Breaking Bread: Cory Booker

Breaking Bread: Cory Booker

A Candid Conversation on Repairing Relationships and Healthy Food Access

In the heart of Newark, New Jersey, Democratic Senator Cory Booker and Alexander Heffner, host of PBS’s The Open Mind, come together at the Blueprint Cafe for a unique meeting of minds. As part of the Breaking Bread series, Heffner aims to bridge the deep divisions that plague America by engaging in candid conversations over a meal with influential political figures from both sides of the aisle. In this installment, Booker and Heffner discuss the importance of repairing relationships at the individual and neighborhood level, as well as Booker’s commitment to making healthy food accessible to all Americans.

1: Repairing Relationships: A Key to Addressing Divisions

Booker emphasizes the need for healing and rebuilding relationships as a means to address the nation’s broader divisions. He believes that focusing on the individual and community level is essential in fostering unity and understanding. Booker shares personal anecdotes and highlights the power of empathy and compromise in bridging divides.

2: The Importance of Healthy Food Access

One of Booker’s key priorities is ensuring that all Americans have access to healthy food. He discusses the impact of food deserts on low-income communities and the disproportionate health outcomes they face. Booker advocates for policies that promote urban farming, community gardens, and affordable fresh produce options to combat this issue.

3: Breaking Bread: A Path to Empathy and Compromise

Heffner’s Breaking Bread series aims to incentivize empathy and compromise among lawmakers. By sharing a meal and engaging in candid conversations, Heffner seeks to find common ground and foster a new consensus. The series provides a platform for politicians to move beyond partisan rhetoric and work towards meaningful solutions.

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4: The Blueprint Cafe: A Symbol of Community Resilience

The choice of the Blueprint Cafe as the setting for this conversation holds symbolic significance. Located in Newark, a city known for its struggles with poverty and crime, the cafe represents the resilience and determination of the local community. By highlighting small businesses like the Blueprint Cafe, Booker underscores the importance of supporting local economies and revitalizing disadvantaged neighborhoods.

5: The Power of Personal Stories

Throughout the conversation, both Booker and Heffner share personal stories that humanize the political discourse. By connecting on a personal level, they demonstrate the potential for empathy and understanding to transcend partisan lines. Booker’s upbringing in a low-income neighborhood and his experiences as a mayor inform his commitment to social justice and equality.


In a time of heightened political polarization, the Breaking Bread series serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the power of dialogue and understanding. Cory Booker’s conversation with Alexander Heffner at the Blueprint Cafe sheds light on the importance of repairing relationships and making healthy food accessible to all Americans. By finding common ground and fostering empathy, we can begin to bridge the deep divisions that plague our nation and work towards a more inclusive and united future.