Had dinner with a friend last night who told me about Newark Mayor Cory Booker shoveling snow, delivering diapers and saving babies during the recent blizzard. Had to see for myself, so I’ve gone back through his twitter feed (@CoryBooker) from the past three days.
Lots of calls to stay in and stay off the roads. Then: “Responding to a distress call – woman in labor. EMS on the way but I have a feeling my team will beat them there” followed by “Expecting mother is in a lot of pain but OK. We are waiting on EMS. She is a courageous young woman.”
Two tweets later, Cory’s response to a constituent who said his/her sis couldn’t get out to buy diapers “I’m delivering the diapers now. We will get her street soon.”
Of course, not all residents were as polite: “wow u shud be ashamed of yourself. U tweet vulgarities & then I come out here to help & its ur mom & sis digging. Where r u?” Probably inside watching his mother and sister do the work, but he must have been called out, because Cory’s next tweet was “thank u 4 coming to talk to me face 2 face.”
Throughout the storm, people tweeted the Mayor for help from requests for plows on their streets to addresses of elderly/disabled neighbors who needed assistance. Twitter is now the 21st century bat signal. And like the great Caped Crusader, Cory Booker responded. Even after he hurt his back, he was up and out the next morning after a breakfast of diet coke and Advil. He and crews of “heroic” and “great” volunteers freed a NJ transit bus, a medical transport van en route to a dialysis patient, and even a plow truck. Throughout, he maintained his sense of humor: his response to the tweet “just seen @CoryBooker bald head on South Orange ave pushn [sic] cars ! lmao” was “and u didn’t stop and help me?”
Some residents did help, and some even documented the Mayor in action. A non-resident may have encapsulated the best take-away message: “I wish Cory was mayor of Jersey City. Maybe a plow would have been sent out 2day.” His diplomatic response “All cites r havin a challenge with this storm.” True. But unfortunately not all cities have Cory Booker.