Press Releases

Office of Rep. Katie Porter Named 2021 Democracy Award Winner for Innovation and Modernization

Congressional Management Foundation recognizes Rep. Porter’s office for modeling innovative practices, spearheading efforts to modernize Congress

The office of Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45) was recognized today for its unique and innovative methods in constituent interactions, communications, and office operations. The independent, nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) announced that Porter is a winner in the Innovation and Modernization category of the Democracy Awards, which acknowledge non-legislative achievement and performance in Congressional offices. 

“As Representatives, we have a duty to look critically at the institution and try to make it better—we shouldn’t just throw up our hands and accept the way things have always been,” said Porter. “It’s clear change is needed: most Americans are dissatisfied with Congress, and they have been for some time now. When we innovate and modernize how we do this work, we can earn families’ confidence that their government is working for them.”

“As a Democracy Award winner, Rep. Porter’s office is clearly one of the best in Congress,” said Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. “This designation demonstrates that Rep. Porter has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for her constituents in California. Rep. Porter and her staff are to be congratulated for not only being a model for his colleagues in Congress, but for helping to restore trust and faith that our democratic institutions can work.”

CMF included the following reasons for selecting Rep. Porter for an award:

“As Rep. Katie Porter’s (D-CA) office implemented a system of remote work, they have been consistently thinking about how they can work more innovatively. For example, they created issue area pods to streamline constituent correspondence, casework, and legislation related to certain policy areas. Additionally, Rep. Porter thinks about how the institution of Congress can modernize. Rep. Porter was also one of the Members spearheading remote voting when the pandemic first started. As the office transitioned to remote work during the pandemic, they implemented changes to make their work better. They actively use Slack channels to ensure their staff can stay in constant communication with each other. The office also transitioned to more digital communication for inter-office work, including setting up an office Google Drive to share internal documents and putting together daily information to send to the Member through this Google platform. Rep. Porter also leads a monthly all-staff meeting during which she awards a staff member with the “Truth to Power” Award for great work that month.”

Eight House and Senate offices were honored as winners in four categories: Constituent Service; Innovation and Modernization; Transparency and Accountability; and "Life in Congress"-Workplace Environment. The winners were selected by a selection committee primarily comprised of former Members of Congress and Congressional staff. Details on the process and the history of the Democracy Awards can be found here.

Founded in 1977, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to build trust and effectiveness in Congress. It advances its mission by enhancing the performance of the institution, legislators, and their staffs through research-based education and training, and by strengthening the bridge and understanding between Congress and the people it serves.