The Savior of Newark?

A young, upstart councilman is living on the streets

Cory Booker lives in a penthouse apartment with a picture-postcard view of the Manhattan skyline. It's just what you would expect from a 31-year-old Stanford graduate, Rhodes scholar and Yale-trained lawyer who wears tweed pants. Except that when Booker goes home, he waits at least 10 minutes for the elevator. And when it comes, he crowds on with ex-cons, tiny children and old ladies, all of whom know his name. A uniformed guard pushes the buttons.

Booker lives in Brick Towers, one of the largest low-income housing complexes in Newark, N.J. When he graduated from law school in 1997, instead of...

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