I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of Mayor Gaynor (until today), and chances are, neither have you.
Apparently, back in the days
politicians major politicans (eg: Mayors) actually replied to their constitutents. [Note: I hesitated to put Governors and above in the mix, because I haven’t read anything about them (although it would be great to research and see which were the most accessible higher ranked politicians in history).]
Mayor William J. Gaynor was mayor of NYC from 1910-1913. At that same time, Taft was the President and Chauncey Depew was our Senator from 1899-1911. According to the NY Times, Mayor Gaynor answered mail via the newspaper and regular postal mail. The explanation for replying via the papers was because at times he would get anonymous letters without addresses so the only way he could be sure the writer would see the response would be through the media. I loved that he was also quite sarcastic in his letters as well to some people, it is such a refreshing taste considering now we have people self-censoring so they don’t come off the wrong way to people.
To read the original article and pick up a little bit of niche knowledge, here is the NY Times article.
Nowadays you would be lucky if you could contact the Mayor of NYC directly via mail and actually receive a reply.
Newark residents, on the other hand, are lucky to have Mayor Cory Booker who is quite active on Twitter and directly responds to his constituents (even Direct Messaging them his [government] cell number). Outside of Twitter, Mayor Booker seems to be a literal man of the people (during Hurricane Sandy, this man opened up his personal residence to his neighbors). Short of amazing, I am definitely looking forward to this guy running for higher office (and will gladly volunteer for him).
The reason why I mentioned Mayor Booker is because once I read the article, that was the first politician that came to my mind. Naturally I know that there are other twitter active politicians out there, but for most purposes, Booker is within the Tri-State area for me.
Seems he agreed:
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) January 2, 2013