Occupation: Mayor of Newark, N.J.
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Mayor Cory Booker isn't afraid to do some heavy lifting. When a snowstorm blanketed Newark, N.J., during the 2010 holiday season, he took matters into his own hands, shoveling streets with his staff and turning his popular Twitter feed into a help hotline. His efforts made the already popular mayor a social-media superhero. He has more than 1 million followers on Twitter, though Newark has just 280,000 residents. The attention was nothing new for Booker. Since his election in 2006 (when he won 72% of the vote), he has worked to create summer jobs for teens and help newly released felons find work. His efforts to revamp the city's police department often cited as his biggest achievement have lowered crime in Newark by more than 20%. Booker's next target? Newark's long-troubled school system. And for that seemingly intractable problem, he is getting some big-time help. After meeting Booker at a conference last July, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he thought, "This is the guy I want to invest in. This is a real person who can create this change." A few months later, Zuckerberg handed over $100 million to help the city's schools with the caveat that Booker head the initiative.
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