Rep. Kelly Named Finalist for Award for Outstanding Constituent Service

Feb 26, 2018
Rep. Kelly Named Finalist for Award for Outstanding Constituent Service

WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) has been selected as a finalist for the 2018 “Democracy Award” for Constituent Service by the non-partisan Congressional Management Foundation (CMF). The Democracy Awards program was created by CMF to “recognize non-legislative achievement and performance in congressional offices and by Members of Congress.” The Constituent Service category honors offices for “their outstanding practices or achievements acting as ombudsmen with the federal government or responding to constituent requests and inquiries.” The finalists for all four categories – overall including 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans – were officially announced on February 23, 2018.

Rep. Mike Kelly:

“Our entire team is incredibly proud and excited to be selected as a finalist for CMF’s Democracy Award for excellence in Constituent Service. We are honored to serve Western Pennsylvania each and every day in the People’s House and are truly grateful to receive such wonderful recognition for our efforts. Providing the very best constituent service for our district has been our top priority since Day One, and that is what it will remain.”

CMF President and CEO Bradford Fitch:

“As a finalist in Constituent Service for a Democracy Award, Rep. Kelly’s office is clearly one of the best in Congress. This designation demonstrates that Rep. Kelly has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for his constituents in Pennsylvania. Rep. Kelly and his staff are to be congratulated for not only being a model for colleagues in Congress, but for helping to restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work.”

In announcing Rep. Kelly as a finalist, CMF explained why his office was selected:

“Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA-03) and his staff not only value service in themselves, but in others. They recognize a ‘Third District Community Champion’ four times a year to honor a constituent for community service. They use regular telephone town hall meetings and a comprehensive annual report to educate constituents on the assistance they can provide. Additionally they bring federal agency officials into their town halls to answer constituent questions on topics ranging from Medicare Open Enrollment to tax filing. The Chief of Staff and District Director regularly switch duty stations to increase collaboration and understanding between the Washington and Pennsylvania offices.”

The CMF Democracy Awards program was initiated with the following stated goals:

  • Recognize and applaud legislators and staff who truly deserve acknowledgment for their excellent practices in the service of the Congress and their constituents
  • Provide examples for congressional colleagues to emulate, thereby enhancing the entire institution
  • Enhance and improve public understanding and trust in Congress

The distinct categories include:

A full list of the finalists in each category can be viewed here.

Criteria for the Constituent Service award, courtesy of CMF:

This award focuses on how an office interacts with and serves constituents, especially how it utilizes and leverages specific, methodical and consistent processes for achieving measurable results in constituent service. This is independent of legislative work, and emphasis is on effectiveness not efficiency (e.g. use of, and adherence to, metrics and outcomes rather than simply measuring the time it takes to resolve a constituent case request or respond to an e-mail). We would expect to see that an office demonstrates excellence in constituent service through specific practices which are thoroughly integrated into the office's work. For example:

  • Mail quality, workflow, and turnaround time
  • Effectiveness in the office acting as ombudsman for constituents with federal agencies (casework)
  • Responsiveness and effectiveness in constituent meetings, events, and field work
  • Whether the office has implemented innovative processes or tools which have resulted in improved timeliness, cost savings, and constituent satisfaction
  • Effective online, social media and/or in-person and/or telephone town hall meetings

More information about each Constituent Service award finalist – including three Democrats and three Republicans – can be viewed here.

NOTE: A committee comprised primarily of former Members of Congress and former congressional staffers will select the two winners (one Democrat and one Republican) for each of the categories. Winners will be announced in mid-May. An awards ceremony to honor finalists and winners will be held on July 12, 2018.

BACKGROUND: The Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit organization established with the mission to build trust and effectiveness in Congress. Since 1977, CMF has worked internally with Member, committee, leadership, and institutional offices in the U.S. House and Senate to identify and disseminate best practices for management, workplace environment, communications, and constituent services. CMF also is the leading researcher and trainer on citizen engagement, educating thousands of individuals and facilitating better relationships with Congress. More information can be found at