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New way to be heard

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POSTED: May 26, 2010 4:37 p.m.
At town hall meetings, events in my district and even trips to the grocery store, it’s clear that main street America is frustrated with an out of touch Washington. The people who come up to me aren’t angry as much as they are worried about the future of our country.
Washington continues to focus on everything else while the American people are looking for leadership to get our economy back on its feet and to create jobs in every corner of the country. In the meantime, issues such as federal spending, the national debt, and financial regulatory reform have gained the passion once reserved for the debate over abortion.
The fodder to their fire: unprecedented access to information. No longer is the average American bridled by traditional sources of knowledge. Much to their consternation, the media elite cannot control what information is made available and what is left at the editor’s desk. With the Internet, the establishment’s lock on guiding the masses has been forever broken.
In the age of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Flickr, information spreads like a wildfire. The Internet’s limitless ability to forever alter the political and social landscape is proven with each passing day. With it, those vested with the honor to represent the people to their government must also adapt. We have been given an unprecedented connection to the American people and it would be irresponsible to let it go to waste.
(Tuesday), House Republicans launch a new platform for the American people to make their voices heard.  It is our goal to bypass Washington insiders and poll reading pundits to go directly to the American people.  We are looking to engage in a true conversation on what America needs to do to get back on track.
 To start the discussion, we have launched AmericaSpeakingOut.com, a new online forum where Americans from every walk of life can contribute their ideas to help form a new agenda for America’s future. We are building on some of the best advances of the Internet to provide the people with a first of its kind utility to speak directly to Washington and to engage their friends, family and neighbors through social networking sites.
 While this will be an open platform for Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike, we are looking to form a positive alternative to the current misguided majority. While they are sure to come through special interest operatives, ideas to raise your taxes, grow your government and increase the government’s footprint in your daily life will not be part of this agenda.  Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid have already pursued that agenda and we need only look to Greece to see its outcome.
 The best solutions to our current problems do not come from the top. In this present situation, we need to hear from those on the ground dealing with the effects of government on a daily basis.  More than those of any bureaucrat in Washington, we need the solutions of the hardware store owner, delivery driver or local pharmacist. AmericaSpeakingOut.com provides them – and you – the opportunity to make every voice heard and to facilitate the discussion across town and across the country.
 While some in Washington have mocked the renewed interest of the American people in their government by calling a truly grassroots movement “Astroturf,” House Republicans know that it is the people who control the Congress, not the other way around.
 This new initiative makes that clear and gives you the opportunity to bring positive change to Washington. To work, we’ll need every voice at the table so I hope you’ll take the time to make yours heard.

This article first appeared in the Washington Examiner. Kingston represents the 1st District, which includes Bryan County.
 

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