The blizzard that's paralyzed travel from Philadelphia to Maine this week has created a media and public relations nightmare for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose response to the storm has sparked media criticism — some of it led by Keith Olbermann, who took to the streets of Manhattan on Monday to document the impassable roads and abandoned cars littering the city:
Huge swaths of Brooklyn, Queens, SI, Bronx still unplowed. Manhattan up to about a C- Mayor needs to apologize, not boast
The blizzard has also brought into stark relief the work the mayor across the Hudson, Cory Booker, whose use of Twitter (and his million-plus followers) to communicate with the city's residents is, quite frankly, awe inspiring.
Here are some of Booker's tweets from the last couple days. Note how he's not shy about calling people — even citizens — onto the carpet:
If you don't have to go out of the house, the best strategy for today is to stay in and off the roads.
Please DM me your phone number RT @rookie2veteran I'm stuck on bergen & grumman ave
I will address both issues RT @SWEETNGOLD347: Irving Ave has not been plowed and these people at Newark sanitation are rude over the phone.
I put it on our list. We will get there in a while DM if u need more help RT @lamaro: Could use your help too. N 10th St hasn't been touched.
Just freed a med transport van here at Cottage Place in Central Ward. Private contractor needs 2 be arrested 4 leaving these folks stranded.
Wow u shud b ashamed of yourself. U tweet vulgarities & then I come out here to help & its ur mom & sis digging. Where r u? @rookie2veteran
Sidewalks must be done by property owners RT @DerrickMacken at 440 Washington Street they did not do the sidewalk.
Sending team immediately back there 2 ensure hospital is clear RT @Babihead: still has yet to clean my street & I live across from hospital!
I just [dug] out ur car. All the best RT @MsXmasBaby: Is there NE city volunteers 2 dig some1 out? I'm going 2 have medical procedure done.
Thanks 4 asking, back killing me: Breakfast: Advil and diet coke RT @itsmywayRob Hows ur back from lifting car last night? I hope u're OK.
A couple more things to note here: This isn't Booker's first rodeo. The mayor has been using Twitter to communicate with constituents longer than I've been on it — and unlike some other politicians (as evidenced by Booker's tweets above) it's a two-way street.
Also, as New York Times social media producer Liz Heron pointed out, someone in Bloomberg's office must've gotten the memo about Booker: