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Communicating with Congress: How Capitol Hill is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy


cwc1cover.jpgThe Internet and e-mail have made it easier and cheaper than ever before for citizens to communicate with their Members of Congress. In 2004, Congress received 200 million communications, four times more than in 1995 -- the direct result of Internet-based communications. This increased citizen participation in the legislative process has had both positive and negative effects. Nearly 80% of congressional staff surveyed believe that the Internet has made it easier for constituents to become involved in public policy. However, neither the senders nor the receivers of congressional communications have learned how to use the new tools that the Internet has provided truly effectively.

This report is the first of a three part Communicating with Congress series, which aims to provide information and guidance that will lead to better and more meaningful communications between Members of Congress and those they represent.


CwC: How Capitol Hill is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy

Read the full report: CWC_CapitolHillCoping (754 KB)

46 pages

Copyright 2005 by the Congressional Management Foundation

Related Resources

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.

Communicating with Congress Training Programs

As part of the release for this report, CMF is offering training to both congressional offices and grassroots organizations. If you are a congressional office, programs will provide surprising new information on the constituents communicating with your office. If you are a grassroots organization, programs will provide guidance on the most effective ways to communicate with a Member of Congress.