Here's Booker's statement on the Weight Watchers program designed to help citizens of Newark lose weight:Newark Mayor Cory Booker launched a new initiative with Weight Watchers to combat obesity in his city.
The program–already launched in Austin, Boston and Pittsburgh–offers discounted Weight Watchers memberships to more than 3,100 City of Newark employees. They get the first month free and can attend meetings at a discounted rate for up to one year. At 26 percent, Newark has a higher obesity rate than the rest of the state (24 percent). Nationwide one third of Americans are obese, while two thirds are overweight.
Booker isn’t new to the issue. He is constantly tweeting about his vegetarian diet, as well as his own efforts to exercise and lose weight, and is a vice -chair on the First Lady’s Partnership for a Healthy America initiative. He even launched a Let’s Move! Newark in 2010 to try and cut down on childhood obesity rates. Last year he also embarked on a highly publicized food stamp challenge, eating only what he could buy on a food stamp budget for a week, to bring attention to the necessity of social programs like food stamps. In Newark, he has tried to make sure that grocery stores in low income areas stock healthy food, trying to eliminate “food deserts.” - ABC News, 2/7/13
The Booker/Weight Watchers announcement came out in the same week where New Jersey Governor (R. NJ) poked fun of his weight on The Late Show with David Letterman. Though Booker is a health nut, he also has a real sweet tooth:“Large cities like Newark and their leaders have an important role to play in turning back the rising tide of obesity in this country,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker in a press release . “We have an example to set – an example of a thriving community that promotes healthy lifestyles. As Mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, I am very conscious of the need to control rising health care costs and to have a healthy, productive workforce. Working with Weight Watchers offers City of Newark employees the support to make their personal health goals a reality.” - Politico, 2/7/13
Booker joked about his recent conversation with Ben & Jerry's but is also serious about battling obesity in Newark:Booker harbors a dream of having a Ben & Jerry's flavor named after him.
Booker reportedly likes to unwind with a pint of their ice cream after a hard day's work like many Americans. But the dog-saving mayor has set his sights on the side of the carton like an athlete with Wheaties' box aspirations.
"The guy is Super Mayor saving people, animals and citizens all in a single bound, so who wouldn't want him to be a fan of our ice cream?" Sean Greenwood, Ben & Jerry's PR director, told the Daily News."However, if we had to put a flavor together for the Mayor as he's an Oxford-Yale guy, perhaps Smart Cookie? Or dealing with the many levels of society we could do Mayor's 7-Layer Cake?" Greenwood said.
Greenwood kept bouncing around Booker flavor ideas, hinting that the well-liked mayor might get his wish one day. - New York Daily News, 2/5/13
Glad to see Booker looking out for the health of his constituents and his ardent dedication to combat the obesity epidemic in this country. Not sure what will happen in the Senate primary between him and incumbent Frank Lautenberg (D) but either way, New Jersey Democrats are going to have a strong candidate for the 2014. This race could become more entertaining is Garden State Republicans nominate this guy:"I was hanging out with those guys last night — Ben and Jerry," Booker joked at the event in the city hall rotunda, eliciting laughter from the standing room-only crowd.
On a more serious note, Booker said he hopes the Weight Watchers program will empower city workers to live healthier lives, creating a ripple effect in Newark where large parts of the urban population struggle with obesity, high cholesterol and other serious heath issues.
Booker has addressed the city's problem of childhood obesity in the past. In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama named Booker vice-chair in her Partnership for a Healthy America, which the mayor mentioned at today's event. - The Star-Ledger, 2/7/13
Stay tuned.TRENTON — Geraldo Rivera created his own buzz last week by speaking openly on radio and television about running as a Republican for U.S. Senate in New Jersey in 2014.
But Tuesday night, he took to Facebook to make something clear: Nothing's official yet.
The post appears to be a reaction to the Federal Communications Commission's "equal-time rule," which says a station that sells or gives one minute to one candidate must give their opponents the same amount of time to the same potential audience. - The Star-Ledger, 2/7/13