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New search engine linking lawmakers and constituents launches today — literally

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A powerful new tool to make state lawmakers more responsive to constituents launched today – literally.

Rocket Lobby, a free legislative accountability search engine from public relations firm CATE COMM, reached the stratosphere on Thursday with its logo attached to a high-altitude weather balloon. Video of the launch is available on YouTube.

RocketLobby.com allows anyone in the United States to find, email, call, or request meetings with state lawmakers – as well as grade responsiveness with an anonymous Amazon or Yelp-style 1-5 star rating.

“We’ve finally figured out a way to reward or publicly shame lawmakers into responding to constituent calls, emails, and meeting requests,” said CATE COMM founder Kevin Cate. “Advocacy groups can also now send out one link to their advocates and know they will be able to find the right state lawmakers to contact – and get a response.”

Damian Cardona Jr., a CATE COMM developer and producer based in Orlando, developed Rocket Lobby, using the Sunlight Foundation’s Open States API.

“RocketLobby.com is the most powerful engagement tool ever available to citizens seeking to connect with state lawmakers,” Cate said. “You have to see it. It’s beautiful. It’s responsive. And it’s effective because we have an accountability tool built into it — public responsiveness grades for lawmakers.”

Premium versions of Rocket Lobby are also available, allowing custom, embedded versions for advocacy groups, coalitions, nonprofits, and corporations — a service that can provide actionable data on citizen contacts with state lawmakers. Users of the paid edition can also get information on custom questions, such as the likelihood a specific lawmaker will support an issue.

CATE COMM, based in Tallahassee, St. Petersburg and Orlando, also offers the popular Above The Fold, a daily digest of newspaper front pages delivered to newsmakers  both in Florida and nationwide.

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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