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Newark Mayor Cory Booker: "We Couldn’t Cut Enough."

Since he became mayor of Newark in 2006, Cory Booker has had to make cuts that previously seemed unthinkable.

Under his watch, the city closed libraries, imposed furloughs on employees and, late last year, laid off about 13 percent of its police force. While the police department says there are no fewer officers on patrol — thanks to reassignments within the force — a spike in crime in the two months since the layoffs has left some residents worried about safety.

Newark isn’t alone. After the worst financial crisis since the Depression, cities across the nation have seen revenue wither. As they struggle to get their books in order, cities are increasingly finding that they don’t have the money to fund even the most basic of services.

But while Booker faces a common problem, his strategies for dealing with it are unusual. He spoke with HuffPost about how he navigates the budgeting process, and why he has hope for the city of Newark.


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