New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker marked Earth Day this week by touring the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Playa Del Rey with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The tour is part of the “Justice for All Tour” in which Booker speaks to communities about the injustices they face during his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Hyperion, the largest treatment plant west of the Mississippi River, receives 81 percent of the city’s total wastewater and recycles 27 percent of the water that flows into the facility. Garcetti’s office said in February when the mayor announced a goal of Los Angeles recycling 100 percent of its wastewater by 2035 as part of an effort to reduce the city’s dependence onimported water.
Roughly $2 billion in improvements to the facility are planned over the next 16 years to help meet the goal.
“So inspired after touring the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Los Angeles today with Mayor Eric Garcetti,” Booker wrote on his campaign’s Facebook page. “Not only will it recycle 100 percent of Los Angeles waste water by 2035, it will create jobs, lower our carbon footprint, and address the energy crisis too. This is what happens when leaders don’t sacrificeenvironmental needs for one-sided economic gain. This is a win-win for Angelenos and our country.”
Booker announced his candidacy Feb. 1 in a video sent to supporters.
After recounting how real estate agents would not sell his parents a home in a neighborhood with better schools because they were Black, Booker recalled how “a group of White lawyers who had watched the courage of civil rights activists were inspired to help Black families in their own community, including mine.”
“They changed the course of my entire life,” said Booker, who will turn 50 on Saturday.
Booker received a football scholarship to Stanford and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. He was also a Rhodes Scholar, receiving a master’s degree in U.S. history from The Queen’s College at Oxford University in England. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1997.
Following law school, Booker moved into a public housing project in Newark, N.J., “where he teamed up with the other tenants to take on a slumlord accused of intentional neglect of the property and won,” according to biographical information supplied by his campaign.
Booker was elected to the Municipal Council of Newark in 1998, defeating a four-term incumbent. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2002, but was elected in 2006, serving until 2013, when he won the special election to fill the Senate seat of the late Frank Lautenberg.