Perhaps he’s a Transformer? Newark mayor, Cory Booker, has been continuously applauded for his hands on approach to growing one of the toughest cities on the East coast into a thriving community once more. While Governor Christie was escorting President Obama through the wreckage Hurricane Sandy left along the shores and Boardwalk, Booker was organizing rescue efforts in the mean streets of Newark via Twitter. What’s more? The SuperMayor opened his home to city residents who lost power and needed to charge up their devices to communicate with their loved ones, provided hot meals for them and passed out glimmers of hope to weary Sandy survivors.
Now that the storm has passed, Booker’s doing it for the people AGAIN. This time, however, he’s going on an experimental food stamp budget after he accepted a challenge … once again, via Twitter.
Booker published a tweet attempting to bring awareness to the importance of nutrition for school age children when a naysayer disputed his statement. The Twitter user whose handle is “TwitWit,” ironically, went on to suggest that no one is “too poor” to feed their children a banana and a bowl of cereal every morning.
Booker recanted, “Let’s 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?”
“TwitWit” agreed, “Sure, Mayor, I’m game.”
“Great. Let’s do this,” Booker wrote. “I hope you live in New Jersey. Let’s film it and see how we do.”
Booker, a prolific Twitter user who has 1.2 million followers, said Tuesday evening he is committed to living on the equivalent of food stamps, but could not say how he will approximate the benefits, execute the idea or how long it will last.
The average monthly food stamp benefit was $133.26 per person in New Jersey in fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We’re going to set up the rules,” Booker told reporters. “And that’s what we’re researching right now. This will not be a gimmick or a stunt.”
Booker said he wants the challenge to be a chance “for us to grow in compassion and understanding” and dispel stereotypes.
In an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday night TwitWit said she is a 39-year-old married mother of two from North Carolina. She spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because she said she has received threats since her Twitter discussion about food stamps.
She said she is willing to participate in the challenge but wants to know the ground rules before committing. She has not heard from Booker’s office and is upset she has not been included in the research process.
“To hear he’s planning and setting things up, it makes me feel like I’m a little bit of a prop in the game,” she said.
Well, “TwitWit”, did you or did you not accept the challenge? You said you were game, now PLAY or hit the bench! Don’t ask for a rulebook and cry conspiracy now that you’ve been allowed an avenue to walk that walk. Hush.