Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards: Best Practices in Congressional Websites [VIDEO]

In April 2014, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) released the Gold Mouse Awards (and accompanying best practices report) for the 113th Congress. Seventy congressional websites were recognized with awards. This video discusses the methodology for the Gold Mouse Awards, the characteristics of effective Member websites, and includes examples from some of the award winners.

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Social Media Innovations in Congress Add to Transparency and Accountability

In this month's Roll Call commentary, Brad Fitch and Kathy Goldschmidt identify some of the outstanding practices that received CMF's first-ever Gold Mouse Awards for Social Media. They also discuss why Members of Congress need to adjust their one-sided approach to social media, and instead use these tools to be more accountable and transparent to citizens.
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Changes to the 113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards

The Congressional Management Foundation has comprehensively evaluated congressional websites several times in an effort to improve Congress’s online communications with constituents. This year, we are changing our process and criteria slightly, as well as issuing our first-ever awards for social media.

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The Benefits of Transparency and Accountability in Online Communications

The Internet continues to offer amazing opportunities for members of Congress and constituents to build relationships and communicate in a genuinely constructive way. When the Congressional Management Foundation surveyed congressional staff in 2010, 57 percent said email and the Internet have made members of Congress more “accountable” to their constituents — only 17 percent disagreed.

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Award-Winning Characteristic #6: Legislative Process Information

In the 6th part of our continuing series about Gold Mouse criteria, this week we cover the basic information an award-winning website should have about the legislative process. Understanding how Congress works and how bills pass can be quite daunting tasks for the average constituent, and congressional websites can serve as a go-to place to learn more about congressional procedures.

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Award-Winning Characteristic #5: Promoting Accountability to Constituents

In our continuing series about Gold Mouse criteria, this week's topic is about using your website to communicate the Member's work in Congress. A fundamental tenet of representative democracy is that elected officials should be accountable to their constituents, and your website provides an easy-access point for the average citizen.

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