We already know that citizens are engaging in mobile politics, but it looks like politicians themselves are catching on as well. Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker has been actively using his Twitter account during the “Snowpocalypse” to communicate with trapped citizens in need.
Booker has used his account multiple times in the past weeks to find residents who require aid, and has personally dug out cars, front doors, and delivered necessary items (including food and diapers). He’s also been tweeting about the city’s cleanup efforts, keeping his followers up to date on the progress.
Booker’s personal approach is in stark contrast to New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Twitter, which is giving somewhat general advice. Booker has been responding to those who tweet him for help, and letting citizens know where he is in case someone in the area could use his assistance. One user announced on the site: “My street (UNITY AVENUE; off of 18th and Styvesant) has yet to be touched,” to which Booker promptly replied: “I’m sending someone ASAP.” Later, the mayor tweeted at user “Neako” that he was en route “to Treamont Ave now to help dig your mom out.” Neako later Twittered this grainy photo of Booker when he arrived to aid the family.
But don’t be too quick to judge other city officials who aren’t being quite as personal as Booker. Keep in mind Newark has a population of roughly 278,000 – whereas New York City is somewhere around 8.5 million. Booker himself declared (via Twitter, of course) that critics should lay off Bloomberg.
[Update: Article has been updated to fix a typo. Thanks to our reader Robert for the heads up.]