Congressman Alan Grayson will be joining us tomorrow night in a Facebook group I help run called Progress For a More Perfect Union at 8-9ET for a Q+A and fundraiser (though no donation is necessary to attend). You all are cordially invited.
I'm absolutely thrilled!! But I am not surprised. About a year ago I wrote a diary called Rep. Grayson Provides Us With a Unique Opportunity. In that piece I discuss how unique it is to have a representative that talks to us, listens to us and speaks our voice on the floor of Congress. Yesterday Alan again proved how exceptional he is by collecting our comments to give to President Obama today. Last year the Congressman with guts said that this is where the best ideas come from. Tomorrow night he needs your best ideas one more time.
I'm going to start out my Q+A with Mr. Grayson with a plea for help from one of our regulars at PFMPU, Peg. She writes
At the moment, I'm still employed, but my hours have been cut in half. The small business I work for is going under and I don't know from one week to the next if I'll still have a check. My husband is about to be forced into early retirement since a new company bought out his employer...we're getting behind on everything and are scared to death. I'm 53 and once worked as a Surgical Technologist, but would have to go back to school to re-certify since it's been 18 years since I worked in an O.R. We have no money for school, and I don't have any other real skills. At 53, I wonder if I could still handle to stress and long hours standing in one position by an operating table! Here's the biggest problem...we're about as rural as you get. We're on the Ohio River half way between Louisville and Cincinnati, north it's 1 and 1/2 hours to Indy. There are no jobs around here because so many people are in my same position. We mostly work in a small tourist town, Madison, IN. and cross a bridge over the Ohio to get there. However, businesses in Madison are dropping like flies. And guess what?!!! They're closing this bridge to re-build it within the next year and there is NO WAY over to Madison except a 50 mile trip up the river and over a dam, that's 50 miles,one way! We literally live in the middle of nowhere! What's taking so long for the economy to re-bound??? We used to do fine on our income, but puny raises and hefty health insurance increases ate away at us. My job used to be just for extra gas, food and fun money...now we can't do w/o it!
when I asked Peg if she could make it to our meeting with Grayson she responded..
I don't even have a computer at home right now and have been borrowing my granddaughter's laptop! But I will catch it at work the next day...thanks! You can share whatever you want and tell him I have not lost faith yet!!! I believe in what our President is trying to do with SO MANY obstacles...and I adore Alan Grayson. My daughter has a "GRAYSON-TRUTH" bumper sticker on her car and we live in KY!!!
I hope you're as interested as I am in seeing how he responds to her, and if y'all have any ideas to share I'd be happy to pass them on.
I'll try and follow that with my question.
Over the last 3 decades we've seen a movement towards corporate retail and away from mom and pop businesses. There's a family run hardware store in my neighborhood that's been open for 99 years but they won't make it to 100. Minton's hardware is closing their doors because they can't compete with the Home Depots. Is anyone in Washington DC concerned about the shift of retail ownership away from the middle class to publicly traded corporations? What can we do about it?
We'll have one more question on there from the other admin Terry Pierson and then the floor is yours to talk to our big guy from FL.
Transcript: What ActBlue and what it represents to all of us in Congress is liberation. Liberation from having to cater to lobbyists and beg rich people for money. The $25 or $50 that people contribute to my campaign through ActBlue has multiplied 50,000 times, and what it means is that I can do the right thing. When a lobbyist comes and speaks to me that lobbyist wants something in return. It could be a tax break, it could be a release from regulations, it could be a bailout, it could be some benefit. But when people give me $25 or $50 to my campaign on ActBlue, all they're asking for is good government, and that's not too much to ask. So thank you for your support, I'm Congressman Alan Grayson and I approved this message.
Please join us at Progress For A More Perfect Union 8-9 ET Thursday!