Newark Mayor Cory Booker Pledges On Twitter To Live Only On Food Stamps For A Week
By Eli Epstein | November 21, 2012 8:57 AM EST
Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker isn't your typical mayor.
Rather than sit behind a desk and prattle with city commissioners, the Newark mayor has a hands-on approach to city governance. To Booker, Newark's problems are his own troubles.
Besides drastically decreasing Newark's violent crime rate and improving its schools, Booker has personally showed up at a constituent's house to shovel snow, in addition to fixing a city streetlight. He also seemed part superhero when pulled a woman from a burning house.
One of Booker's trademarks is using Twitter for one-on-one interactions with his consituents. On Sunday, in addition to personally contacting a transgender couple on Twitter to encourage them to move to Newark, Booker pledged to live only on food stamps for a week to show Americans how hard it is for low-income families to feed themselves.
New York magazine reports that after Booker tweeted about his preference to invest in “schools and nutrition” instead of expensive “back-end” programs like prisons and police, a self-described Army wife and veteran named “TwitWit” replied to him with a message saying that nutrition isn't the government's responsibility.
Booker, put off by the comment, shot back, “We have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready 2 learn.”
Undeterred, TwitWit asked Booker if there really are American families who receive food stamps and yet are still too poor to afford breakfast.
Booker, angered, issued a challenge to TwitWit.
“Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?” Booker tweeted.
TwitWit responded affirmatively and the two are working on an agreement to hold the challenge in December, with the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut refereeing. New York reports that both parties are barred from accepting any free food, even from friends or family.
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