Newark, New Jersey's Mayor Cory Booker has no problem getting up close and personal with his constituents. He has actually gotten quite the reputation for being uber-friendly with residents over Twitter. 'Course, being that he's a politician, his convos with the people occasionally get heated, and a recent one with @MWadeNC -- a user who identifies herself as a “Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR), fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism.. Army Veteran, Army Daughter, Army Wife" -- was no exception.
It all began when the mayor tweeted a quote from Plutarch, "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics" and "We pay 4 HUGE back end govt programs: prisons, police, etc. If we invested in Schools, nutrition, etc we’d save $ & create wealth." MWadeNC's response? "Nutrition is not a responsibility of the government."
That lead to some full-throttle debate, and eventually, the mayor proposed:
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?
MWadeNC confirmed she was in! So, right after Thanksgiving, the two will go head to head in the food stamp challenge, which the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut -- already running a similar challenge with students and staff -- will take on refereeing duties.
No matter the outcome of the challenge, you gotta love a politician whose actions actually reflect his beliefs! By attempting to live on $30 for an entire week -- the maximum benefit New Jersey’s food stamp program offers -- "there’s no way you could eat nutritious food,” as Rucha Gadre, director of Food Bank Services at Mercer Street Friends, put it. And poor nutrition leads to hunger -- in extreme cases, starvation -- and health issues, which can in turn wreak havoc on crime and the economy.
Here's hoping Mayor Booker's extremely valid, important, timely point is one that's not just well-taken, but well-illustrated when he and MWadeNC put their money where their mouths are -- literally!
Do you believe government should invest in nutrition? How do you feel about Mayor Booker taking on the food stamp challenge?
Image via TechCrunch/Flickr