Get their attention. Go public.

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A neighbor here on Florida’s Space Coast recently wrote to Senator Marco Rubio about a concern she has.  Port Canaveral is awaiting approval from CFIUS  [the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] to go ahead with a multi-billion dollar 35-year contract with a Saudi-connected mega company to operate a container terminal right here in our backyard.

http://www.joc.com/port-news/us-ports/port-canaveral/treasury-secretary-asked-review-gulftainer’s-port-canaveral-deal_20140730.html

She’s rightfully concerned, as are many here on the Space Coast, that a Muslim operation will be bringing with it Muslim employees and the possibility of something bad in one of those shipping containers coming from all over the world. A camel’s nose under the tent?

What she got back as a response from Senator Rubio was a typical form letter.  As a result, she is understandably pissed off that she’s been blown off.  And she’s vowed to remember that when Rubio’s up for reelection.

Dear Mrs. XXX

Thank you for taking the time to write to me to express your concerns.  I appreciate hearing your thoughts and I understand how important these issues are to you and many others.  As a United States Senator, I will keep your ideas and views in mind while working to promote principles and policies to benefit Floridians and Americans alike.

Please feel free to visit my website at http://rubio.senate.gov where you can sign up to receive my e-newsletter and find useful information about services, issues, and news.  You will also find instructions on how to contact me and my office.  As your Senator, I am committed to hearing your concerns and opinions, and I welcome any views or input you wish to share with me in the future.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio
United States Senator

Each week I provide a weekly update on issues in Washington and ways in which my office can assist the people of Florida.  Sign up here for updates on my legislative efforts, schedule of events throughout Florida, constituent services and much more.

Blah, blah, blah…

Comforting, huh?  Was she reassured that Rubio or a staff member read the letter? Not a chance. None of them do, unless you’re a BIG contributor who snaps them to attention.

Because as you know, when writing to your House Representative and/or Senator, your letter is NOT read by human eyes. Instead, the content is scanned by software for KEY WORDS, which are then aggregated onto a list.  That list is spit out each week to the staff Communications Director who then gives a report to the Representative/Senator during their weekly meeting, telling him/her what topics/concerns came through from constituents (that would be you or me) that week, and how many letters were received on each topic.

That’s it.  Period.  Your representative in Congress has little time or interest in what you have to say unless it affects his/her reelection chances, poll numbers, or campaign war chest.  Got it?

So… now that you understand WHY your letter IS NOT READ by anyone in that House or Senate staff office, you’re pissed.  But do NOT get discouraged.

There IS A WAY for you to force human eyeballs to read your letter AND at the same time even better — make your letter PUBLIC, shaming them or praising them while you tell the world why. Here’s how you prevent your letter/concern from swirling down the Congressional Computer Software drain.

But first, you need to know this before I give you the keys to Congress:

Elizabeth Letchworth, who served as the first woman EVER to be elected by the Senate to serve as the Secretary to the Majority (a pivotal and influential position, even if most Americans have never heard of it) for two terms (8 years) under then Majority Leader Bob Dole, KNOWS the “Ins and Outs” of how the system works. How they “protect” themselves from you and me.  How they insulate themselves from us inside their inside-the-beltway DC bubble.

As an elected officer of the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate supervises an extensive array of offices and services to expedite the day-to-day operations of the United States Senate.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING runs in the Senate without the Secretary. She (or he) holds the keys to the kingdom.  It’s one of the best kept “secrets” on Capitol Hill.

Because she was there, Elizabeth understands that the system is rigged in their favor — it is designed the way it is FOR A PURPOSE.  And it is NOT to benefit YOU or me. Ever try to call your member of congress on an important issue only to find out the “switchboard” has melted down?  That’s ON PURPOSE.  It’s an antiquated system, deliberately kept in place so it WILL melt down when there’s constituent outcry.

Elizabeth believes that YOUR voice should be heard because THEY represent you. YOU!

However, there’s SO MUCH competition for their attention and action that in the grand scheme of things, YOU are at the bottom of a priority list that includes Lobbyists, Big Contributors, and of course, the House and Senate Leadership.

So she designed another system, a work-around.  One that they DO pay attention to.

One in which you GRADE your (or any other) member of Congress (doesn’t necessarily have to be your rep) AND you explain WHY he or she earned the grade you gave them. “A” through “F”, just like the grades we got when we were in school. Pour your heart out! Give ‘em hell. Or praise them to the skies for voting the right way.

It’s called “Grade Gov”. As in “grade government.” She designed it to be a FREE website — doesn’t cost you a penny.  Just your time to sign up, log on and hit the ground running.

So, not only does someone with human eyeballs read the letter and see the GRADE you’ve given a member of Congress, but better yet — you can opt to have your letter and grade MADE PUBLIC so that OTHERS can see what you’ve written.

Believe me, if you’re a member of congress, THAT gets their attention!

Elizabeth knows for a fact the site is READ by members of Congress, their political opponents, AND their political challengers who are researching for election year issues of concern.

So… STOP WRITING TO YOUR SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE via their congressional website.  STOP calling them. Stop wasting your time getting more and more frustrated.

Go to Gradegov.com and give them a grade and a piece of your mind. You can do one a day EVERY day if you desire.

They’ll pay attention to your views, I guarantee it.  Better than that, Elizabeth guarantees it.

Gradegov.com

This is what Gradegov’s home page looks like.  Use it!

gradegov copy

One more thing…

Elizabeth does a 30-minute podcast on Blog Talk Radio every Monday and Friday (6:30 pm ET) during which she explains what Congress is doing and why…  What she expects Congress will do and why. To my knowledge, she’s the ONLY on-air host with the experience and knowledge to  tackle the issues with insight that is NOT politically slanted. She tells it like it is. And gives listeners the benefit of her predictions.  You’d be wise to tune in.

You can find her podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/GradeGov.

Learn more about Elizabeth here.

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