The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University welcomes Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory A. Booker on Thursday, October 8, 2009 for a one-hour conversation about justice in urban environments, with Ellen Schall, dean of NYU Wagner.
Free and open to the public, the discussion begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. at the Wagner school, located in the historic Puck Building, 2nd Floor, 295 Lafayette Street (@Houston), New York, N.Y., and will be followed by a brief reception.
At his inauguration in June, 2006, Mayor Booker confronted a municipality with deep-seated and daunting problems. The once-thriving industrial city had lost more than half its population in the previous four decades. More than 600 of its homes were in foreclosure. The city’s public schools were in state receivership. The previous administration of Sharpe James, although it had succeeding in helping to attract a new sports arena and arts center, did not reduce a persistently high crime rate or address waves of returning ex-offenders, including those who had “maxed out” their mandatory sentences or were on parole or probation.
Today, Newark, N.J., leads the nation in reductions in shootings and murder, with a more than 40 percent reduction in both categories. In the first quarter of 2007, Newark recorded its longest period without a homicide since the 1960s, and in 2008, the city experienced its lowest murder rate since 1969. Since September, 2008, the city’s Office of Reentry has served hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals, placing many in jobs, mentoring opportunities, and other programs at community-based organizations.
In his conversation at NYU Wagner, the mayor will discuss how he leveraged resources in one of the nation’s most economically challenged cities to promote justice.
Joining him will be Ellen Schall, who, in addition to serving as the dean of NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, is the school’s Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy and Management. Dean Schall began her career as a Legal Aid attorney and in 1983 was appointed by then-New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch as commissioner for the New York City Juvenile Justice. While at the Department of Juvenile Justice, she built a highly successful, effective team of existing and new staff members, transforming a troubled agency into one that Harvard University and the Ford Foundation selected to win their prestigious Innovations Award. The 1989 PBS documentary “Excellence in the Public Sector with Tom Peters” highlights her work to restructure the American model for juvenile justice. She is currently a member of the New York State Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice, a panel of local and national experts appointed by Governor David A Paterson in September, 2008, to develop a strategic blueprint to address alternatives to incarceration and facilitate community re-entry.
Entitled “Leveraging Resources to Promote Justice in Urban Environments,” this Oct. 8 event is sponsored by the Students for Criminal Justice Reform, a Wagner student group. To RSVP, please visit http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/urban-10-08-2009
About NYU Wagner
Established in 1938, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is a path-breaking leadership school in New York City and at New York University, a global network university. NYU Wagner offers advanced programs leading to the professional degrees of Master of Public Administration, Master of Urban Planning, Executive MPA, and Doctor of Philosophy.