Crapo wins “Life in Congress” Democracy Award for established and demonstrated work-life fit and professional development for staff
Washington, D.C. – After a rigorous selection process, the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) this week announced U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) as a 2019 winner of the Democracy Award. Senator Crapo received the “Life in Congress” Workplace Environment award. The workplace environment category highlights offices that have established both formal policies and informal cultures that enhance the work-life fit and professional development of their staffs.
“It is an honor to receive such a compliment through this award from the Congressional Management Foundation,” said Senator Crapo. “My staff provide a wealth of knowledge and experience that augments my daily work on behalf of Idahoans. Their dedication ensures adequately informed policy decisions, timely processing of constituent casework and ongoing outreach. I am fortunate for their devotion, and am committed to providing a positive workplace where they can learn, grow and be successful throughout their tenure.”
“As a Democracy Award winner, Sen. Crapo’s office is one of the best in Congress,” said Bradford Fitch, President and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. “This designation demonstrates that Sen. Crapo has made a significant commitment to being the best public servant for his constituents in Idaho. Sen. Crapo 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.”
The CMF recognized Senator Crapo's office for creating a positive environment of inclusion, recognition and dedication. Many of Senator Crapo’s staff have served the office for more than a decade. Five current, as well as one recently retired, staff members have worked for Senator Crapo for over two decades. With a low attrition rate for staff, a bank of institutional knowledge helps guide policy decisions and constituent outreach on behalf of Idahoans. Incorporating an open, collaborative environment into daily operations, staff execute their responsibilities in consultation with the Senator and senior leadership. By reducing unnecessary or redundant reviews or demands for observing a rigid protocol, ideas develop freely and are then recommended to the Senator for consideration. To build and maintain an extensive bench of knowledge, Senator Crapo looks first to promote and hire from within current staff members and often finds entry-level staff from the most recent class of interns who have served the office. Unlike most congressional offices, Senator Crapo has been paying the office interns since 1993 when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
CMF has created a detailed process to identify and recognize the best congressional offices in three categories: 1) Constituent Service; 2) Transparency, Accountability, and Innovation; and 3) "Life in Congress" Workplace Environment. House and Senate personal offices self-nominated in late 2018 using an online questionnaire. In early 2019, CMF followed up with offices to gather documentation and assess the office's adherence to the established criteria to determine a list of finalists, which was announced on March 19, 2019.
Next, selection committees comprised primarily of former Members of Congress and former congressional staffers selected two winners (one Democrat and one Republican) for each category. To create even greater objectivity in selecting winners, all identifying information regarding the Member office was redacted, so the committee reviewed only the accomplishments of each finalist.
The Founding Partner for the Democracy Awards is the Bridge Alliance, which provided a generous grant to launch the program. Bridge Alliance is a diverse coalition of more than 80 organizations committed to revitalizing democratic practice in America.
The Congressional Management Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit whose mission is to build trust and effectiveness in Congress. Since 1977, CMF has worked internally with Member, committee, leadership and institutional offices in the House and Senate to identify and disseminate best practices for management, workplace environment, communications, and constituent services. CMF also provides research and training on citizen engagement, educating thousands of individuals and facilitating better relationships with Congress. For more information, please visit www.CongressFoundation.org.