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Screenshot via @NJGov

The official Twitter account for the state of New Jersey has been blowing up the internet over the past few weeks.

What's happening: The account tweets important government information alongside a witty mix of New Jersey inside jokes about good pizza and central New Jersey.

Why it matters: It's a good example of ways that public service accounts can be relevant and keep citizens informed.

  • The TSA has been doing this for a long time on Instagram, posting photos about the most ridiculous items they encounter at checkpoints to explain whether they break the rules of travel.

Details: The account is run by two New Jersey women, Pearl Gabel and Megan Coyne, who serve on N.J. Governor Phil Murphy's digital team.

  • Coyne says the response has been overwhelmingly positive and that "the engagement on our policy-focused stuff is improving consistently, which goes to show that the message is penetrating."
  • "It is about more than memes," says Gabel. "It is about getting people to pay attention for the fun stuff so that they can get information about things like education, health care, or environmental policy that they otherwise might have missed.
  • But on the fun side, "we have learned that people take a lot of pride in having good pizza and bagels," Coyne said.

Between the lines: "We don’t have time for haters," Gabel said.

What's next: The account has already gotten into a fight with the official account of Delaware. Expect more beef.

Go deeper: 10% of Twitter users produce almost all of U.S. political tweets

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 15 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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