I am a bit of a Cory Booker fangirl. Dubbed the “Internet’s favorite Mayor” by Mashable, Booker rose to Twitter fame by using the social network to help residents during the massive snowstorm. He achieved Super Mayor meme-status after running into a burning house and saving a woman’s life. (I also appreciate his approach to politics, but that’s a post for another day … and probably another blog.)
Watching from afar, I’m impressed with Mayor Booker’s use of social media to better serve his constituents. (In fact, when my local Mayor asked for tips to improve his Twitter use, I suggested he use @CoryBooker as an example.) My career began in political consulting, so I’ve seen firsthand how “regular” people rarely have one-on-one access to their elected leaders. But, Mayor Booker uses Twitter to break down those barriers by responding and interacting to his constituents 140 characters at a time. In most cities, millennials and others without “proper” political connections don’t have that kind of access to the mayor. Booker may be paving the way for the next generation of elected leaders to excel in today’s social world.
Continuing to bolster his tech-savvy street cred, Booker announced that he’s teaming up with some Silicon Valley heavyweights to launch #waywire. According to Fast Company,
“The site will give users the ability to publish their own videos, to create their own streams (their own “wires,” as it were), and publish those out to their social networks. (Think of it as a partially user-generated Funny or Die, but for news and social issues, with Pinterest/Twitter-style social dynamics.)”
With Twitter, Booker respects the fact that anyone can have a voice, and responds accordingly. With #waywire, he’s creating a new way for people to find their voices. I love this on so many levels and appreciate Mayor Booker’s commitment to incorporating technology to improve communication and remove barriers. On some level, isn’t that something we should all aspire to achieve?