Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
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News

CMF Advocacy Leaders Network Launched Today

CMF launched the inaugural Advocacy Leaders Network today in the Washington offices of Bloomberg Government. About 80 advocacy leaders from associations, nonprofits, and corporations came together to learn about the best strategies for educating their supporters to enhance communications, understanding, and the relationship between citizens and Congress. The ALN series, part of CMF's Partnership for a More Perfect Union, is being produced by the Beekeeper Group.

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Award Winners

Shown at the CMF Gold Mouse Awards ceremony on November 16, this video highlights some of our award-winning Members of Congress and staff for the 112th Congress. In it, they discuss why it’s important to communicate with constituents online.

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History of the Gold Mouse Awards

Ten years ago, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) created the Gold Mouse Awards to recognize the best websites on Capitol Hill. Learn how and why this competition was started, and hear from Rep. Mike Honda, the only six-time award winner in Congress.

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Why Congressional Websites Matter

In 1998, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) embarked on a ground-breaking research project: to study best practices in congressional websites with the goal of providing Congress with guidance on how to use this emerging technology to improve constituents' communication with, and understanding of, the institution. Three years later the initiative was boosted by a two-year grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to create the Congress Online Project, in association with The George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management.

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112th Congress Gold Mouse Awards Released

Congressional Websites Improve – But Many Lack Important Educational And Transparency Features, According To New Report

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional websites are getting better, according to an analysis by the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF). The nonprofit organization graded 618 congressional websites and found the most common grade moved from an F in the 111th Congress to a B in the 112th Congress. CMF has been grading congressional websites since 2001 and issues biannual Congressional Gold Mouse Awards for the best websites on Capitol Hill for each Congress.

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CMF to Announce Best Websites in Congress on Monday Oct 24

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) will announce the 112th Congress Gold Mouse Awards for the best websites on Capitol Hill on Monday, October 24, 8:00 AM via email and its website. CMF created the research project and awards in 2001 to provide congressional offices with best practices guidance for enhancing their online communications with constituents. Accompanying the list of award winners will be a report by CMF on the website best practices trends identified during the nearly year-long research process.

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New Challenges and New Tools for Congress

"The Internet changed everything." This phrase is prevalent in our society, whether it refers to commerce, personal relationships, or even our democratic processes. The system and paradigm built over the years for citizens to interact with Members of Congress is not immune to this change.

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Capitol Hill Experiencing Huge Increase in Constituent Mail

Report Documents How Congressional Offices Are Adapting to Manage Demand

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional offices are receiving between 200 to 1,000 percent more constituent communications than they were ten years ago. Despite the increase, a survey of congressional staff indicates that 90 percent believe constituent communications remains a "high priority" for the office. But sizable percentages of staff report that their offices are shifting resources to manage the increased demand.

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CMF Report to Document Changes in Constituent Volume and Communications Practices on Capitol Hill

The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) will release a new report on October 4 documenting how the volume of constituent communications has changed in the past decade, as well as congressional staff perceptions on how internal practices have changed in that time. CMF's How Citizen Advocacy Is Changing Mail Operations on Capitol Hill is based on a survey of 260 congressional staff on how email and the Internet are affecting office procedures. CMF researchers also collected mail volume data from ten congressional offices.

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Recess Isn't Vacation

Part of the expanded mission of CMF through the Partnership for a More Perfect Union is to build a better understanding of how Congress works in the public mind. That job gets a little harder when solid mainstream news organizations perpetuate misperceptions about how Congress works. The Washington Post recently published a column on congressional recesses, which engendered this Letter to the Editor from CMF's President and CEO, Bradford Fitch.

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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.

Read more about CMF

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.