Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano use Twitter to directly communicate with constituents.
When the blizzard of December 2010 blanketed the tri-state area, Newark got nailed. Annette Williams, who lives on Ivy Street, was desperate. She tweeted Mayor Cory Booker about getting help because the street was not plowed.
Help soon arrived. The plow trucks arrived and cleaned up the block.
Social media expert Chris Dessi said Twitter is becoming a new direct line to your mayor.
"It is a trend we're seeing across the nation," he said.
Booker has more than 1.1 million followers. Newark's population is less than 300,000. They tweet the mayor about anything and everything: finding a job, getting rid of unsightly garbage or fixing traffic lights that are out.
Booker said he writes back at all hours of the day. He does the tweeting; he does not delegate the task to staff.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said someone tweeted him a complaint about trash on Midland Avenue, so he made sure the mess was cleaned up.
Dessi said Twitter has a way of holding mayors accountable because we answers and we want them now.
"We expect an immediate response. And this is a cultural thing," Dessi said. "So certainly mayor's offices are really forced into doing this. But it's the way our culture is moving."