Utica, NY (WIBX) - Last April, Time Magazine called him one of America's most influential people of 2011 and last night, Cory Booker brought that influence to Utica's Stanley Theater. 

Sharing personal insights, problem solving techniques and stories of empowerment with more than 1,000 community-minded individuals, the Newark, New Jersey Mayor spent much of his time on-stage reminding those in attendance how change happens - one small step at a time.

"Real change is not made in a moment. It is not made by a big speech or a 10-day hunger strike, real change is made through consistent, persistent, determined acts of kindness, decency and love", Booker told the crowd, referring back to his own hunger strike in 1999.

The then-City Councilman decided to camp out in a tent, refusing to eat until he and his neighbors figured out how to best combat the drug-dealers and murderers that had taken to their streets.  As mayor, Booker believes his approach is working, telling those in attendance that violent crime in his city has dropped significantly in his time as Newark's Mayor.

Booker was invited to speak by The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc.