50 For The Future
A New Generation Of Leaders
Originally appeared in Time Magazine on December 5, 1994
Bret Schundler, 35 Mayor of Jersey City
He is the last person one would expect to see running Jersey City. More than half the population is nonwhite, over 14% of the city's residents are on welfare, and Democrats have controlled City Hall since 1917. Bret Schundler is white, prosperous (he once sold bonds on Wall Street) and a darling of the Republican Party. What makes him stand out in Jersey City, however, is his accomplishments since being elected in 1992. In a mayor's office so corrupt that one of his predecessors' desks was actually rigged to drop bribes into visitors' laps, Schundler's fiscal proposals present a national model for urban reform -- while casting the mayor as a potential candidate for national office. Schundler preaches a gospel of lower taxes, less government and "voucherizing" city services so that people decide for themselves who sweeps their streets and educates their kids. Says he: "We want those directly affected by services to be in charge of hiring them."