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SOPA and PIPA Advocacy Efforts Show the Components of Successful Campaigns

Much ballyhoo has been made about the loosely coordinated mid-January effort to encourage citizens to contact Congress and voice opposition to two pieces of Internet-related legislation. The much-publicized darkening of major websites has been hailed as a wake-up call for Internet advocates. However, the strategies and tactics of those opposed to the Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) actually just relied on some tried and true elements of advocacy which have existed for the last 50 years.

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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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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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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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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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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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Inside the Hill: How The Public Is Heard

In the fourth installment of "Inside the Hill", Members of Congress and congressional staff discuss how citizens' voices are heard on Capitol Hill.

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Advanced Studies: Innovative Ways to Engage Citizens

In our evaluations of congressional websites we found that there is a digital divide in Congress (PDF), with 'A' and 'F' being the two most common letter grades. While we will continue to cover the basics, we also want to highlight a few new and innovative ways Members of Congress are engaging citizens in the 112th Congress.

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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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