Nick Mosby: District 7 Councilman uses Twitter to update residents about storm, heat, power outage - Technical.ly

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Nick Mosby: District 7 Councilman uses Twitter to update residents about storm, heat, power outage

When tens of thousands of Baltimore City residents lost power last weekend after a ‘derecho’ storm blew through a swath of East Coast states, freshman City Councilman Nick Mosby took to Twitter (@councilmanmosby) to update residents on BGE’s power restoration efforts. “When you have situations like this power outage, it allows you to touch people instantaneously no […]

When tens of thousands of Baltimore City residents lost power last weekend after a ‘derecho’ storm blew through a swath of East Coast states, freshman City Councilman Nick Mosby took to Twitter (@councilmanmosby) to update residents on BGE’s power restoration efforts.
“When you have situations like this power outage, it allows you to touch people instantaneously no matter what their situation is,” says Mosby, who represents the 7th district, including parts of Hampden and Medfield. “A lot of people still had access to their [smart] phones.”

Throughout the week, the 33-year-old councilman alerted his followers of the locations of cooling centers around the city and storm debris drop-off locations, and retweeted pertinent updates about crew work locations from BGE as well as updates from Baltimore City Recreation and Parks regarding Code Red Heat Alerts and which city pools were open. Additionally, he worked in tandem with his office’s communications team to ensure he was connected directly to BGE’s communications wing, and sent out periodic e-mails to constituents via Constant Contact whenever storm updates came through.
“I think a lot of times when you’re a public servant, the norm is to think about what were you able to accomplish as it relates to closing out an issue,” Mosby says. “But a lot of times it’s not an issue you can close out. If you’re not communicating with people, people grow weary and frustrated, and that creates apathy toward government.”
Mosby, whose background is in electrical engineering, only began using social media sites Facebook and Twitter during his run for the District 7 council seat. But he made contacting potential voters and residents via social media a priority of his campaign.
“I wanted to be a leader in the city on communicating, dialoguing and participating with social media,” he says, adding that staying on the “cutting edge” of technology “creates a sustainable society for the future.”
Admittedly, Mosby’s Twitter following of 483 is rather limited, especially given that he chose to create a new Twitter account following his election. And District 7, which also includes Reservoir Hill, where Mosby lives, is an area where not all residents have access to broadband Internet.
“A lot of individuals in my district are caught up in the digital divide,” he says. “A lot of my constituents are not interested in being involved in social media. For a district like mine, social media is not the end all be all.”
To that end, Mosby utilizes other means to communicate updates, one of which is a quarterly magazine, SEVENth District Magazine. The magazine is distributed mainly online, but print copies are made available for residents without Internet access. While Mosby realizes that he can’t speak to everyone through Twitter, he plans to continue using it, and other forms of social media, to contact constituents.
“I handle constituent complaints over Twitter and Facebook, like abandoned houses,” Mosby says. “I think it makes me a more effective public servant.”

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