Twitter has played a major role in sharing information about Hurricane Sandy—sometimes for the worse, like when trolls blatantly spread misinformation. But then there are politicians like Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who prides himself on how much he uses it to communicate directly to his constituents about everything from a broken down car to flooding in the Ironbound. No problem is too small! Need a place to recharge your phone? Booker is on it. Do you really think Mayor Bloomberg would help with your Hot Pockets-related crisis?
I believe in you. I know this is a problem you can handle. RT @dat_nigga_reee a my nigga i m running out of hotpockets to put in the oven
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 1, 2012
This morning, Twitter user @my_serenelove tweeted at the mayor, "I live around the corner from u on homestead. Why don't we have our power back. Half of my block does." His response: "There is someone at my house now (Eric). I've got space u can relax in, charge devices & even a working DVD player. Come by."
But then, Booker must have thought, what if @my_serenelove's neighbor sees her come over, and think she wasn't invited? "Please let any1 on Homestead know they can come 2 my house & use the spare apt on 1st floor 2 relax, get warm, charge up etc," he tweeted next. Less than an hour ago, @my_serenelove confirmed where she was: "At @CoryBooker house. Charging everything up. Thx."
A lot of local politicians have really stepped up their game over the course of the last week: the Mitt Romney-adoring, stubbornly confrontational Gov. Chris Christie gave way to an Obama-loving, still confrontational Gov. Chris Christie. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's distant, unfriendly demeanor added a new facet: environmentally-passionate truth-teller. But since Monday, Booker has averaged more than 100 tweets a day, with 416 tweets (retweets included, as of 2 p.m. Thursday) since Sandy descended on the tri-state area. And nearly half of those—240—were responses to constituents' tweets. Bloomberg's people have been good about updating his feed with the latest public announcements—Booker is the one who has been driving around town checking on people's grandmothers.