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Acc essibility , Coordination & Transparency (ACT) I MPROVING O UR C ONGRESSIONAL O FFICE

Accessibility, Coordination & Transparency (ACT)

IMPROVING OUR CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE SEPTEMBER 2014

The Problem

The most fundamental part of the job for any member of Congress is to be a good representative of the people. At the very least, that means being present in our community to listen to concerns and offering effective constituent services. This is currently not the case in Pennsylvania’s 10 th District with Congressman Tom Marino.

Congressman Marino has not made himself available to the citizens of our district, as he has not held a single publicly advertised open forum to allow for meaningful engagement or conversation in over a year. 1 His “tele-townhalls” are mostly one-way lectures, with his staff deciding who gets to ask questions. And he largely limits himself to interviews with friendly media outlets, while outright ignoring outlets that may ask tough questions. 2

Congressman Marino’s office does not sufficiently interact with local leaders on a continued basis, nor is it adequately focused economic development –– an issue that is central to the advancement of our region. Congressman Marino was sent to Washington to work for us, but his office lacks transparency in how he is spending his time and who has access to him and his staff.

Pennsylvania’s 10 th District deserves better, and we can do better.

Nick’s Plan

As U.S. Representative, I will focus on providing excellent public services for all constituents. It will be a top priority to provide expedient services through easily accessible in-district offices.

As I work to make government more efficient and transparent, overcoming the current problems with departments/agencies is a service that will be at the forefront of our work. To best represent constituents, I will aim to provide an elevated standard of service by employing the most knowledgeable, helpful, and available staff to handle constituent requests –– regardless of their party affiliation.

To be an effective Congressman and liaison to a complex government structure, I will uphold these standards:

Accessibility Coordination Transparency

These three pillars will strengthen the relationship between my office and all citizens of Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional district.

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http://marino.house.gov/events/archive

http://www.dailyitem.com/article_7960e772-02df-54a9-a283-daa9c00e8d96.html

Accessibility

24/7 Emergency Call-line

I understand that emergencies are sporadic and don’t always occur within typical working

hours, so when an emergency happens a member of my Congressional staff will be available to listen to concerns and provide necessary services. I will implement a 24/7 call line for emergency use that will allow constant communication with a member of my

district staff. When an emergency occurs that requires federal assistance, my Congressional office will work to mediate those situations and provide necessary resources without delay.

Monthly Town Hall Conferences

I believe regular, unfiltered question and answer sessions with elected leaders are

fundamental to remaining accessible. I will hold in-person town halls that will rotate monthly, county-by-county so that I can continue to directly engage with constituents about important issues. I will welcome all conversations because it is vital for me to understand others’ viewpoints. These townhalls will be supplemented with online streaming so citizens may participate from any location in the district. Under this plan, in my first term, I will host a town hall meeting in every county at least once and in most counties at least twice.

Mobile Office Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional district is largely rural, with over 6,500 square miles of land, which creates accessibility issues during some times of the year. To address these challenges and provide heightened accessibility, my district staff will organize regular mobile office events in select public locations for constituents living in rural locations. At these events, my staff will highlight and educate constituents on beneficial programs and bring constituent services to their doorstep.

Coordination

Municipal Leaders Council

I believe mayors, bough council members, and township supervisors have the best

understanding of local issues. Our district includes 15 counties, all with varying industries and different needs. I will work closely with my Municipal Leaders Council to identify community needs and advocate for necessary support and resources on the federal level. During my campaign, I have already formed the foundation for this council; to date this support includes over two dozen elected officials from twelve different counties. This group of local leaders already advises me on matters such as economic development, public safety, and federal regulations, and I will continue to seek their advice once in office. I look forward to working with these members regardless of their party affiliation to get things done that impact the everyday lives of our fellow

citizens.

Full-Time District Economic Development Coordinator

I will hire a full-time Economic Development Coordinator, who will play a vital role as

my advisor on economic development issues in the district. This staff member will work with local businesses, municipal governments, economic development organizations, and individuals to identify opportunities for supporting small business, attracting new industry, and improving basic infrastructure –– particularly where federal resources can be brought to bear. He or she will be a resource for local economic development coordinators and help develop and support short-term and long-term plans for economic growth that will create more jobs and opportunity in our district.

Essential Functions

Develop economic profiles of the district and local communities;

Promote business and organizational interests within the community;

Support the district’s economic development planning processes;

Evaluate the results of economic development studies and make recommendations to local businesses, organizations, and planning committees;

Act as a liaison when establishing economic and community development plans, businesses, and projects;

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Provide assistance with business plans

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Provide advice on market analysis and opportunities, product development, and identification of target markets

Research private and public sector funding opportunities to produce proposals and secure grant funding;

Provide assistance in resolving problems encountered by local organizations, businesses, and governments in economic development efforts

Transparency

Open Visitors Log Part of my decision to refuse special interest contributions to my campaign was to ensure my only obligation remains with serving the people. In office, I will continue this commitment by being fully transparent with whom me and my staff are meeting with. To this end, on a quarterly basis, I will provide online access to my office’s visitor records.

All individuals who visit any of my offices will be invited to electronically register themselves in our guest book, which will be available online. The guest book will include

a persons’ name, a brief summary of why they’re visiting, and the name of any organizations they are associated with.

Member Schedule

I will release my public schedule on a weekly basis so constituents know how I am

spending my time. I will remain fully accountable to my constituents and embrace the

mantra that “sunlight is the strongest disinfectant.” A complete daily schedule of official activities will help people better understand the work I am doing for constituents.

Publish Official Reports and Correspondence

I will publish all official letters that relate to matters of public interest, online

publications of Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, and any relevant correspondence related to federal policy between myself and other members of Congress. This will be done to inform the public of the happenings in Congress, but also reassure constituents that I’m focused on solutions and bipartisanship. These items will be published on my website on a weekly basis.

Congressional Staff Members

I will make my staff members’ contact information readily available, alongside a list of

the issues and responsibilities they handle. This will increase efficiency in directing questions to the appropriate person first, rather than wading through several middlemen

first. All of this information will be available on my website.