Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker furthered his reputation as one of America’s most genuine politicians Thursday when he invited neighbors who didn’t have power over to his home for a hot meal and some movies.
Booker is very active on his Twitter account, and when a constituent with a power problem asked him for an update, the mayor said to stop over.
“I live around the corner from you on Homestead. Why don’t we have power back? Half of my block does,” tweeted @my_serenelove.
“There is someone at my house now (Eric). I’ve got space u can relax in, charge devices & even a working DVD player. Come by,” Booker responded.
The Huffington Post reported that more neighbors followed suit, welcoming the visit with the mayor and other people who live in the area. When more people started tweeting him, Booker extended further invitations and said he had just ordered food for 12.
The Booker home, located in the neighborhood of Upper Clinton Hill, has virtually had an open-door policy since then, according to Politicker.
Alice Bell, one guest of the mayor, told the news site that the power grid situation posed no challenge. “His house is like three stories, so he opened up the whole floor to us,” Bell said. “We had a kitchen, bathroom. We had the whole first floor.”
Bell also told other neighbors that the opportunity was there if they needed some companionship: “I went around knocking doors and said the mayor offered … Everybody, they were shocked, like, ‘Really? He said I could come?’ So we felt kind of special.”
The news has been especially refreshing in the wake of a bitter campaign season leading to the election on Tuesday. Booker was the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, the same honor U.S. President Barack Obama had in 2004, but the days surrounding Hurricane Sandy are no time for politics.
“He brought us DVDs, he’s bringing in food … he came by, brought us popcorn and then brought us trick-or-treat candy,” Bell continued. “He’s been back and forth checking on us and calling … You know, ‘There’s beds, get in the beds, bring your covers.’ Everybody wanted to camp out, that’s what we were doing, and, you know, we slept over last night.”
The neighborhood was expected to have power again by the weekend.
Booker and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have earned major political points for their ability to put partisanship aside in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Christie -- who, even as a Republican, praised Obama’s preparation for the storm -- is expected to have a long political life in front of him, while Booker’s name has been mentioned among presidential candidates of the future.