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Do's and Don'ts for Successful Fly-Ins

Fly-in season is almost upon us again! The annual Capitol Hill ritual mostly runs from January to about June, with thousands of associations, nonprofits and corporations flying supporters in to meet with members of Congress and their staffs. Groups invest enormous resources in these events and the meetings dominate the schedules of congressional offices.

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The Benefits of Transparency and Accountability in Online Communications

The Internet continues to offer amazing opportunities for members of Congress and constituents to build relationships and communicate in a genuinely constructive way. When the Congressional Management Foundation surveyed congressional staff in 2010, 57 percent said email and the Internet have made members of Congress more “accountable” to their constituents — only 17 percent disagreed.

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Award-Winning Characteristic #6: Legislative Process Information

In the 6th part of our continuing series about Gold Mouse criteria, this week we cover the basic information an award-winning website should have about the legislative process. Understanding how Congress works and how bills pass can be quite daunting tasks for the average constituent, and congressional websites can serve as a go-to place to learn more about congressional procedures.

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Award-Winning Characteristic #5: Promoting Accountability to Constituents

In our continuing series about Gold Mouse criteria, this week's topic is about using your website to communicate the Member's work in Congress. A fundamental tenet of representative democracy is that elected officials should be accountable to their constituents, and your website provides an easy-access point for the average citizen.

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Recess Is Not a Vacation for Congress

Members of Congress will depart Washington soon for the July Fourth recess (or district/constituent work period), with another long recess coming in August. This will lead to the annual attack by interest groups, cynical columnists and some constituents that Congress is "not working" during this period. A couple of years ago, The Washington Post ran a column titled "Congress Finds Plenty of Time to Take Vacation" with an accompanying picture of a beach chair.

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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.