Though former mayor Cory Booker maintains that he was successful in transforming Newark, "[a]lmost a third of the city's population lives below the federal poverty line. The local unemployment rate is nearly double the national average. And the murder rate remains about where it was before Booker was elected mayor."
"It’s every mayor’s job to be a cheerleader, but there is evidence to support Booker’s rosy outlook," says Wogan. "New grocery stores and hotels—the first in decades—have opened....The city reported $1 billion in real estate development in 2011 and 2012—about a third of all development across the state in sheer square footage. Another $2 billion is in the pipeline for the next two years. Bolstered by a growing immigrant population, Newark finally bucked its 60-year depopulation trend in the 2010 Census."
Wogan examines how Booker was able to attract investment and change perceptions through the force of his personality; leading many to question whether the gains will continue now that he's left town.