THE BLOG
03/05/2009 06:39 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

YouTube: A New Way to Write Your Congressman

They say that two heads are better than one -- what about leveraging hundreds, even thousands of heads, to come up with solutions to today's most pressing issues? And more importantly, what if decision-makers were listening to what those heads had to say?

About a month ago, Congress found a home on YouTube - you can now find the U.S. House on the YouTube House Hub and the U.S. Senate on the Senate Hub. Now, members of Congress are taking it a step further with YouTube's "Senator of the Week" and "Representative of the Week" programs, which leverage video and a new Google platform - "Google Moderator" - to allow you to directly interact with your leaders.

In each new round, a Senator and Representative create a video that solicits questions or input from you about the country's most important issues. Using Google Moderator, you can not only submit your own responses through text, but also vote on other people's responses -- allowing the best submissions to rise to the top. Then, the following week, the Member of Congress will return to address the top responses in another video.

The first round, in which Senator John Cornyn asked for thoughts about the economic stimulus package, received 112 unique ideas about what Congress could do to better stimulate the American economy, including eliminating the income tax and providing substantial student debt relief for young Americans. Over 2,400 votes were cast on these ideas from citizens across the country.

This week's featured Senator is Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who is the new chairman of a subcommittee on contracting oversight. McCaskill wants to hear how you think Congress can eliminate wasteful spending:

In addition, we're kicking off the first installment of "Representative of the Week " with Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). If you head over to the YouTube House Hub now, you can weigh in on the debate about whether Congress should nationalize 401k plans:

You can visit the YouTube Senate Hub and House Hub now to join the discussion -- then check back next week to see if your suggestion made it to the top.