Newark Mayor Cory Booker Says Government Must Embrace Tech, Be Open Source

João-Pierre S. Ruth | Xconomy | March 20, 2013

Monday afternoon Newark Mayor Cory Booker crossed the Hudson River to chat at the OnMedia NYC conference about changes he believes government can make through technology. His administration uses social media to get residents more active in improving their community. “I could crowdsource my entire city,” Booker said, “and involve them in empowering Newark.”

He chatted with First Round Capital’s Howard Morgan at the two-day summit—hosted by media company AlwaysOn—for investors and entrepreneurs in advertising, social media, and commerce. Booker, who is also eyeing a run for the U.S. Senate, said government is often the last to catch up with change. He believes government should adopt certain traits of the technology sector such as being open and accessible.

That can include holding city departments more accountable for providing services. “When a water main breaks, a traffic light stops working, or a pothole appears, I am now getting people tweeting me about it and taking pictures of it,” Booker said. “I can let them know how we’re doing.”