Meet Cory Booker's Right-Hand Woman

Meet Cory Booker's Right-Hand Woman

Nearly six years ago, Sharon Macklin uprooted her life to lead Newark Mayor Cory Booker's office

Brooke Obie

by Brooke Obie, August 13, 2013

Meet Cory Booker's Right-Hand Woman

Sharon Macklin

done that day and he gives me 5 things he needs me to do. At the office, I meet with my staff we go through his schedule. We typically have a day that's completely task oriented [not so much mapped out by the hour]. Around 10 a.m., there's a recap from the day before. I map out his day for him. Map out security detail. I coordinate with his body person, if he has one that day. Once he’s off and running or he’s not in the office, I deal with everything from the office: invitations, visitation requests, both personal and citywide, and coordinate with his political office because I control his schedule. That’s a pretty big part of my day. Then I update him on what's pressing. What does he need to sign? What happened in the capitol meeting?

By 3 or 4:00, I give him an update on what’s happening in the city. We have a check-in usually by phone unless he’s in the office. When I’m on my way out, I send him another message that says, “I’m leaving the office,” and at 9:00 p.m., we have another touch-base call to see how the schedule is looking for the next morning and it starts all over again. It’s pretty intense.

EBONY: Do you get angry with him when he’s running into burning buildings or patrolling the streets with the cops?

SM: Oh my gosh. We're constantly at battle. That's why I say we're like brother and sister. The night [he ran into a burning building and saved a woman], I was at an event in New York and I get the phone call, I come back to Newark. I get there in the emergency room and he has the oxygen mask on and I just want to take the mask off and I’m like, “What were you thinking?” And he goes, “I know, I know.”  That’s why I tell him, “You're a gift to the world. You have to be safe.” Most of the time he wins the arguments, but sometimes my logic takes over.

­­­EBONY: If Mayor Booker wins his bid for U.S. Senate, where do you fit into that?

SM: If he does, then we can help more people and I'm really happy to be a part of that. You can't have a better boss. I've seen him help so many people in Newark and be this generous person who really supports people in what they want to do. I cannot imagine not having that. Working for him has been a treat. 

New Jersey’s special primary election for U.S. Senate takes place today.

Brooke Obie is a contributing editor for and writes the award-winning blog Follow her on Twitter @BrookeObie.

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