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04/19/2007


Cory Booker To Run For U.S. Senate: Video

Corybooker
Newark mayor Cory Booker had been expected to run for U.S. Senate in 2014 but his plans suddenly changed after Senator Frank R. Lautenberg's death last week. With a special election to fill that now vacant seat set to take place in October, Booker formally threw his hat into the race yesterday.

The New York Times reports on Booker's speech during his announcement:

“We have changed a city, despite the cynicism of so many who believed that real change here in Newark was impossible,” Mr. Booker said. “This is the truth of Newark, and I tell you right now that there is another city in America that needs some change. Too many have come to believe that Washington, D.C., is a place where nothing can get done, where people don’t work together, don’t compromise, don’t make progress. People don’t believe that Washington is a place that is sticking up for American families. This has to end.”

Watch video of Booker's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Cory Booker To Run For U.S. Senate: Video" »


Watch Cory Booker Announce Potential 2014 Senate Race: VIDEO

Corybooker

Earlier it was simply unnamed sources talking about how Newark Mayor Cory Booker was planning to run for U.S. Senate in 2014.

Now Booker's doing the talking - in a video AFTER THE JUMP, the Democrat explains that while he loves Newark and his job, there's more work to be done in the Garden State and the nation, so he's "considering" a 2014 Senate race. We know what that means...

Watch Booker explain himself AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Watch Cory Booker Announce Potential 2014 Senate Race: VIDEO" »


Democrats Add Marriage Equality To Party Platform

250px-Claudia_J_KennedyThe Democratic National Committee platform group met in Detroit yesterday to hammer out their party's platform -- a 50-page document that'll be formally endorsed next month at the Democratic National Convention.

In a meeting led by Newark mayor Cory Booker and Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, and attended by approximately 120 party leaders from across the country (and, in a few cases, from beyond), Democrats created a platform that called for, among other things, renewed commitments to fossil fuel efficiency and continued efforts to combat nuclear proliferation. Nothing much controversial made the platform -- as Detroit News notes, the platform doesn't endorse The DREAM Act, and it "sidesteps" arguments about the role of Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But the platform does call for the end of DOMA, for marriage equality, and for the word "family," when it appears in immigration reform, to refer to all kinds of families.

From the Washington Blade:

Cory-Booker-300x232Language on marriage equality — which is being included in the Democratic Party platform for the first time — was accepted without amendment and without significant discussion.

Among the committee members who delivered remarks was Scott Dibble, a gay state senator from Minnesota, who said he’s “extremely pleased” with the marriage equality plank, saying the language “should be taken as an affirmation on something that we all value and cherish, and that is what marriage means and that marriage really matters.”

Said Mayor Booker:

We must stand as Democrats. We must stand for the middle class. We must stand for equality and inclusion and whether you are a single mother here in Detroit, whether you or a gay man in San Francisco, whether you are a blue collar worker in Newark, New Jersey, this is the party for you.


Black Churches In NJ Inch Towards Tolerance

RevReginaldJacksonAn interesting survey of the state of New Jersey's black churches vis a vis LGBT rights appeared today in The Star/Ledger. Apparently, black churches want it known: LGBTs are welcome. Even in "leadership positions." Kind of.

From the lede:

“You have gay people in leadership positions already, just not openly,” said the Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, pastor of St. Matthew AME Church in Orange and executive director of the 600-member Black Ministers’ Council of New Jersey.

A random sampling of black ministers in the Newark area found many are aware of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgendered men and women in their congregations, singing in the choir or working in a church office. And they are willing to welcome them with open arms. The Rev. Ronald Slaughter of St. James AME in Newark estimates 60 to 70 percent of all churches have homosexuals in their congregations. “They (the congregations) may not know it, but they can’t be judge or jury at the door,” he said.

The Star-Ledge reports a "generational divide" among black churchgoers around Newark, similar to that in religious communities around the country, which finds younger congregants more accepting of LGBT rights than their elders. Surprisingly, many members of the clergy seem to welcome the shift:

The Rev. M. William Howard of Bethany Baptist in Newark said he speaks against homophobia from the pulpit, but “my ministry is not defined by advocacy of gay people.” He doesn’t believe the church should be called upon to overtly endorse or criticize topics such as gay marriage. “Church — not just the black church — is still wrestling with how it addresses sexuality.”

Jackson believes black churches are moving toward more tolerance. “I think anyone who is gay or lesbian or whatever should be welcome in all of our churches. That shouldn’t be a question.” He added that most major black denominations are probably opposed to gay marriage, but they wouldn’t eject church members who are in civil unions. “I don’t see the church’s stand on gay marriage changing in my lifetime,” he said.

Even those ministers who forthrightly condemn marriage equality want LGBTs in the pews, which makes good business sense:

The Rev. Jethro James of Paradise Baptist in Newark is adamant in his disapproval of gay marriage. “Marriage is between a man and a woman, and that can’t be legislated,” he said. James, who is also president of the Newark North Jersey Committee of Black Churchmen, said that for gay advocates to insist on changing the church is to persecute the church for its beliefs. James said there are several gay people and one transgendered person in his congregation. “They come to worship. And ask forgiveness. Sinners welcome. Come join us.”


Plane Carrying 230 Passengers Lands on Belly After Wheels Fail: VIDEO

Lot

A LOT Polish Airlines Boeing 767 from Newark to Warsaw carrying 230 passengers was forced to make a wheels-up emergency landing earlier today after its landing gear failed. The plane circled Warsaw for more than an hour burning off fuel.

Thankfully, someone experienced was at the helm: "The pilot, identified as Tadeusz Wrona, had 20 years of flight experience on Boeings in addition to his background as a flight planner." Well done.

Watch the landing, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Plane Carrying 230 Passengers Lands on Belly After Wheels Fail: VIDEO" »


Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker is an American for Marriage Equality: VIDEO

Booker

HRC has gone national with its video campaign featuring prominent celebrities, politicians, and athletes speaking out in support of marriage equality. The video series was initiated during New York's successful effort to gain marriage equality and has recently begun in Maryland.

This is the first in the "Americans for Marriage Equality" campaign and features Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker is an American for Marriage Equality: VIDEO" »


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