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

113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards for Citizen Engagement on Social Media

The Gold Mouse Awards for Social Media go to the nominees who use specific social media practices in ways that:

  • Demonstrate an effort to be transparent and accountable;
  • Focus on constituents and constituent service; and
  • Attempt to keep constituents informed of, and engaged in, the work of the Members and of Congress.

These specific practices serve as examples for Senators and Representatives who wish to achieve similar goals with their online communications. Most of the award-winning practices are platform-agnostic, meaning they could be performed on social media platforms other than the ones these Senators and Representatives use. Regardless of the platforms used, these practices are models for other offices to follow as they consider how best to incorporate social media into their communications and constituent service strategies.

Descriptions of each of these practices and why they are worthy of recognition is included in the 113th Congress Gold Mouse Awards report: pdf "Best Practices in Online Communications on Capitol Hill" (6MB).

Senate Members

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Compilations of social media
discussions into “stories.”

Twitter and Storify

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Issue-based listicle.


Bob Casey (D-PA)

Location-based legislative information.


Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Sharing personal journey that led to legislative action.

Several, including YouTube, Scribd, and Flickr

Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Hashtag for updates during markup
of a key bill.


Jerry Moran (R-KS)

Outreach on an issue before Congress.


Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Integration across platforms without redundancy.

Several, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+

House Members

Stephen Fincher (R-TN)

Making Congress approachable.

Several, including Tumblr, Vine, and Instagram

Tim Griffin (R-AR)

Responsiveness and engagement via social media.

Several, including Facebook, Crowdhall, and Pinterest

Mike Honda (D-CA)

Constituent-focused social media

Several, including, Eventbrite, and Scribd

Darrell Issa (R-CA)

Connecting past and present using
social media.

Facebook and Twitter

Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Using social media to “caucus” with
other Members.

Facebook and Twitter

Thomas Massie (R-KY)

Accountability and transparency
through social media.

Facebook and Twitter

Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Sustained, issue-based, cross-platform integration.

Several, including Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit

Patrick Murphy (D-FL)

Photo contest with a legislative


Erik Paulsen (R-MN)

Weekly videos with updates and
answers to constituent questions.


Mark Takano (D-CA)

Using popular culture as tie-ins to congressional activity.

Several, including Tumblr, YouTube, and Vine



Inside of Capitol Dome

CMF is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to helping Congress and its Members meet the evolving needs and expectations of an engaged and informed 21st century citizenry.

Our work focuses on improving congressional operations and enhancing citizen engagement through research, publications, training, and management services.

Read more about CMF


thumbnail image of communicating with congress

Communicating with Congress The Internet forever changed how citizens and Congress interacts. The goal of this project is to facilitate a more meaningful democratic dialogue.


thumbnail image of gold mouse awards icon

Gold Mouse Project
Congress should effectively communicate with and serve citizens online. CMF assesses congressional websites to identify best and innovative practices that can be more widely adopted by the House and Senate.


thumbnail image of door to U.S. Capitol flanked by columns

Inside the Hill
Produced by Founding Partner Fleishman-Hillard, this video series allows you to hear directly from Members and staff on how technology is changing the way Congress works.


thumbnail image of the Capitol rotunda

Life in Congress
This novel research project by CMF and the Society for Human Resource Management has two goals: identify the factors that motivate congressional staff and shed some light on Congress as a workplace.


thumbnail image of a podium with microphone

21st Century Town Hall Meetings CMF seeks to continue our innovative work in this area by conducting comparative research on in-person town halls, online town halls, and telephone town halls.