Booker talks gun control, student debt at Fenway campaign event

Sen. Cory Booker outlined his policies on restricting guns, prioritizing health care, and tackling student debt at an event on Monday.

The presidential candidate held an event titled “Grassroots Happy Hour with Cory Booker in Boston” at Game On! a bar at Fenway Park. About a hundred Boston residents attended the event to hear the senator speak and take selfies with him. 

“Never in my life did I imagine that I, a Yankee fan, would be standing right next to Fenway Park campaigning,” the New Jersey senator said.

The latest October national poll from the Emerson Polling Society shows Booker in 8th place, with 3 percent support from surveyed voters. He falls behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang.

Booker opened the event by focusing on what it would take to win the 2020 presidential election and the cultural shift that must take place to beat President Donald Trump. 

“We have big things to do—we have to mobilize this whole planet to deal with the perils of climate change,” he said. “I’m running in this election not just to beat Donald Trump—I’m running in this election to mobilize bigger energy, bigger enthusiasm, bigger activism and engagement. Heck, politically I don’t just want to beat Donald Trump, but we’ve got to get rid of Mitch McConnell too.”

Booker also shared how he is excited to put forward policy on gun violence and licensing.

“The majority of the homicide victims in our country are young black men. It doesn’t make the news, doesn’t make the national consciousness,” he said.

The senator also spoke on the importance of social services in America, focusing on the quality of water in communities.

“I live in a community where people can’t trust the water coming out of their tap,” Booker said. “There are three thousand communities in America where children have more than twice the blood lead level that Flint, Michigan has.”

Northeastern freshman Ryan Wallace said he plans to vote for Booker in the coming election. Rachel Lo / Beacon Staff.

One of Booker’s main policy points is to simplify how college students apply for federal aid and establishing a path to debt-free college

“The FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid] forms are ridiculous, long, complicated, and a lot of people can’t get that information in a timely manner because you have to be able to get tax records and all of that,” Booker said in a press gaggle after the event ended. “You should be able to make a sizable postcard, making it a lot easier to apply for financial aid. We’ve shown that by doing that, you actually encourage a lot more people to go to college, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

New York native and Northeastern freshman Ryan Wallace said that Booker inspires him and that he plans to vote for him.

“[Booker] is really my role model,” Wallace said in an interview with The Beacon. “I think he’s super passionate about the things he works on, like the gun bill he made. I think he is what our nation needs right now.” 

Related
Did you work on The Beacon during your time at Emerson? Join The Beacon Alumni Association!