Newark Mayor Cory Booker has been named one of the most influential people in the world, by TIME magazine in an upcoming May issue of the prestigious weekly newsmagazine.
Booker, who turned 42 on Wednesday, was honored by the magazine for his outstanding leadership, business and community activism. He has sat at the helm of New Jersey’s largest and most ethnically diverse city since 2006. “I feel incredibly humbled and honored to be recognized by TIME magazine,” Booker said in a statement to the media late last week. He added, “This award is a testament to the hard work, perseverance and leadership of the people of Newark—we are writing one of the greatest urban stories.”
However, the international recognition comes at a tenuous and rocky time for Booker and his administration, as his popularity in and around the Brick City has plummeted in recent months. For example, the highly publicized layoffs of dozens of police officers, City Hall personnel and staff late last year and earlier this year have put Booker at odds with hundreds of Newarkers. Add to the mix the lingering effects of a sour economy, budget woes and a continued skittishness from potential business owners to set up shop in Newark. The Booker Administration has endured some major challenges in recent years. However, the swath of bad news has been tempered by some positive recent events including the announcement last week that electronics giant Panasonic would be relocating its national headquarters to the Brick City, bringing with it 250 new jobs and an economic windfall for the metro area. Officials from the magazine highlighted the influence and pervasive power of Booker and others on the list. “The TIME 100 is not a list of the most powerful or smartest people in the world. It’s a list of the most influential people in the world,” said Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME. “These are people who are using their ideas and visions to transform the world.” The celebratory issue of the magazine hits newsstands on May 2.