledgeable of community economic empowerment and financial inclusion issues, from the bottom up, as my friend Mayor Booker. The nonprofit organization he founded, Newark Now, operates empowerment locations that focus on everything from bundling benefits payments for residents, to encouraging residents to take up the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This is 'silver rights' in action.
Cory Booker is a good man, and deserves the success he continues to enjoy. We talked extensively about and around how Operation HOPE can help lift up his growing vision, for both the city and the state (Mayor Booker, in addition to running the city, is also running for U.S. Senator for his state, and it looks like he just may win).
He sees a good deal of our work as best practices and want to see them rooted in New Jersey. I agree. He has our commitment. Let's go.
John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, author, advisor, and one of the nation's most recognized empowerment leader. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, The Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S.