pop culture, food, politics, life.
If you know me, you’ll know several things about me
This post is about number 3. There will be a time and a place to address the first two points, eventually. But this is about Cory Booker.
Quick background on Cory Booker: Stanford grad, Democrat, Mayor of Newark, running for Senator of New Jersey vegetarian, social media guru, big on public service.
As a fellow black vegetarian New Jerseyan Democrat who loves community engagement and equality, Cory Booker is my inspiration.
I met Cory Booker a few days ago in Camden County in Southern New Jersey. His first stop was at the Camden County Democratic Headquarters. He told the crowd, “We are here because we are a people of vision” as he discussed the importance of community and seeing yourself in the people you serve. While he was there to focus on his Senate campaign, I appreciated his call for civic engagement and service.
Oh and then afterwards, I met Cory Booker.
I would like to tell all of you about how composed I was, how I eloquently asked him all the important questions, and went about my day.
That would be a lie.
He was taking pictures after he spoke and for a few moments, he shook my hand, I told him my name and thanked him for what he was doing and he smiled at me warmly and said, “It’s nice to meet you Samantha White.” And I turned about fifty shades of whatever color black girls blush.
I love Cory Booker not just because he is ridiculously attractive and charming and saves small animals and adults. I love Cory Booker because public service is very near and dear to my heart. I am an AmeriCorps alum who is preparing to serve a second term, starting graduate school to focus on public service involving youth, and believe strongly in the beauty of community. I’ve seen his tweets to his constituents in need of help, heard about how he saved a woman from a burning building, and how residents stayed in his home during Hurricane Sandy. People have criticized him because of the publicity surrounding his actions. I’m glad you can see his responses on Twitter telling people he’s sending help for them. I’m glad that you can see pictures of him saving a dog in the snow. I want people to see visual proof that good things can happen, that people do care, and sometimes good deeds need to be broadcast in order to show other people that they can make a difference in their community as well.
Cory Booker’s second stop was near Camden County High School, where he organized a night run. If you are not familiar with Camden, it has been consistently named one of the most dangerous cities in America and has one of the highest rates of poverty in the nation. After addressing the crowd and talking about the importance of a healthy lifestyle, Cory Booker and the rest of us danced the Cupid Shuffle as part of a warm up. As we all began to run, I regained my composure that I had previously lost at the Camden County Democratic Headquarters and talked to Cory Booker about our own favorite healthy lifestyle, vegetarianism. It was just me and Cory Booker running and talking. Glorious. I wanted to push myself during the run, so I sped up a bit. I became a bit emotional during my run. It was a combination of seeing little kids standing on the sidelines passing out water bottles, older ladies offering their encouragement, seeing a community come together, and meeting someone who I truly admired. I am interested in his Senate run and I look forward to supporting him during his campaign. Politically, I am impressed by him. On a public service level, I am in awe of him. I crossed the finish line and was hugged by a stranger. I saw Cory Booker lift up a younger kid on his shoulders. People of all fitness levels were smiling because they had finished the run. It was public service in action and it was beautiful.