Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
FOLLOW US:!/congressfdn

Communicating with Congress: Recommendations for Improving the Democratic Dialogue

table of contents

Executive Summary vii
Introduction 1
Public Comment on the Draft Report 3
The Players and Their Processes
     An Overview of the Stakeholders 7
     An Overview of the Process 8
Citizens 15
     Citizen Participants 15
     Challenges for Citizens
     Recommendations for Citizens 18
Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns
     Organizers of Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns 23
     Vendors that Provide Tools to Facilitate Advocacy Campaigns 24
     Challenges for Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns 25
     Recommendations to Grassroots Advocacy Organizations 26
     Recommendations to Advocacy Vendors 31
Congress 33
     Members of Congress 33
     House and Senate Member Offices 34
     Congressional Committee and Leadership Offices 34
     The Institution of Congress 35
     Vendors that Provide Tools to Manage Congressional Communications 35
     Challenges for Congress 36
     A Recommendation to the Institution of Congress 37
     Recommendations to Member Offices 39
     A Recommendation to Committee and Leadership Offices 45
A New Model for Constituent Communications 49
     Origins of the New Model 49
     The Key Principles 50
     The Concept: An Aggregated Communications Dashboard 51
          Member Web Form Communications 53
          Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns 54
     Implementing the Aggregated Communications Dashboard Model 62
Moving Forward 65
About the Congressional Management Foundation 67

CwC: Recommendations for Improving the Democratic Dialogue

Read the full report: CWC_RecommendationsReport (3.5 MB)

69 pages
Copyright 2008 by the Congressional Management Foundation
ISBN: 1-930473-94-X



About the Communicating with Congress Project

  • Project Overview – In 2001, CMF began work on this project to improve communications between citizens and Members of Congress.