Building Trust & Effectiveness in Congress
FOLLOW US:

constituents

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.

Read more »  
 

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.

Read more »  
 

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.

Read more »  
 

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.

Read more »  
 

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.

Read more »  
     

Five Ways to Manage and Capitalize on Redistricting

Ah, it’s that time of the decade again! As you know, every ten years states undergo a redrawing of districts that affects the make-up and boundaries of each district – and will impact your boss’ constituency in the coming Congress. In some districts the population might not be altered very much, but in others the Member’s constituency could be completely different.  You may end up representing a new ethnic population or add a military post. Whatever the results may be, it is important for you and your new constituents to get to know one another so that your office can provide the best possible service. CMF has outlined five areas you should keep in mind while learning about and supporting your boss’ new constituency.

Read more »  
 

Interaction, Interconnectedness, and Interoperability: the Success of VYou on Constituent Communications

Whether serious (how will your state fare in the allocation of federal education dollars) or frivolous (is your Member of Congress a Yankees or a Mets fan), constituents are genuinely curious about the views of their elected officials. Unfortunately, the opportunity to pose these questions doesn’t often present itself.

Enter VYou, the online Q&A forum where online participants can conveniently upload questions to celebrities, experts and even their Members of Congress … if that Member has decided to participate, he or she can answer the questions posed by their constituents  in an audio-visual format.

Read more »  
 

Five Strategies for Building Successful Relationships with Elected Officials

Building relationships with lawmakers and their staff often appears intimidating, confusing and – worst of all – a waste of time. However, a survey of congressional staff conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation showed “in-person visits by constituents” was the best strategy to influence an undecided lawmaker. But how do you do it?

Read more »  
 
  • «
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  1 
  •  2 
  •  3 
  •  4 
  •  Next 
  •  End 
  • »
Page 1 of 4
 

SETTING COURSE

compass

Now in its 13th edition, Setting Course is a comprehensive guide to managing a congressional office:

  • Part I is for new Members, focusing on setting up an office. 
  • Part II helps Members themselves define their role in the office and in Congress. 
  • Part III provides guidance to veteran and freshman offices on managing specific office operations.