Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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A #Townhall for a New Age

When used correctly, online communications can be remarkably effective in fostering increased citizen engagement with politics and policy. Through our own research, we have found that online town hall meetings have the potential to be a powerful tool for strengthening the relationship between Members and their constituents.

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Op-Ed: Lawmakers may fail when it comes to ethics, but they try

I winced upon reading the results of The Hill's poll that found "(m)ore than two-thirds of voters think the ethical standards of politicians have declined over the past generation" and that a majority think they are "unethical" ("HILL POLL: Politicians, Congress unethical — and getting worse," June 13).

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By the Numbers: The 112th Congress Gold Mouse Project

Our Gold Mouse evaluations commence today! Our evaluators are beginning the process of reviewing the websites of Congress in order to determine which are deserving of the Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Mouse Awards. This is a substantial undertaking which allows us to accurately track and analyze how Congress connects to citizens online. Just how big is it? To give you an idea, we present an estimate of the 112th Congress Gold Mouse Project by the numbers:

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The Quick Fix: Improve Your Website Easily

With one week until Gold Mouse evaluations commence, many congressional offices are wondering what they can do to improve their website quickly. Here are some ways to make it better fast!

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Op-Ed: Congress’s tragedy of the commons

"As I step down from the chairmanship of the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation, I'd like to make a plea to the members of Congress whom the foundation exists to serve: that they recapture the trust of the American people."

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Evaluations Begin on June 15!

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Offices now have an extra 2 weeks to finish any last minute changes to their websites. Evaluations will begin June 15! To help you prepare, we have compiled an extensive FAQ.

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Inside the Hill: Who Handles Online Communications

In the seventh installment of 'Inside the Hill', congressional staff and Congressman Honda discuss how they use and manage online communications.

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How to Win a Congressional Website Award: Solid Issue Information

The Congressional Management Foundation will commence our seventh round of analyzing and grading more than 600 congressional personal, committee, and leadership office websites on June 1. The results will be released in October, with the Gold Mouse Awards Ceremony in November. We recognize that Members of Congress, by their nature, are competitive, which is why we established the Gold Mouse Awards system in 2001. One of the most common questions CMF gets is: 'What is the most important factor for winning a Gold Mouse Award?'

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Inside the Hill: Congressional Staff Read Everything

In the sixth installment of 'Inside the Hill', congressional staff discuss how the Internet has affected the ways congressional offices get their news.

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Connecting the Offline and Online Worlds: Rep. Karen Bass Experiments with QR Codes

Technology can advance at a breakneck speed. It seems like new communications vehicles are created all the time and it can be significant challenge for congressional staff to help the Member manage their legislative and other representational duties and keep up with all of the latest trends. That's why I never cease to be amazed at how Members and staff are able to find the time to be creative and innovative. But, being afraid to experiment is a recipe for being left in the dust on Capitol Hill and Los Angeles Congresswoman Karen Bass and her staff have been experimenting with Quick Response or 'QR' Codes.

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ABOUT CMF

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.

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PROJECTS

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.