I also had the pleasure of sitting in on a meeting with NJ Gov. Christie yesterday. He clearly cares passionately about fixing our schools, especially in Newark, where he was born to immigrant parents and lived until he was 5, when his family moved after the 1967 riots. He also worked in Newark when he was U.S. Attorney for seven years from 2002-08. He spoke after the Newark premiere of Waiting for Superman on Saturday and here's an email from a friend about it (my emphasis added):
Check out Gov. Christie's speech (too quiet unless you wear headphones): www.youtube.com/watch?v=72a-9-Wxwfc. Here's my transcript of the highlights:
This is the fight. And sometimes the fight will be angry, and sometimes the fight will be loud… but for those of you who do not have the stomach for that fight, I would ask you to go home today, and ask yourselves why. Because if you are not moved by what you just saw, and the plight of those children and their families, then I wonder why you're here today. All I know is this: I would not be standing here today if it wasn't for the fact that my parents could send me to public schools that would give me the best possible public education… You already hear the naysayers. You already hear the people threatening lawsuits, the people speaking out against a true act of generosity, inspired by a hope to make life better for the children of this city.
So I have a message. I have a message for the politicians who've decided that their careers are more important than our children: I'm coming.
I have a message for the lawyers who have made a lifetime out of suing us into failure. I'm coming.
I have message, I have a message much more importantly, for the parents of the city of Newark who want the very best for their children, a message for the children of the city of Newark, who want hope that tomorrow will be better than today, and as that woman put so appropriately, that they just don't want a job, they want a career, I have a message for them too, and it's much better than the messages I just gave to those other folks. It's not, 'I'm coming.' I'm praying that it's 'we're coming.' We're coming. We're coming… [applause]
The clapping part is easy. It is now time to engage the fight…. I will not accept failure as an option, and I would rather lose the election, lose my career, than have to look in the mirror and say that I decided that my career was more important than the future lives of the children in the city where I was born.
There's more, too, but these are some of the best lines.
Here's the press conference afterward: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/9817734
Funny Christie comments at approximately:
- Christie on the lawyers who are suing: 7:20
- Booker talking about the community: 12:00
(Speaking of Waiting for Superman, I provided the filmmakers with some of the charts in the movie so I'm very proud to be in the credits at the very end. It's getting rave reviews from critics – overall, 16 critics give it an 85 out of 100 average at Metacritic: www.metacritic.com/movie/waiting-for-superman)